Bookbinding Beauty

Beautiful images from the recent Designer Bookbinders International Competition. Below are my favourites.

I love the concept which connects the front and back covers. Demonstrates the power of a drop of water!


“The inspiration for George Kirkpatrick’s book was the idea of a drop of water landing on the dried mud and soaking through to the back cover, where dormant seeds spring to life. Among them is a golden seedling that grows towards the water source, forming the book clasp. It’s bound in calf and various goatskins with palladium tooling, silver rhodium, and gilded brass.”

I like the use of pipes to denote the water theme. It looks avant-garde stylish!


“Mary Norwood has bound her book in black calf, with an arrangement of domestic water pipes (made from hand-dyed calf and goatskin) wound onto a framework of timber and clay and secured by leather straps. Brass labels are stamped with names of water sources, and laced-in linen tapes with illustrations have been sewn on.”

This is so simple yet beautiful. It reminds me of the Arctic.


“Per-Anders has chosen a simplified binding with a blue goatskin spine, tooled in white, layered watercolour-painted paper boards, sewn endbands and blue Japanese paper endpapers.”

The Bound for Success exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford (until 1 August) showcases the 117 shortlisted submissions in the first Designer Bookbinders International Competition, in which entrants from 29 countries offer their interpretations of the theme of water.

An exhibition catalogue, Bound for Success, illustrates nearly 400 examples of contemporary binding, featuring a range of styles, materials, and approaches to the ancient craft of bookbinding.

For the full gallery click here.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kay
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 05:38:21

    Wow! They look so original and beautiful! What a fun competition, I had never heard about it – what I did knew though, is that books can be wonderful works of art. Thanks for the link.

    nylusmilk: i know! it’s the first one maybe that’s why? 😉 you’re welcome. 🙂


  2. museditions
    Aug 14, 2009 @ 06:36:15

    These are stunning, and so original. I love when a book is also a work of art!

    nylusmilk: true that! 🙂


  3. Trackback: 64: Paths, Walls, Books and more. | Almofate's Likes

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