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 triceratops, stegosaurus 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 tyrannosaurus, spinosaurus and pterodactyl were more complex and featured more advanced paper engineering. A single page including three smaller paper toys, the archaeopteryx, deinonychus 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.
This model is a 2 page template the main T-rex consist of 3 pieces and the model includes a smaller baby t-rex which was used to fill empty space on the templates page. The baby T-rex consists of 2 parts, a simple body encompassing a long strip with both the head and tail. This simple build allowed me to have differentiation between the arms at the front and the body, although leaves the inside of the leg untextured and exposed.
More than anything I wanted the large T-rex to feel chunky, and solid, deciding to go for simple prism style legs rather than anything more fancy and flimsy gave the model a wide frame and a solid footing. Designing theropods, or for that matter any animal that stands on 2 legs can be difficult and becomes a literal balancing act, especially a model like this, featuring a large and detailed head compared to a thin and light tail.
The head features a curved front which adds to the curved bottom jaw to round out the overall head shape instead of leaving it too angular. The jaw is created by folding the back of the head inside of itself to create the back of the mouth and then two folding sections at either side of a flat panel representing the bottom of the mouth. This meant that the whole bottom of the jaw was created with only a single tab and can be opened and closed.
The front of the T-rex’s feet extends outwards, making it easier to build and acts as a joining piece to extend the middle toe out from. Although not essential, I wanted to give the t-rex 3D toes, they helped balance the model by making the footprint and base larger but also help make the dinosaurs shape more identifiable. A t-rex without long extending toes just doesn’t look quite right.
The arms are a single extending flap which dangled out from the chest, which looks far more dynamic than just adding the texture of an arm to the body.
The skin texture uses minimal highlights and shading to give the illusion of depth and lighting where needed. The model was designed using a mouse rather than a tablet so shading had to be done using a mixture of layer effects and careful blurring.
Lastly, the tail has a bottom to it, which uses two small tabs to attach to the rest of the design. This section features two extending sections that help lock this piece in place.
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.
Twinkl is a digital educational publisher, creating digital resources for teachers to use in the classroom with children of all ages.
I worked for Twinkl as a graphic designer and paper engineer for three years creating hundreds of educational paper crafts for use in the classroom and at home. As Twinkl offers the paper crafts as part of their subscription model none of the work I designed whilst with the company are available for download on the Fold Up Toys website, but are available though Twinkl for subscribers.
01/29/2019 – Portfolio item uploaded to FUT website
17/04/2019 – Updated to 2019 template.