Visual trends #2: paper cut-outs

Visual trends - paper cuttings

In our last post on visual trends we described something called digital decay. It’s true – many of the new trends can be described as quirky and bizarre, and definitely not optimistic. Honestly they seem to reflect all the apocalyptic attractions that 2020 has delivered so far. Today however, we would like to show you something crafty and more cheerful. This visual trend has many names – paper cut-outs, paper cuttings, paper collage.

Children’s pop-up books are what usually comes first to people’s minds when they look at this trend. Do you remember them? Books that would open new, 3D meticulously crafted paper worlds every time you turn the page? 

This trend is a timeless classic – it has been around for a while, but the end of 2019 is when it caught attention.

There is something transient and fragile about these paper worlds but they are very attention-grabbing and playful. They are very close to the traditional arts and crafts and that’s why they stand out in the world of fast digital design. The best ones are of course the ones  with lots of well-thought details, made by hand and then photographed. It’s not an easy task to mimic the paper cut-out design with Adobe tools! (But it’s possible – look at the examples below).

This makes this kind of a design more expensive, but it’s definitely a good choice for covers, posters or even PPC banners that stand out. It may seem like a good idea for children and lifestyle products, but take a look at the examples below. HP and Celcom are both technological companies, and Farmacisti Preparatori is an Italian pharmacy chain – and they rock their paper cut-outs!

If you are looking for inspirations, check out Bomboland – an Italian illustration studio, specializing in cut-out illustration. Lobulo, a London-based artist is another great inspiration.

Example #1: HP

paper cut-off ad 3   paper cut-off ad 2


Example #2: Farmacisti Preparatori

paper cut-off ad 5
paper cut-off ad 6
paper cut-off ad 4


Example #3: Celcom

paper cut-off ad 1


Example #4: Book covers