Insight Editions is teaming with author and pop-up paper engineer Matthew Reinhart to form a new imprint, Reinhart Pop-Up Studio. It will publish eight to 10 titles per year in a list that will ultimately include about half new content and about half titles based on licensed properties.

The imprint extends a longtime relationship between Insight Editions and Reinhart that dates back to 2014 and Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros. That title included pop-ups of locations featured in the TV series and required developing a new technique to turn the book into a giant map. “They could see where I was going with it right away and that kind of set the tone,” Reinhart told PW. “They’re willing to take this medium into new directions and innovate in a new way.”

The relationship has continued, with projects including Disney Princesses: A Magical Pop-Up World; Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy; Jurassic World: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book; and the Clio-award-winning A Pop-Up Guide to Hogwarts and Beyond. “We’ve been doing books together constantly for many years,” said Raoul Goff, Insight Editions founder and CEO. “We just thought we could do so much more if we were married, so to speak. And an imprint is something I felt his work deserved.”

Innovation is at the core of the new imprint. “I’ve always had a fascination with pop-up books and have had the chance to work with the world’s great paper engineers,” Goff said. “Matthew is able to bring paper engineering to another level and create some unusual elements. We want each book to have something unique that the previous book didn’t have and that has never been done before. Our books won’t be just a one-time read or experience. Each will have some sort of play factor that brings people back, over and over, and allows families to experience it together.”

Reinhart Pop-Up Studio will house not only Reinhart’s flagship pop-ups, but a wide range of formats for all ages and at different price points. “We’ll still have the big, special, marquee book every year, but also things at lower price points that are really fun and special,” Reinhart said. One example is a line of new Flip Pop transforming paper-engineered figures of characters such as Batman and Star Wars’ Boba Fett, which will be introduced at San Diego Comic Con.

Other formats new to Reinhart include holiday titles, cards and other non-book items, and how-to paper crafting books. “That’s a new experience for me, and it’s exciting,” Reinhart said. He is looking forward to working on more original titles, along with the licenses, such as Teeth, Tentacles, and Tail Fins: A Wild Ocean Pop-Up, which will be released this July as the imprint’s first title. “I want to stretch out and do more nonfiction, things that are broadly evergreen, and things that are beautiful for their own sake,” he said.

On the licensing side, the imprint will release titles that fall within existing Insight licensing relationships, but also bring in new licenses just for the pop-ups and other paper-engineered titles. Examples of the latter so far include Dungeons & Dragons and Minecraft, with others being negotiated.

Reinhart will be working with several Insight Editions editors on the development of books under the Reinhart Pop-up Studios imprint, which will be overseen by Vicki Jaeger, v-p and editorial director. The fall 2022 list will see the release of Stranger Things: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book, followed by Dungeons & Dragons: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book and Disney Princess: The Little Mermaid Pop-Up Book in spring 2023.

Many publishers have backed away from releasing pop-up books over the years, due to cost or other factors. “There can be 1,000 glue points in a book like this, and there’s die-cutting and hand assembly,” Goff said. “Only one or two factories in the world can even make one of these books anymore. We want to demonstrate that this is an area of bookmaking that deserves to have a place in the publishing industry.”

Reinhart’s first pop-up book was A Pop-Up Book of Phobias, with Gary Greenberg, released by Rob Weisbach Books in 1999. Since then, he has created and collaborated on more than 50 books for multiple publishers.