The Designer’s Notebook

An Age Old Christmas Book Chronicled



So I have this book… my Dad gave it to me in 1979. It’s a Christmas book about Santa’s workshop. I treasure this book. I keep it in a box and it only comes out once a year for about 2 weeks. Thing is, this is one of those pop-up books with flaps and tabs and things to pull and tug . I remember playing with it, I can almost recite it and it’s a Huge part of my personal heritage. My kids now have that link to my past and we can enjoy it together.

The thing that amazes me about this book – that in the mid 1970’s a book like this would be conceived and designed completely by hand. The intricate die-cutting was all planned with a pencil, exacto knife and many many mock-ups. This is mind boggling. We build die-cuts all the time and it’s pretty normal for us here at Redpoint. But we’re cutting square brochures and pocket folders. The craftsmanship that went into this 30-year-old-Hallmark book is amazing.

The Book is full-colour, in full 3d so the pop-ups are printing like paper sculpture.We’ve conceived some nifty die-cuts in our day and this is incredible.

When you think about the rise of the new arts and crafts ethic we’re experiencing, (hand illustrated type, and editorial style collage and  illustration) things like old style printing are refreshing. We are living in a time like the beginning of the 19th Century when the Industrial Revolution sparked an arts and crafts revolution which spawned the creation of wallpaper and a revived interest in embroidery in a time when the world was trying to come to grips with newly found industrial capacity. I often wonder what innovation will come out of our age where we all struggle with the new technical capabilities at our fingertips. But I’m rambling…

In the end having this book is a little link to my professional past, where people used skills and tools I can hardly name to make a lot of really cool stuff. I’d like to think I use the tools at hand to make equally cool stuff, and perhaps add my fingerprint onto the history of design and creativity. When I think about things that are treasured by children 30 years on, I am humbled and honoured to think I might get to have a part in projects like that some day.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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