About Us

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A Folio Society edition is, I reckon, as excellent an
accolade as any author can achieve these days

Stephen Fry

  • INTRODUCTION

    Founded in London in 1947, The Folio Society publishes carefully crafted editions of the world’s finest literature. We believe that great books deserve to be presented in a form worthy of their contents. For over 70 years we have celebrated the unique joy to be derived from owning, holding and reading a beautiful printed edition.

    Beautifully crafted, imaginative editions of the world’s great works of fiction and non-fiction, Folio Society books offer a rich literary experience to readers of all ages. The books we select for publication are timeless – we know they will be enjoyed and appreciated now and in the future. Because each book is considered as an individual object of value in its own right, there is a variety to our aesthetic – the only uniformity is in the quality of every single book.

  • WHAT MAKES FOLIO SPECIAL?

    ‘Folio books are such joy ... to be cherished, handled with pleasure, read and reread and handed down to the next generation’

    P. D. James

    A Folio book is a unique object, one in which typography, illustration, paper, and printing and binding techniques all play a part in creating a harmonious whole. The Folio Society has celebrated the particular joy to be derived from owning, holding and reading a beautiful printed edition. Our aim is to create books that are unique in their aesthetic and in their quality – this is what makes a Folio collection something to cherish.

    In the digital age, information is served to us instantaneously. Success is measured by speed, and we can dispose of the written word at the click of a mouse. This is why Folio books are the perfect tonic. We offer the reader an opportunity to pause and reflect; to spend time appreciating beauty and wisdom. The books we select for publication are timeless – and in the editions we produce, they will be enjoyed and valued now and in generations to come.

    Richard III
    Richard III: England's Black Legend

    EDITORIAL EXPERTISE

    Folio editors lavish care and attention on each individual book in a way that other publishing companies simply cannot afford to do. Because the range of books we publish is so diverse, so too is our approach. From choosing the best translations to negotiating revisions with authors; from fact-checking at specialist libraries across the world to emending textual imperfections, which often creep into modern editions of classic works, we aspire to give our readers an enhanced experience of their favourite books. And for additional insight, we select introducers to act as the reader’s companion, whetting the appetite and setting the book and its author in context. Peter Ackroyd, Irvine Welsh, Colm Tóibín, Margaret Atwood, Tom Holland, Saul David, Jenny Uglow and Julian Barnes are just some of the acclaimed writers who have recently contributed to Folio publications.

    ALL THINGS TYPOGRAPHICAL

    At Folio an immense amount of creative energy is spent on typography. It should be pleasing to the eye, never intrusive and generously sized. Yet while the traditional virtues of legibility and elegance are paramount, there is also immense scope for inventiveness. Each typographical decision is carefully made to suit the character of the individual book.

    THE ART OF THE BOOK ILLUSTRATION

    Those who love Folio books know to look for the treasures within. We commission illustrations by emerging talents including Jonathan Burton, Jillian Tamaki, Sam Weber, and Anna and Elena Balbusso, or seasoned masters such as Quentin Blake, Paula Rego, John Vernon Lord and Tom Phillips. Wood engravings, paintings, collages, pen and ink, digital ... variety is at the heart of Folio’s remarkable catalogue of commissioned artwork. And in a celebrated range of non-fiction books, our team of picture researchers know how to unearth images that are truly worth a thousand words.

    A Clockwork Orange
    A Clockwork Orange
  • Designing a Folio book

    ‘Books have been published for me since 1952; I have never seen one better turned out as a piece of typography and book production’

    M. R. D. Foot, author of SOE

    Head and Tail Bands
    HEAD AND TAIL BANDS

    We include decorative head and tail bands, and gilded or coloured top edges where we feel it is appropriate.

    SLIPCASE

    A distinctive feature of our books, and the traditional protective covering of fine editions.

    Slipcase
    Binding
    BINDING

    Our bindings incorporate a complexity of design and materials which place them in a class of their own and require exceptional manufacturing standards. All of our books are sewn in 16-page sections, and, most importantly, are bound to the highest standard, so they not only look good on the shelf, but are a pleasure to read.

    PRINTING

    It is essential that the manufacturing process maintains the highest standards in every copy. Each book is carefully monitored for evenness of ink-weight and freedom from blemishes.

