Why Vietnamese Kirigami?

girl on bike

Everybody knows what Origami is, but very few have ever heard of Kirigami. It’s a relatively unknown variation of Japanese Origami—ori (fold) + gami (paper)—that has been around for at least 300 years, probably much longer. Kirigami—kiri (cut) + gami (paper)—is generally much more intricate. It requires precision cutting and arranging, as well as folding. It didn’t become an acknowledged art form until the latter half of the 20th Century.

One fundamental difference between these two paper-based artforms is that Origami produces a static result; the figures are frozen in position. Kirigami, on the other hand, is a technique that results in a dynamic product. While some Kirigami pieces are fixed, most are enjoyed as one observes their unfolding, spreading, and rotating. It’s as if the foldability and collapsibility weren’t impressive enough—one experiences an extra shot of astonishment upon seeing a fully-arranged Kirigami figure in all its glory.

Kirigami bike

This is why Harlow Russell chose this format, 3-dimensional Kirigami paper cutting and manipulation, as the basis for his innovative and trendsetting greeting and thank you cards for companies and organizations. He experienced the impact of Kirigami while living and working in Southeast Asia and was blown away the first time he saw one of these pieces—a sort of local holiday greeting card. It wasn’t until a number of years later, however, when dissatisfaction with an American business engagement caused him to explore the nature of authentic communication and healthy personal acknowledgement … and to consider using a variation of these cards in a new way.

Kirigami appeals not only to the artists among us, but also to those who just look and wonder at something elegant or beautiful. Some exclaim, “How in the world did they do that!” Others flip the cards over to see how the pop-up model is attached to the card. But when it comes to Kirigami, what we all see is this incredible blossom of forms that delight, impress, and surprise us. When you watch somebody open a custom designed Kirigami card, handcrafted in Vietnam, you will hear “Marvelous!” or “That’s awesome!” or perhaps just a “Wow …” and then a gasp. 

Kirigami Examples

COTA card

That’s because the art of Kirigami—and, more specifically, the design team at Awesome 3D Cards—captures and replicates that state of being a child, rapt in discovery, beaming and giggling at something utterly new. Baby Boomer or Gen Z, male or female, CEO or receptionist, the reactions are always the same. The spectrum of feelings that arise when beholding something that is simultaneously simple and complex, marvelous and elegant, whimsical and indulgent, is fantastic. 

Texas State Capitol Card
Woman opening card

To be able to deliver this sensation, consistently, is one of the holy grails of customer engagement for the business world. And, if it can be done, not for the price of a Fabergé egg, but for less than the price of that generic mass-produced card or standard coffee cup gift you just bought for your best customer … wouldn’t you be interested for your company or organization?

Consider the value of being presented a “micro-vacation” in the form of a colorful supernova of 3D surprise. You are plucked from your busy world of conflicting agendas, social media, emails, and quibbling colleagues … and then delivered, for a few delicious moments, to that natural state of wondrous repose that we call awe.

Airplane Card

This is why Harlow Russell’s new company Awesome 3D Cards specializes in custom Kirigami works of art that symbolize you and your company or organization. His designers create—in foldable, handmade 3D figures—your headquarters, your flagship product, or the mascot of your organization!


Harlow Russell has taken the Vietnamese artform of Kirigami and TRANSFORMED it for the US Business Market. Open and say Awe-some! Let Awesome 3D Cards create magic for your business!