Judging a book by its cover

The Folio Society has been sponsoring the Designer Bookbinding Competition since 1990. The aims of the Competition are ‘to encourage professionals, amateurs and students to produce originally designed and well bound books, and to give them the opportunity to exhibit their technical and artistic skills . . . and its continuation is seen as essential to the vigour of the art of bookbinding in Britain today.’

[caption id="attachment_1181" align="aligncenter" width="526"]Tom McEwan's winning design - The Folio Society Prize for Best Set Book (1st) Tom McEwan's winning design - The Folio Society Prize for Best Set Book (1st)[/caption]

Each year Folio has donated printed sheets of a set book for the competition entrants to bind. This year the selected book was the fine edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayaam, beautifully illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat. Entrants can also submit a binding to the ‘open choice book’ competition.

[caption id="attachment_1182" align="aligncenter" width="526"] Luke Hornus's winning design - The Folio Society Prize for Best Set Book (2nd)[/caption]

Back in December I took part in the judging panel of the annual competition.  The standards of the entries were extremely high and it was a real pleasure to see at close hand the quality of the execution of these bindings and to actually handle the books. It was with some deliberation that we finally reached an agreement on the winners, which can be viewed at the following link:


The Exhibition of the 2013 Competition is currently on at the St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ from the 13th to the 24th January 2014.
The opening hours are: Monday – Friday 11am –6pm; Saturday 18 January 11am – 4pm; late opening on Thursday 16 and 23 January 11am – 8pm.

For the 2014 Designer Bookbinding Competition the Folio set book is Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s strikingly illustrated by Karen Klassen. Details on how to enter the competition can be found at here. I can’t wait to see how Breakfast is served!

[caption id="attachment_1183" align="aligncenter" width="526"]bookbinding3 Daniel Wray's winning design - The Sally Lou Smith Prize for Forwarding[/caption]