    Printing
  • AWARDS

    It is always a great day when I see a package from The Folio Society waiting on my door step in which I suddenly become like a child on Christmas morning.
    Castilo Montoya, USA

    The Art Director’s Club 99th international awards for The One Club 2020

    WINNER: Anansi Boys won the Bronze Cube

    British Book Production and Design Awards

    WINNER: The Folio Book of Children’s Poetry in the Literature category

    WINNER: Ubik in the Best Jacket/Cover category category

    Spectrum 26 Awards

    WINNER: Francis Vallejo for Anansi Boys in the Book category

    SHORTLISTED: Yuko Shimizu for Japanese Tales in the Book category

    D&AD Awards 2019

    WINNERS: Anansi Boys, illustrated by Francis Vallejo, won a wooden pencil in the Book Design: Illustrated Book and Graphic Novel category

    SHORTLISTED: Atlas Shrugged, illustrated by Anna and Elena Balbusso, in the Book Design: Illustrated Book and Graphic Novel category; The Folio Book of Children’s Poetry for Children and Young Adult Books; The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana in the category of Limited Edition & Fine Binding Books 

    V&A Illustration Awards 2019

    SHORTLISTED: Chris Samnee for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay in the Book Illustration category

    ADC Annual Awards 2019

    WINNER: Victo Ngai won a silver cube in Illustration for the Folio limited edition of The Kama Sutra of Vatsyanana

    V&A Illustration Awards 2018
    WINNER: Book Illustration Category and Moir Gemmill Illustrator of the Year John Vernon Lord for Ulysses

    D&AD Awards 2018
    The Hundred and One Dalmatians illustrated by Sara Ogilvie won a wooden pencil for book design in Children’s and Young Adults category. 

    AOI 2018 World Illustration Awards
    Andrew Archer shortlisted for hisA Scanner Darkly illustrations in the Books category. 

    Communication Arts Illustration Awards 2018-04-27
    Finalists: Edward Kinsella for East of Edenand Darya Shnykina for Mansfield Park 

    Society of Illustrators
    WINNER: Hamilton King Award to Victo Ngai for the Folio limited edition of The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana
    WINNER: Silver Medal in the Book Category to Yuko Shimizu for Japanese Tales

    The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles
    WINNER: Bronze Medal to Mark Smith for The Daughter of Time

    The British Book Design & Production Awards 2018
    WINNER: Literature category for The Little Prince
    SHORTLISTED: The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayanaand The Wanderer & Other Old-English Poems in the Limited Edition and Fine Binding Category; The Anglo-Saxons in Scholarly, Academic and Reference Books category; I Am LegendWeJapanese TalesThe Hundred and One Dalmatians in the Literature category

    The British Book Design & Production Awards 2017
    Winner of Scholarly, Academic and Reference Book category Micrographia

    World Illustration Awards 2017
    Shortlisted: Anna and Elena Balbusso for Twelfth Night, Geoff Grandfield for The Bull From the Sea, Alexander Wells for I, Robot.

    V&A Awards 2017
    Shortlisted: Anna and Elena Balbusso for Twelfth Night in the Book Illustration category, Joe Ciardiello for Brief Lives in the Book Cover category

    British Book Design & Production Awards 2016
    Winner Best British Book and Book of the Year: Alice in Wonderland
    Winner Best Brand/Series Identity: Folio Collectables

    World Illustration Awards 2016
    Shortlisted: Anne Marie Jones for A Farewell to Arms, Tim Laing for The Radetzky March, Sam Weber for Dune


    V&A Awards 2016
    Winner Best Book Cover Illustration and Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year: David McConochie for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories
    Shortlisted: Simon Pemberton for Shackleton's Boat Journeyand Tim Laing for The Radetzky March

    Design and Advertising Association Pencil Awards 2016
    Winner Wood Pencil: Frank Herbert for Dune

    British Book Design and Production Awards
    Winner Literature category: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym 
    Winner Scholarly, Academic and Reference Books category: The Herefordshire Pomona

    V&A Illustration Awards 2015
    Winner Book Illustration Award and Illustrator of the Year: Sterling Hundley for Treasure Island
    SHORTLISTED: In ParenthesisLife, the Universe and EverythingTreasure Island

    British Book Design and Production Awards
    Shortlisted: Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books, The Alexander TrilogyThe Day of the Jackal and The Princess and the Goblin

    American Illustration 33, 2014 annual
    Selected for inclusion: The Day of the Jackal illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi

    Association of Illustrators 2014
    Winner: Geoff Grandfield, Professional Book Illustration Award for The Alexander Trilogy.
    Shortlisted: The Drowned WorldTwenty Thousand Leagues under the SeasLife, the Universe and EverythingDynasties of China

    V&A ILlustration Awards 2014
    Winner: Anne-Marie Jones for Sons and Lovers for Best Illustrated Book Cover
    Shortlisted: Finn Dean for Brave New World (Illustrated Book Category) 

    DISTINGUISHED MERIT 3X3 INTERNATIONAL PROSHOW NO.11
    Anna and Elena Balbusso for Pride and Prejudice in the illustrated book category

    2014 COMMUNICATION ARTS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
    Winner: Anna and Elena Balbusso for Pride and Prejudice in the Book category

    Longman-History Today Awards
    Winner of Historical Picture Researcher of the Year – Cathie Arrington, for Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

    The Society of Illustrators
    Professional Award for Design – Jonathan Burton, Odds & Bods Playing Cards. (His design was also given the Overall Professional prize, the highest award of the evening.)

