BOOK REVIEW: Bookbinding: The Complete Guide to Folding, Sewing & Binding

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As one of my favourite books on the topic, Bookbinding: The Complete Guide to Folding, Sewing & Binding by Franziska Morlok and Miriam Waszelewski is an outstanding reference book for designers and production managers. With 400 illustrations included within its pages, the book is an essential guide for designers (and anyone else obsessed with paper) explaining industrial bookbinding techniques and packed full of insights from the experts.

Although purposely aimed at designers and production managers, it does provide an incredibly large amount of information on the many different types and styles of bindings. The first part of the books breaks down the development of a print project – although more directed at a larger production – there are still some great lessons to be learnt. Morlok and Waszelewski discuss formats, paper, printed sheets, the printing process, estimates as well as an infographic on what happens in the bindery.

Containing detailed flow diagrams that construct the book, explanations of techniques with illustrations and throughout pros and cons for each binding leaves the reader with a clear understanding of the expectations and possibilities of that particular bind. From pamphlets to spiral binding, tape-bound to rounded spines, this book puts everything on the table (so to speak). And don’t forget the extremely handy glossary.  

My only warning for beginners would be that although Morlok and Waszelewski share as much as they can. They do not include specific measurements that are often necessary for certain bindings. As a guide for construction however, this reference text is an essential addition to your library.

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And if you’re after a bit of creative inspiration, there’s a dedicated section on The book as an objet d’art, showing exciting interpretations of the notion of bookbinding. An excellent introduction into the Art of the Book or Book Art.  

You can grab your own copy of the gorgeously (speaking as a designer here) designed Bookbinding: The Complete Guide to Folding, Sewing & Binding from Booktopia, Book Depository or your local art store.

Kelly Gilchrist