Art of Paper Cutting Revival

Here’s a creative and unique way to express yourself visually that you may not have done since you were a kid. Most designers today use the standard methods of computers, software, and printers to design posters, but few have explored paper-cutting as an art form. This ancient craft has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity among both traditional artists as well as modern graphic designers. In this blog post, we’ll explore two Poster 2024 submissions that stand out from the crowd with their paper-cutting approach!

Machado Channels Memphis Style 

This Poster 2024 submission by Graphis Master João Machado embodies the definition of 80s modern art with a nod back to another time. While we’re not sure if this is digital or hand-paper cutouts, it certainly embodies the appearance. Looking closer, “DESIGN” (above, left) channels the playful design whimsy of the Italian Memphis movement launched by Ettore Sottsass which was characterized by bright colors, geometric shapes, strong patterns, stripes, clashing hues, and abstract designs originally envisioned for furniture and art pieces.

In his modern spin, Machado’s poster design is full of vibrancy, with a diverse array ranging from the most vivid primary hues to muted pastels in overlapping geometric shapes. Grayscale tones complement this vibrant mix, providing an eye-catching yet sophisticated overall feel. A woman stands at the center of this poster, surrounded by a glimpse into what could be an alternate reality. White boldface DESIGN type boldly proclaims that viewers should explore their unique perspectives when approaching any task, giving us insight into how we create art within our own realities.

Honoring Chinese Tradition for Beijing Opera 

Jianzhi, a beautiful form of traditional Chinese paper-cutting artistry, is often associated with luck and joy, qualities that are portrayed in the vivid colors and captivating acrobatics of the Beijing Opera. This traditional performance transports audiences to another realm where beauty meets mystery for an experience like no other.

Scott Laserow‘s unique poster “Gaze” (above, right) celebrates the traditional Chinese cut-paper style and honors China’s remarkable Beijing Opera performers. His poster design for the Beijing Opera Art International Poster Biennale 2022 captures their captivating makeup in vibrant colors, focusing on whitened faces that perfectly contrast with bright pink and red touches to create an unforgettable image of these talented artists. But he didn’t stop there; encompassed by the quintessential Chinese art form, he also honors the traditional style of paper-cutting by using traditional Chinese rice paper in the typography. Laserow further enhances the design narrative by using the traditional Chinese style of calligraphy, putting the title vertically in a column going from top to bottom, for the opera title. 

Laserow dazzled with his brilliantly designed poster that skillfully blended modern and traditional Chinese aesthetics. His eye for detail was not overlooked, as it earned him a prestigious award upon its exhibition.

To submit your work to our Poster 2024 Awards competition, click here.

Author: Graphis