18 awe-inspiring flip books

Featuring beautiful shapes and funny characters, these brilliant flip books are sure to inspire you.

Flip books have been around since the late 1800s and are now recognised as one of the earliest forms of what is today referred to as interactive media. In a similar way to doodle art, creating flip books is still a popular form of expression among artists, with many beautiful and inspiring designs being created on a daily basis. Here are 18 top examples; which is your favourite? 

01. Leonardo DiCaprio gets his Oscar

It was a glorious moment when Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in The Revenant. And you can relive the heartwarming experience over and over again, thanks to this brilliant offering from flip book animator, The Flippist.

02. Best 2014 World Cup goals

What better way to demonstrate your pen skills than creating a flip book celebrating the best goals of the 2014 World Cup. That's exactly what Stabilo has done here, and the result is a great mix of ball control and animation skills.

03. Hole punch

You don't need the best pencils or pens to create an amazing flip book. Here, Scott Blake used a hole punch to create a mesmerising animated pattern with added depth. It might be short, but it bears plenty of rewatching as you try to figure out exactly how he did it.

04. Kinematoscope

The fun thing about this particular example isn't the animation itself, but the device on which it's being played: a dinky little 3D-printed kinematoscope created by Markus Fischer that's easier to use than a flip book and with more control over the speed and flow of the animation. If you want to make your own you can find all the details here.

05. Berlin

Eight flip books for the price of one! Italian graphic design student Tommaso Lavagnoli went on a university trip to Berlin, and decided to document his visit in an unlikely but eye-catching manner, creating an eight-in-one flip book showcasing seven favourite sites, plus an animated credits section. You can see all the animations in GIF form over at Behance.

06. Colibri

Artist Juan Fontanive has one-upped the original flip book and has created a series of flipbook machines. Combining sculpture and animation, this gorgeous bird-themed illustrated flipbook will inspire any artist. Hand-assembled by Fontanive, the motorised machines allow the illustrations to speak for themselves – showcasing the intricate detail with every flip.

07. Harmine cat

These Lightly Books were created by Japanese illustrator Harumin Asao and see a wide range of kooky and quirky characters coming to colourful life. We love her illustrative style and the way she incorporates this into her flip books.

08. Spilling water

This series of mechanical flip books is an original kinetic art project by Wendy Marvel and Mark Arnon Rosen. The photos used in the sequence were taken by Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-1904. You can see more from the series on the mechanical flip book website.

09. Flip Books

These clever little flip books were created as a personal project by Ruja Petrov to practise her classic animation. She completed around 40 flip books with 100 frames each – starting the image without knowing how it will developed, as she sees where the flip book format takes her.

10. Brief History of Pretty Much Everything

We just love this inspiring flip book by artist James Francis Bell aka DispleasedEskimo. At just over three minutes long, hundreds of awesome biro drawings tell a brief history of, well, pretty much everything. It's not hard to see why this animation has had over 3.5 million views on YouTube. Just brilliant. 

11. Sonic the Hedgehog

It's amazing what you can achieve with a small book of paper and some rough pencil drawings. This cool flipbook, by artist BloodyRenegadeX, takes Sonic the Hedgehog on an incredible journey, which is spread out on both the front and back of the paper. If you're not a particular fan of Sonic, check out the designer's other flip book animations on his YouTube channel

12. Commando Group

This cool flip book depicts how the Commando Group settled on its latest horse logo. The animation was put together by the company's French intern Charlotte Lamy. A simple but brilliant idea showcasing how the final design came about.  

13. Squeeze Me

We love the inventive use of flip book animations in this music video for Kraak & Smaak's track Squeeze Me. Using individual stills, the books cleverly depict parts of the songs story. The opening animation featuring the Squeeze Me typeface is a particular favourite of ours.  

14. LG Viewty

We can't even imagine how long it took the artist who created the detailed illustrations for these Matrix-inspired flip books. The animations are part of a commercial created for the LG Viewty mobile phone. And the company clearly chose the right medium to advertise with, the spot having been viewed over 4 million times on YouTube.

15. Submarine vs Bayonet

Another from artist Ben Zurawski, aka The Flippist, was inspired by President Obama's talk about bayonets and submarines in a presidential debate with Mitt Romney. The outcome? A short but very sweet 30-second animation, which depicts the candidates playing a game of Battleship. Zurawski's has many other brilliant flip books on his YouTube channel, including another humorous one featuring Romney

16. Cut out flipbook

Our minds were a little blown when we first saw this amazing flip book by paper engineer Matt Shilan. As the pages turn so does the shape that features upon them, creating a jaw-dropping 3D effect. You will watch this more than once. Guaranteed. 

17. Let Me Drive

Flipbooks are clearly popular among music video directors, this time featuring in Canadian indie rock group Winter Gloves track Let Me Drive. Using individual photos of the band in various poses and situations, the images were translated onto paper and assembled as flip books to create the band's performance.

18. Biking photography

Wanting to work in the design department of an extreme sports magazine or company, graphic designer James Webber decided to create this cool biking flip book to send out to prospective employers. A keen photographer, Webber pulled together individual stills to depict various different bike stunts. 

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