Exciting Pop-Up ‘Cannonball’ Storybook

Settle back and relax because it’s time for something truly special – a picture book that’s going to make you fall in love with the magic of print all over again. Produced by my good friends at Printsmith Productions [projects / website], “Cannonball” was designed and written by Taxi Studio to celebrate the design agency’s 21st anniversary and rebranding.

Inside, Taxi Studio’s thoughts on the power of teamwork take the form of a parable about an elephant, a pelican and a mouse. Key to making this story come alive are the endearing illustrations and clever Pop Ups, Fold and PullOuts, and Die Cuts designed by Rebecca Sutherland [projects / website].

The magic begins with a spellbinding cover depicting the book’s star, Elephant, scattering dozens of fish in every direction – all rendered in Holographic Foil against a Black Colorplan Slate paper [PaperSpecs PRO Members: Get the Swatchbook!] background.

A leather textured emboss gives the cover an extra tactile oomph, while the book’s title is presented in Foil on the spine, along with the subtitle:  “Creativity, Courage, Collaboration & Shameless Self-Promotion.” The perfect blend of inspiration and humor!

Inside, Arctic Paper’s Munken Lynx Rough is used in a variety of weights to accommodate the various surprises that spring forth with the turn of every page. The opening spread sets the stageand our pretty high expectations.

No sooner are we told that the main character, Elephant, has spent 3 days and nights with his leg in a trap, than we are presented with an arc of Holographic Clear Foil suns and moons, depicting the passage of time, above an illustration of the beast.

This is only one example of how Rebecca’s creative visual storytelling works so well with Printsmith’s printing and finishing expertise.

As the story progresses, the finishing and paperengineering effects grow ever more elaborate. Tugging a tab reveals a mouse running past Elephant as his eye follows the rodent’s progress. 

Turning a page presents a Pop Up of the pachyderm leaping toward us. And in one of the toughest effects to construct, an enormous Pop-Up pelican opens and closes its mouth as the pages are opened and closed.

And though one of the most impressive engineering feats has to be a Pop-Up Elephant rotating in mid-air as it executes a “cannonball” dive into a creek (scattering a school of PearlescentFoil fish in the process), the cleverest effect may well be the simplest.

The creature is freed from the trap with our help, as we snap the rope in 2 by tearing apart the 2 Velcro dots holding it together across the printed spread. The “ripping” sound that follows makes an already interactive book even more satisfying.

Then there’s the relatively bland color palette, which makes its sparing use of color, such as the Red of the pelican’s mouth and the Yellow glow of a firefly, all the more impactful.

The close creative collaboration behind this amazing book just goes to show that teamwork isn’t only for storybook characters…though the results, as they are here, can be pure magic.

Project Details

Title Pop-Up ‘Cannonball’ Storybook Client Taxi Studio Date November – December 2023 Design Taxi Studio
Rebecca Sutherland (Illustration, effects design)
Print Printsmith Productions
Paper Cover: GF Smith Colorplan Slate
End Papers: Arctic Paper Munken Lynx Rough 120 gsm (80 lb.)
Text + Pop Ups: Arctic Paper Munken Lynx Rough 170gsm (115 lb.)
Pull Outs: Arctic Paper Munken Lynx Rough 300gsm (200 lb.)

Production Details

Page Count 30 Print Quantity 500 Production Cost £34,000.00 (~$43,260) Printing Method Offset Finishing and Binding Hot Foil Stamping, Die Cutting, Singer Sewn Binding, Tip-Ons (endpapers)

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