Origami Sightings - Magazine Advertisements

Compiled by Janet Hamilton

In the October 19th, 1996 issue of  The Economist, page 25, Northwest/KLM airlines advertised their World Business Class service between Japan and the U.S.  The route to the U.S. is represented by a line ending with a red origami crane.

In the July 1997 issue of Smithsonian magazine is a whole page with three 5 pointed stars on it.  The ad is for Arthur Anderson, and the stars are made of paper money from various countries, including Canada, Uruguay, Hungary, USA, Japan, and Ecuador.  The same ad was spotted in the January 14, 1997 New York Times.

An ad from the April 1997 Credit Union Magazine for the CUNA Mortgage Program depicts an origami dinosaur and the caption "How long can anyone survive without mortgages?"

An advertisement for Lakewood Paper in the trade journal Walden's Convention Daily in May 1998 featured two origami giraffes.

In the September 19-25, 1998 Radio Times there was an ad on page 21 for a company selling roof windows that has a paper airplane prominently shown.

The 1999 Business Travel Buyer's Handbook had an ad following page 62 for the Peabody Hotels in Orlando and Memphis. They are famous for their parading ducks and the ad is about the hotels' ability to work with business groups, including a sketch of an origami duck for "Bonding with International Paper."

Paul Jackson worked on a Hewlett Packard Jet Printer press ad campaign a few years ago, featuring origami animals.  The advertising agency who commissioned it (Saatchi & Saatchi) reported that when it was published in a magazine in Germany, their German office received 500 phone calls on the first day alone, requesting diagrams!!

In the April 2000 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, page 207, was an ad for the York Wallpaper and Fabrics company. There is a model of David Brill’s rhino model made from wallpaper and folded by Joseph Wu.  The rhino was also seen in the May 2000 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  The Easter 2000 issue of Martha Stewart Living, page 169, carried a giraffe made from wallpaper, which was also spotted in the June 2000 Better Homes and Gardens magazine and Martha Stewart Living November 2000, page 221. A flower in the paper pattern falls just right to be the eye of the giraffe.  The Sept. 2000 issue of Better Homes and Gardens included an elephant folded from a cream colored wallpaper with a blue oriental design. All three animals were actually folded from white parchment paper and the wallpaper patterns were added later by computer. http://www.origami.as/gallery.php?gallery=3 

In the September 2000 Industry Standard (a computer industry business rag) there's an ad for Dennis Interactive with a crease pattern for a flapping bird. The caption reads: "Fold along marked lines. Result: Cool bird". And it goes on: "We never stop at two dimensions..."

A 2-page advertisement for HP digital cameras and the 100 Cameras Project in the Jan/Feb 2001 National Geographic Explorer:
"Baju Wijono. Inventor.
A simple origami boat, floating down an Indonesian river; a young boy carving a stone statue, a guard for an ancient temple; these are rare visions, to capture them requires a gentle eye, and new kinds of tools. Baju has found just such a tool - digital photography. No film, no developing, he keeps only the pictures he wants and deletes the rest. He can even send them to everyone he knows everywhere in the world right now. Make them, share them, store them, invent.
Digital images from hp.

A veterinary journal called Lab Animal carried an ad for a company that specializes in lab mice. The ad featured 4 simple origami models - a fan, a paper airplane, a simple sailboat, and a 4th model, all folded out of certificates. The text accompanying the models said something like "giving buyers a reason not to find something else to do with their warranties." 5/10/2001

In the August 2, 2001 EDN (Electronic Design News) magazine, page 84, an NEC ad prominently features 9 origami models folded from blue paper with printed circuit board circuits on it. The models are: Crane, Basket, Classic Sailboat, Throwing Star, Samurai Helmet, Goose, Traditional Box, Traditional Kimono, Paper Airplane.

Zithromax is a drug used for mild to moderate respiratory tract infections. Advertisements spotted in January 2002 had an origami eagle and shark folded out of Zithromax flyers. The art for this campaign was done by Michael LaFosse.