    3x3 The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration
    Five of our illustrators have been awarded a merit in the book category of the prestigious 3x3 Professional Show No.10, hosted in the USA

    V&A Book Illustration Award
    Winner of Book Category – Anna and Elena Balbusso, Eugene Onegin

    Association of Illustrators Illustration Awards Design Category Winner – Jonathan Burton, Odds & Bods Playing Cards

    Society of Indexers
    Wheatley Medal Winner – Gerard Hill, Hannibal

    Society of Illustrators 55, Book Category (US)
    Gold medal – Anna and Elena Balbusso, for ‘Tatyana’, Eugene Onegin Gold medal – Raquel Leis Allion for Art Direction, Eugene Onegin

    Society of Illustrators 55, Sequential/Series (US)
    Silver medal – Jonathan Burton, Odds & Bods Playing Cards Silver medal – Sheri Gee for Art Direction Communication Arts Award for Excellence – Anna and Elena Balbusso, Eugene Onegin

    British Book Awards
    The Folio Society was shortlisted for the Independent Publisher of the Year

    British Book Design and Production Awards
    Winner of the Limited Edition Category – Gulliver’s Travels Winner of the Literature Category – Fahrenheit 451

    Society of Illustrators 54, Book Category (US)
    Gold medal – Anna and Elena Balbusso, The Handmaid’s Tale Gold medal – Sheri Gee for Art Direction Silver medal – Sam Weber, Fahrenheit 451 Silver medal – Sheri Gee for Art Direction

    Communication Arts
    Award for Excellence – Anna and Elena Balbusso, The Handmaid’s Tale and First Love

    Applied Arts Magazine
    Award of Excellence 2012 Photography and Illustration Award – Anna and Elena Balbusso, The Handmaid’s Tale 78 The Folio Society Brand Book / Our brand identity / Awards

    V&A Illustration Award
    Best Illustrated Book Cover – Matthew Richardson, The Outsider

    Longman-History Today Awards
    Joint Winner of Historical Picture Researcher of the Year – Caroline Hotblack for Black Sea

    Association of Illustrators, Images 35, Books Category
    Silver – Jonathan Burton, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    V&A Illustration Award
    Shortlisted – A. Richard Allen, Brat Farrar

    D&AD Awards
    In Book (bronze equivalent) – Sam Weber, Lord of the Flies

    Association of Illustrators, Images 34, Books Category
    Gold – Simon Pemberton, The Songlines Silver – Jonathan Burton, Cover Her Face Bronze – Niroot Puttapipat, Myths and Legends of Russia

    V&A Illustration Award
    Shortlisted – Alice Tait, Good Things; Sam Weber, Lord of the Flies; Tim Laing, Schindler’s Ark

    3x3 Pro Show, Book Category
    Silver – A. Richard Allen, Brat Farrar Merit – Jeff Fisher, The Hunting of the Snark; Daniel Haskett, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

    Design Week Awards
    Shortlisted – The Brown Fairy Book (Omar Rayyan), The Hunting of the Snark (Jeff Fisher), Lord of the Flies (Sam Weber), The Songlines (Simon Pemberton) and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Sara Ogilvie) (all books counted as one entry)

    Longman-History Today Awards
    Winner of Historical Picture Researcher of the Year – Julie McMahon for Stalingrad

    Association of Illustrators, Images 33, Books Category
    Gold – Geoff Grandfield, Blackmailers Don’t Shoot Bronze – Swava Harasymowicz, Birdsong Shortlisted – Chris Corr, Mandarins; Clare Mackie, Bingo Boys & Poodle Fakers

    V&A Illustration Award
    Best Illustrated Book and Overall Winner – Tom Burns, The New York Trilogy Shortlisted – Swava Harasymowicz, Birdsong; Jonathan Burton, Cover Her Face; Bill Bragg, The Human Factor; Tom Burns, The New York Trilogy; Michael Kirkham, Zuleika Dobson

    Design Week Awards
    Editorial Design Category Winner – The Sea, The Sea, Tatsuro Kiuchi

    Association of Illustrators, Images 32, Books Category
    Gold – Tom Burns, The New York Trilogy