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Cityscape 3D Pop-Up Card

Sky-high glass buildings soar majestically out of this pop-up 3D card. Their reflective surfaces catching and playing with the light in a dance of brilliance as if they were the real thing. This extraordinary piece, born from meticulous craftsmanship and innovative design, brings to life a yet-to-be-constructed urban dreamscape, gifted from a daughter to her father. Read on to see how we created this miniature pop-up metropolis.

The Client 

This unique project was commissioned by a daughter seeking an extraordinary birthday present for her property developer father. She wanted to gift something that not only celebrated his birthday but also honoured his professional vision and achievements.

The Brief

The brief called for a one-of-a-kind, A3-sized pop-up card depicting a cityscape. Not just any cityscape, but one that mirrored the future development her father was working on. This meant creating a miniature replica of buildings that were yet to be constructed, based solely on artistic impressions. The card needed to offer a glimpse into the future, capturing the essence of the planned development in a tangible form.

The Process

The design phase was the most time-consuming and intricate part of the process. With a project of this calibre - the thinking part is incredibly important.  We were provided with a library of images—artistic impressions of the proposed buildings. Our task was to recreate these impressions within the confines of a card, making it not just a card but a preview of a future reality. This involved a delicate balance of aesthetics and structure to ensure the 3D design would perfectly align when popped up.

Understanding the importance of balance and structure in a 3D layered design, we collaborated with a sculpture 3D designer renowned for his ability to create pieces that slot and slide together seamlessly. Together with a consultant, we ensured the design was not only visually striking but structurally sound, capable of standing when fully opened without tipping over.

Given its size and complexity, ensuring the card remained upright when opened posed a significant challenge. We introduced hidden structural supports and clear acetate lines mimicking real-life building supports to provide the necessary stability. The card was crafted to unfold like a portrait, with each piece interlocking to reveal the cityscape in breathtaking detail.

The selection of materials and finishing touches were critical in mimicking the feel of steel and glass structures. Glossy sheets of grey base material were chosen for their ability to reflect light, simulating the appearance of urban buildings. Silver foil elements added a layer of sophistication, while predetermined blues captured the essence of light reflecting off windows. The entire structure was printed in a single run, ensuring colour consistency and vibrancy.

The Result

The Cityscape 3D Pop-Up birthday card is more than a greeting—it's a forward-looking architectural model, a prelude to a father's legacy rendered with unparalleled craftsmanship and imagination. Spanning 2-3 months from conception to completion, this project underscores the lengths Downey goes to in marrying design with emotion, creating pieces that are as memorable as they are innovative.

Pop-Ups, Menu’s, and More 

Are you looking for a card that captures your special day?  Or perhaps you want us to create a menu for your celebrations . Our experts here at Downey can put the magic into any design- whether you have a concept in mind or not. Please contact our team for information and guidance on how we can create a beautifully bespoke project tailored to you.