March 26, 2018 •
Creating Magic with Laser-Cut Pop-Up Art

{Sponsored} Cornell-trained architect Hugo Lemes studies construction drawings of a ship provided by a museum in preparation for designing his next project. He scales down and simplifies the design and prepares it to become — you guessed it — the next pop-up greeting card from Lovepop.

Hugo Lemes, Lovepop
Hugo Lemes of Lovepop

Lemes loves the creative process involved in scaling down ships and skyscrapers. He’s worked on trains, house cards aimed at the real estate industry, skylines for the wedding line, the Mayflower for the Plimoth Plantation and a card for the inauguration of the Chao Center on the Harvard Business School campus. He’s using his architectural background to help create new designs as well as new processes for the company.

Lovepop was launched in the Harvard Innovation Lab in 2014. In under four years, they’ve gone from “Shark Tank” to mass production of complex, highly designed and laser-cut greeting cards with intricate pop-up art. Their goal is to bring magical and unexpected moments to people all over the world. The founders were inspired by cards they found during a trip to Vietnam, where pop-up art is something of a tradition.

The Mayflower card from Lovepop
The Mayflower card from Lovepop

For being such a young company, they have more designs than you can imagine would be possible — almost 300 in total.

The Lovepop team is focusing on how they can create even more magic. Some goals include creating a more cohesive style for the whole line, inventing more collections of cards, solidifying color palettes, making reusable styles and standardized engineering.

An idea for a new design often starts with an individual, but a team decides which cards will be made next. Lovepop takes feedback from customers, looks at trends and considers analytics to make sure they’re making the right cards. The ideation and conception process has the design team making sketches of the potential designs including the cover art, details and embellishments, as well as the pop-up 3D portion. Once conceptual designs are approved, prototyping begins. They lasercut and put together the cards, testing them many times. They check the engineering and folds and finalize the paper and printing.

Once they’ve laser-cut final prototypes, they send the design files to Vietnam. The partner office in Vietnam takes the already prototyped designs and further refines the engineering for production. Lemes said that Lovepop couldn’t do what they do without their team members in Vietnam. The Vietnamese team works on details to ensure the cards can be produced in efficient ways, trying to retain and sometimes add to the original design, engineering and user experience.

The collaboration doesn’t stop there. The teams travel back and forth often, collaborating on new projects to make things go smoothly. “The process is improving, which is very exciting!” Lemes said. “We’re trying to merge the two teams so that we can produce more designs together. There have been a number of designs that originated with the Vietnamese team as well.”

Seattle Skyline greeting card from Lovepop
Seattle Skyline greeting card from Lovepop

The animal cards have always done very well with customers. Lemes said: “We wanted to create a new line of animal cards. We thought about how to it in a fun way. Since Party Animals have been so successful, we have a few more coming down the line,” to join Party Owl, Party Fox and Party Racoon. They recently launched Party Dog at AmericasMart in Atlanta.

What’s next in the world of pop-up greeting cards? “Lovepop Lands” are in the pipeline. These are collectible cards that, when placed together, form a cohesive landscape. Beyond the intricacy in the pop-up, these cards also create new challenges in ensuring that sculptures and sceneries work well when placed together.

They’re also working on new licensing deals. Currently, they have partnered with a K-Pop band, Billboard Awards, the Beatles and Game of Thrones. New details on these partnerships and new cards in the works will be announced soon, so watch for what’s new in the world of pop-up greeting cards!

lovepop logo


See the full line of cards
at lovepopcards.com.

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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