A handwoven cootie-catcher to illustrate a "Chroma Kaleidoscope: unfolding design and delight" by Mary Nickol in Handwoven magazine, the September/October 2002 issue pages 33-35. The publisher is Interweave Press. www.interweave.com

The Dec 2002-Jan 2003 issue of Frommer's Budget Travel magazine had a full page ad for the Pentax Optio Digital Camera. The text states, "So easy, you can use the owner's manual for other things." The photo contains a camera on a stand, over which hangs a lamp folded from the instructions.

There is a paper crane folded out of a Discover card bill in People magazine, December 16, 2002.

December 2002, in the a magazine ReadyMade (all about do it yourself and unusual decor), had an ad for Roshambo Winery asking people to send them cranes. The ad has a square print that could be cut out to make the crane and instructions were on their website, www.roshambowinery.com

In May 2003 the newsmagazine Veja in Brazil included ad for Sony widescreen TV sets. The inserted ad used heavy paper and simple pop-up techniques, although both initial and final forms were flat rectangles. Closed, the rectangle had a bird's eye view of a room, a family on a sofa and a conventional TV set at the top. Opened, the same family, but the room was shown to be considerably larger and the TV was replaced by a big TV+DVD much farther from the people (who obviously also looked much more satisfied).

A magazine called Veja ran ads in Spetember 2003 for Banco do Brasil that included an origami lion and tiger.

The May 10, year 2004 issue of Chemical and Engineering News had an ad for Dowpharma which showed a partially folded $100 bill and a dollar peacock.

A 2005 McDonald’s ad showed a rooster standing in a window of what looked to be a chicken coop. The rooster was folded from a Chicken McGrill wrapper. In another ad, a hen sitting on a fence is folded from an Egg McMuffin wrapper. Joseph Wu actually did a series  of  3 ads: two chickens, and a cow. All were folded from white paper, and the McDonald's logos were added by computer. 

The September 2004 issue of Vanity Fair had a Kate Spade ad on pages 150 - 151 that featured a number of origami cranes.

Ads spotted September 2004 for Stoger in Germany.

Hemisphere Magazine, October 2004. In an advertisement for ANA Airline, a young woman (flight attendant?) is holding a yellow crane behind her back. Ad refers to centuries of Japanese culture.

The December 2005 issue of Reader's Digest, there is a full page ad on p. 201 for Downy fabric softener. The photo has 5 floating lily pads with a few pink and yellow cloth napkins folded into water lilies.

In the August 2006 issue of Popular Science, there is a removable ad from Chevy, An American Revolution. It contains a flexagon that peels off and is printed with the text of the ad. There are diagrams on how to use the flexagon.

An ad in the October 2007 issue of Better Homes and Gardens is an add for Clorox wipes stating "Run for your lives, germs." It features Joseph Wu's model of Babe the Blue Ox in a position ready to charge a mess from a broken egg.

In Wired Magazine, December, 2007, on p. 173, there is a flapping bird in a Intel Centrion ad.

May 2008 - The Halo Group won Best of Show in the 2008 Summit Creative Awards competition. The ads created for Guy Carpenter, a global reinsurance intermediary, illustrates how reinsurance can free capital for its clients by featuring global currency folded into origami shapes including a swarm of arrows, flying cranes, and blowing dandelions.

In the Summer Issue, vol. 7, No. 2 / 2008, of Cure, Cancer Updates, Research & Education, there is an ad by Lee jeans about National Denim Day that has a folded $5 bill in the shape of a heart. Their web site includes a flash animation that shows how to fold the heart. http://www.denimday.com/

August 29, 2008 - Newsweek has a US Bank ad on page 31 and an insert to fold an origami plane. The plane also appears in the Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and Fortune and on http://www.usbank.com/ 

November 2008 - Healthcare Traveler magazine had an ad showing a Christmas tree and paper plane folded from money. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/ht_200811/#/28 

Industry Week, January 2009 - One page shows a square sheet of paper covered with the names of various software companies. On another page, the paper has been folded into the basic crane.

There has been a money origami model accompanying recent Business Matters columns in Newsweek. Models have been provided by Won Park an Joseph Wu. http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephwuorigami/3910240007/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephwuorigami/3911022960/ 

Copyright © Janet Hamilton 2009

Back to Article List