Lulu Publishes Augmented Reality Art Book

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Do you remember being fascinated by pop-up books as a child? Or, maybe you discovered them as an adult and wondered where they’d been all your life. Pop-up books have a long, historical tradition going back several hundred years. The best ones feature elaborate artwork combined with clever paper cutouts to lift a story beyond the printed page.

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Recently, the Center for Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Seattle, WA, took pop-ups a step further by applying augmented reality to print books. Yes, you heard that right: print and digital work hand-in-hand to create a new visual experience in the CoCA Pop-Up (AR)t book, a 48-page book published with Lulu. The book features beautiful contemporary art, and with the aid of a smartphone or tablet, the artwork jumps from the page into virtual reality.

CoCA Museum

CoCA artists displayed their original works in a gallery in the museum, where visitors could scan their devices over the pieces themselves and experience the magic of the 3D popup. The printed book reproduces the contemporary art gallery’s images allowing you to view both the printed artwork and experience it in 3D. Using an app found in the Apple and Google Play stores, users scan their device over the page, and a 3D image springs to life. On one page, a ghost floats eerily above the page; on another, a tree appears to grow straight out of the book. The Pop-Up AR(t) book is a fantastic example of augmented reality, and CoCA found a unique way to combine printed art and language traditions with technology to create an immersive user experience.

CoCA specializes in the development and advancement of contemporary art, and their innovative projects take art beyond the canvas and page. Their wide range of books, published with Lulu, expand on this idea and present new concepts to the world. The Pop-Up AR(t) book takes recent contemporary works from a variety of artists and presents them in a way that no other published art book has done.


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Pop-Up (AR)t By Center on Contemporary Art

Center on Contemporary Art publisher Ray C. Freeman III invited artists to explore the world of Augmented Reality by creating artworks for this technology-enhanced book. 18 pieces were selected by jurors David Francis and Joe Roberts, and were presented at a Grand Opening and Book Release Party at CoCA’s gallery on May 12, 2016.


Publishing with Lulu gave CoCA a platform for reaching artists around the world with their innovative artwork and project. As a platform for publishing freedom, Lulu gave CoCA the tools to create one of the first AR art books. With Lulu, your creativity knows no limits: from a coloring book to a 3D reality book, you can create projects that are only as limited as your imagination.

1 thought on “Lulu Publishes Augmented Reality Art Book”

  1. When I think of VR it was nothing like what you mentioned in you’re article about VR. So while the headline got me excited a little bit until after reading I am now disappointed. Sure its great there’s new stuff out here for QR code scanners but when I get my PSVR headset I want a VR book that actually puts me in the main character’s perspective like Star Trek and the holodeck. I know we’re not quite that far yet but I still think VR books like that are now a possibility.

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