Sunday, February 20, 2011


Reading Notabilia’s latest post has set me into a nostalgic memory of a basic bookbinding course that i took up during college. The workshop itself was a gem! It had all kinds of (paper) materials and machines. We were lucky to have the chance to use quite a few while learning to make our very first book of perfect binding then.

The ones shown here are all handmade and if i remember correctly, they were french bookbinding... but don’t take my words for it... each page was folded, and put together by stitching the raw edges. We did a set of four different styles and i gave one away which i kind of regret now because i will never remember what the last binding stitching looked like again.

Then there was this book that i designed for my final year typography project which was inspired from the above book binding method – since each page was folded into half, i can make use of the ‘underside’, which was usually left unused and hidden, to further illustrate the book idea. It was perfect for the story that i was working on – The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – a famous story relating about the good and bad split (double-side!) in people.

The cover was a mirror-like paper, the reader sees his own reflection (when holding the book), as if looking into his other self, the evil side, as suggested with a printed skeleton (not shown here). Inside pages had a few variations – an extremely long page to illustrate a long walk, text was printed reverse, on the underside of the paper (faint printing showing through the paper suggested the hidden self) etc...

i still love the book idea today even though it is rather embarrassing when looking at the typography design – the kerning was unbelievably bad, the typeface was badly chosen etc. i wish i will be motivated enough to redesign the typography for this book one day.

Don’t forget to leave notabilia a note if you’re interested in knowing more about bookbinding :-)

1 comment:

notabilia said...

Thanks for spreading the word! And sharing your own bound books. I've gathered quite a bit of interest - hooray - and I hope to make a big announcement soon.