Sheets Happen



Sayer's layers have you reading between the sheets

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The first thing that strikes you about Alida Sayer’s work is that it has so much visual movement. Sheets of paper printed with paragraphs set in heavy black type, stacked one on top of the other and then carved away like topographical excavations, create such a visual rhythm that you could feel like you’re looking at an animated piece instead of a static one. It’s a cool visual trick, and one that suggests not only movement, but depth and perspective as well. Without getting into the details of the novel, Sayer says she used the book “Slaughterhouse Five” as inspiration for her work, particularly a concept that resonated with her: ‘visualizing time.’

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I remember a 60s tv show, The Time Tunnel, that implied time travel via a rotating spiral graphic, and some aspects of Sayer’s pieces evoke that but in a completely novel way, because she uses the typeset copy for her distortions. I particularly like that use of heavy type, because it adds a narrative element that is especially disjointed. Not only are you affected by the visual treatment, but by the cryptic passages as well (unless you’ve read the book – I haven’t).

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You can see that she began her explorations of ‘sculpted’ multiple sheets with a previous work, a carved-out phone directory that gains so much more volume when you see slivers of pages revealed, like the layers one might study in geology.

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While not as complex, you can use Sayer’s work as inspiration for your own projects with our typography-themed decorative papers. They have a similar aesthetic, with the alphabet printed in high-contrast serifs on a clean light background. Pleat and fold these sheets as a gift wrap or a book cover for a dimensional typographical effect. Or if you’re really pressed for time, pop by a Kate’s Paperie store and pick up one of our pre-wrapped decorative boxes that may be… ahem… just your type.

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For more of Alida Sayer’s work, you can visit her blog/website at

If you have any questions, comments or other feedback about The Tear Sheet, be sure to let us know by emailing us at

George G., Creative Director At Large, is a New York-based art director whose work spans everything from store display to interactive media. Also an accomplished artist, his illustrations have been published and exhibited in various galleries in New York. Being a self-professed design junkie, he is constantly on the lookout for what’s new and fresh in the worlds of art and design.

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