Twinkl dinosaur Archaeopteryx, Deinonychus and Dunkleosteus paper toy craft model educational printable graphic design Alex Gwynne
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About This Project

This series of dinosaur paper toys was designed for Twinkl in 2017, the set includes 10 models, including 4 smaller designs, the series was designed to scale in difficulty so children of different key stages would be able to build different dinosaurs.

The triceratopsstegosaurus and ankylosaurus were designed to be simple paper crafts, with more rounded out and simplified edges to make construction quick and easy, where as the tyrannosaurusspinosaurus and pterodactyl were more complex and featured more advanced paper engineering. A single page including three smaller paper toys, the archaeopteryxdeinonychus  and dunkleosteus bridge the gap by being simple toys, but on a smaller scale requiring more advanced hand to eye coordination.

The series was designed in a single working week, which will sound impressive to fellow paper toy designers but was a pretty standard turnaround time for the workplace I was in.

The archaeopteryx, deinonychus  and dunkleosteus all fit onto a single page together. The deinonychus acts as a replacement for the more popular velociraptor and uses the same template as the baby t-rex from the same line of dinosaur paper toys. Infact the deinonychus was designed first and was later added to the t-rex template to fill empty space. If we compared the baby t-rex to the deinonychus we can see the difference in head texture that helps set the two apart.

The archaeopteryx is a model I had promised myself I would create the next time I worked on a dinosaur project, it’s one of my favourite dinosaurs and I think an important step towards introducing more scientifically accurate dinosaurs to the general public something I feel greatly invested in. The archaeopteryx template is similar to that of the deinonychus but with a key difference, the body is split into two parts, one is a triangular section that is created when gluing the two sides of the head together and the other creates the legs wings and tail. The texture on the archaeopteryx is quite complex compared to other models in this series, but was necessary to give the illusion of feathers where I couldn’t draw anything more detailed because of the line thickness. I decided to make the skin colour of the archaeopteryx blue, and contrast it against a reddish brown feather colour. This was simply to make the archaeopteryx look cooler, and since some roosters can have blue skin sections instead of red didn’t seem too unrealistic. A spine of feathers runs down the back of the creature, which is created from the same section that holds the head.


Lastly we have the dunkleosteus a bone headed fish. I wanted to add more aquatic prehistoric creatures to this series, like the liopleurodon, but I was already pushing it with the amount of creatures in this series and the time I spent designing them, so I settled with just adding one small fish like creature. The dunkleosteus fits across the bottom of the page in a single line that’s folding across itself to create the body and main fin. The dunkleosteus is another one of my favourite dinosaurs, if you can call it that, it has an iconic skull like head and a fearsome face, I feel like making it one of the smaller creatures in the series might be underselling it because they were so huge. The colour pallet is a green for the skin and grey for the bone to resemble and signify rock or stone.


Alex Josephine Gwynne is a graphic designer and paper engineer with over a decade of experience designing paper toys and paper crafts.

Alex has turned their obsession with paper based design into a career designing for a wide verity of clients including game developers, book publishers and educational providers. Their constant drive to create engaging paper products and international exhibition pieces has lead to numerous awards and seen their work featured in news papers, magazines and BBC television. Overall Alex believes in the power of paper as a 3D medium and lives by the mantra “limitation breeds innovation” striving to find elegant solutions to complex problems.


Since 1995, Broken  Pencil has been a mega-zine dedicated exclusively to exploring independent creative action. Published four times a year, each issue of Broken Pencil features reviews of hundreds of zines and small press books, plus comics, excerpts from the best of the underground press, interviews, original fiction and commentary on all aspects of the indie arts. From the hilarious to the perverse, Broken Pencil challenges conformity and demands attention. I had the pleasure of designing a zine-themed paper toy for an issue of the magazine at the end of 2018.

Change Log

 01/29/2019 – Portfolio item uploaded to FUT website

17/04/2019 – Updated to 2019 template.


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