Victorian Bookbinders Guild

For all interested in the Art, Craft and Practice of Bookbinding                                             

Guild Meeting May 2018 Discussions of ideas for the Binding Challege

Design Ideas   a presentation at the May Meeting by Jim Finger

Our Binding Challenge for the year is  the unbound sheets of Nolan  Landscapes and Legends,  A retrospective. This work looks at the art of Sydney Noland as displayed at an exhibition in theNational Gallery of Vctoria in 1987.025A2060 x

The idea of this presentation was to generate discussion and stimulate interaction and ideas as to how we design the book, and how we design books in general. Its very easy to learn a method of making a book and then just keep using the same method. Its harder to learn new methods, and then do enough work to be reasonably proficient in that method, before we move on to the next new thing.  But its again harder again to generate a fusion of the two, to marry the creative ideas  with the best techniques, so then end result is attractive, communicative and functional. At least it is for me  so I think maybe others have the same challenges.

Questions I ask. What is it about?Who  wrote it? When was it written? Where was it written or where is it set? To whom will the binding be sent?

So I started with  a brief description of the design concept. Its not exhaustive.  So here is my thoughts.

Firstly, the design concept.

The design of the book should make it work like a book, easy to open, easy to read, and a protection to the contents. The design  should give a hint at the contents, reflecting or portraying something of what is on offer, attracting interest in the contents, revealing maybe the origen, or destination of the work, and be at the same time an artwork in itself.

Secondly, the construction to enable the design concepts to be expressed.

There is a long list of possible techniques.

Materials. End paper style   colour,  type, doublures, made.  Sewing support   tapes cords thread size raised banks sunken bands. Edge treatment. Board attachment. Joint design,   leather joint,  cloth joint.  Covering,   cloth, leather, paper, decoration. Inlay, onlay, additions of other materials, paint,  dye. Finishing, gold,  blind, other colours. Title   Layout and location. Zig zig ep with cloth joint. Rounded back. Split boards

This is a creative thinking project, so the object is to get a flow of ideas.  Only later will we sort find those which are achievable with our skill levels, and materials on hand.

So I bought along a number of books in various stages, from a book rebound for the price of a couple of  burgers, to some quirky completed “books” to partly bound sheets, with some ideas already formulated to blank sheets just folded.

There was not space in the newsletter to show it all so I have  made a fuller discussion and all the pictures here on the web.

But here is a bit of a  list of what we discussed. Recording all the points was not possible as discussion was quite free and that was the idea.

In all, lots of discussion and lots of ideas, and of course the challenge that goes with designing and technical construction


  click on the pics for a larger view.


Module Version <> CBSubs version.

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Victorian Bookbinders Guild Inc.  Incorporated 1981     Registration No A2896  ABN: 97 853 169 281     PO Box 355, Seddon West, Victoria 3011