Gerald paper dog project
'Gerald' is a paper dog that was born in 2008 by lazerian as part of a rebrand for the british design studio. A result of a collaborative project between founder liam hopkins and fellow 3D designer richard sweeney, the two worked on an outline of a paper canine, developing a flattened pattern before printing out the components, hand cutting, folding and gluing them, until they reached a stage in which the pattern could be easily reproduced. Thus, by 2009 a blueprint for a free standing paper dog was born--anyone could make it at home with a sharp knife, adhesive and a healthy degree of patience.
Hopkins and sweeney set out to make their own distinctive artistic developments of the dog--fashioned after a bracco italiano, a handsome gun dog known for its devotion to its master--as a blank canvas. between the two of them, they produced the first customized versions of him and with the success of their 'dazzle' and 'pixel' motifs, began sending 'gerald' out to some of their favorite artists, designers and illustrators, inviting them to create their own interpretations and designs for the pooch. hence the 'gerald project' was born.
Since 2011, hundreds of dogs have been shipped between the UK and artists’ studios in Europe, the USA, Australia, Argentina, south Korea and New Zealand, with the only instruction given to the selected creatives being that they put their own spin on the paper companion.
Hungarian artist, Agnes Toth is one of the 105 collaborators, drawing from a project originally seen at tate britain to give 'gerald' a painted coat that explores art history and the artist’s escape from the confines of her studio. Banksy’s right hand man and former head of design for sega europe, inkie takes influences from the gaming industry and the tattoos adorning mike tyson’s face to create his unique dog, while textile specialist, felt mistress literally dresses hers in a skin of 70 meters of felt strips, hand sewn in using over 150 yards of thread.
Further demonstrating the diversity of gerald submissions, british illustrator, tom newell worked in his trademark monochrome, using heavy pen strokes to cover hi dog in an intricate design partly inspired by a captain beefheart soundtrack. Pete Fowler, known for his world of monsterism, gives his a wood grain finish and los angeles-based artist, jimi crayon emerges from a recent project to put his art in lights on times square to adorn 'gerald' in colourful, biological shapes resembling staring eyes and the animal’s real world inner workings.
'Gerald' himself freely stands on four legs with his nose proudly pointed to the air and is made entirely of 88 individual paper components for each large format dog. His construction a prime example of good design, giving strength and grace to the most unlikely and under appreciated of materials.
Only now that all of the 'geralds' have been returned to their master, can the beautiful, bold and brash results be seen together for the first time. To celebrate the completion of the project, an exhibition and book will be presented during new york design week 2013 at 60 reade, off broadway between Thursday, may 16th – Sunday, may 19th, 2013. housed in custom built steel and clear plastic dog kennels, the installation will offer 360 degree views of each gerald, displaying them in all their glory. Available in kit form, limited edition prints of the artist-designed dogs will also be available to buy for fans to make their own versions at home.
James cropper, the 170 year old british paper mill will use their publishing experience to create a high quality, limited edition, large format hardback book featuring all 120 of the paper dogs alongside artist reflections on what the project and gerald means to them.
Available from lazerian via their website, the book will feature colour photography taken on location at the design studio in manchester, UK and at james cropper’s paper-mill in burneside, UK by simon pantling of pantling studio. Layout and typography comes courtesy of daren newman, who also collaborates on a 'gerald' dog with a multi-coloured marble design achieved by dipping the components in wet paint.