Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts

Sunday, December 1, 2019

David Bourbeau's Wizard of Oz

I've long been enamored with the work of David Bourbeau, and had to jump at the chance to acquire this design idea for a binding on Barry Moser's Pennyroyal Press edition of the Wizard of Oz dated 6.6.'04. Sadly, he was never able to execute the binding as he passed 8/22/2009. Barbara Blumenthal wrote a wonderful "in memoriam" for him in The Bonefolder, vol. 6, nr. 1, fall 2009. From the "in memoriam:"

He was introduced to the art of the book by Leonard Baskin, and in 1972 he sold his business and took a two-year apprenticeship with master bookbinder [and Wiemeler student] Arno Werner. In 1975 he established the Thistle Bindery, located at various times in Northampton, Easthampton, and Florence, and in 1977 he took on the first of his many students and apprentices. 
A consummate bookbinder, he designed and constructed strong, innovative bindings for fine press books while also working in book restoration and art conservation. Having coined the word “bibliotect,” or book-architect, he observed that a binding “is not merely a fancy cover, the facade, but all of the elements, seen and unseen, that form the foundation and structure of the book.” This is borne out in his many organically unified editions, among them Poe’s The Raven, with graceful wing-like forms emerging from a raven-black binding, and Robert Francis’s posthumous collection Late Fire, Late Snow, whose handmade paper cover contains gold-tooled lines representing the shape of the title poem. Both of these books were bound using fine papers, a bookbinding material championed by David.

The Raven as bound by David Bourbeau.
Bound in full paper over boards with cloth spine reinforcement; sewn on three
linen tapes; leather wrapped headband; the marbled paper cover was designed by the binder
 "to resemble ravens' wings"; the papers were editioned by Steven Auger who
learned to marble from the binder. 8.5 x 28 x 2 centimeters. Created 1980.
Image from the catalog of the 100th Anniversary Exhibition of the Guild of Book Workers.

His design for The Wizard of Oz would have been executed similarly, except instead of being full paper it would have had a black Niger goat spine and fore-edge trim with the design being executed as a paste paper. The titled would have been tooled from the title page using "gold dots within the emerald light opening  in the black clouds."

Design sketch and technical specifications for David Bourbeau's design for the
binding of The Wizard of Oz.

Below Bourbeau's concept for the cover design using a unique paste paper. As in the case of the Raven, a design binding need not be full leather or vellum.

As an aside, a copy of Bourbeau's The Raven that was bound in an edition of 100 copies for sale (125 total) is available from The Veatchs Arts of the Books. It is on my bucket list.

So, how do you approach the design of your bindings?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Binding Designs By Paul Kersten and Paul Klein

German binding manuals and related books of the first third of the 20th century often featured ideas and designs for bindings to instruct and to serve as a source of inspiration. For examples see Designing Spines and Paul Kersten's Decorative Leather Work.

Paul Kersten's (1865-1943) and Paul Klein's (1894-1968) Vierzig neuzeitliche Entwürfe für künstlerische Bucheinbände (Halle: Verlag Wilhelm Knapp, 1928) featured 20 designs each by two masters of the craft, noted teachers, and fine binders who both helped define design in the field. The "book" was issued in the form of plates printed on heavier newsprint-like paper in a wrapper. The table of contents indicated the finishing technique, e.g. blind or gold. The binding designs were printed on very thin glossy paper. The wrapper and layout were designed by Paul Klein. My copy of the text had been bound by attaching the (now rather brittle) plates to stubs and over-trimming the textblock. I'll blame the apprentice. A copy as issued (below) is/was available from my favorite dealer in Germany via eBay It is also available in facsimile.

Kersten who studied with Georg Collin (at W. Collin) was the teacher of  notable students including Otto Dorfner and Otto Pfaff, both of who Collin also wrote about in articles.others). He followed Maria Lühr as teacher at Lette Verein, and was recognized as one of the greatest finishers of his generation, and was the subject of a Festschrift written by Ernst Collin. In 1904, Kersten also published Moderne Entwürfe künstlerischer Bucheinbände, The book was serialized in 6 installments of loose plates, much like the book depicted below.

Paul Klein began his studies and apprenticeship at the Bauhaus (1921-22) under Dorfner where he led the binding workshop, and continued on with Dorfner as a journeyman after Dorfner left the Bauhaus. He later led the hand-binding division of Th. Knaur in Leipzig (a large firm) and subsequently went to work as a binder and designer at Hübel & Denck, also in Leipzig. According to Otto Dorfner: Zwischen van de Velde und Bauhaus (Halle/Weimar, 1989) edited by Mechtild Lobisch Kleins trail ends in the mid-thirties in Munich where he is said to have worked for a publisher.

As issued, image from Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas

Wrapper by Paul Klein

Design in gold Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in gold by Paul Klein

Design in blind by Paul Klein

Design in gold by Paul Klein

Design in gold by Paul Klein

More images from the book can be found via Europeana, here and here.

Below some actual bindings by Kersten and Klein from the Archiv für Buchbinderei, 1928.

Bindings by Paul Kersten, member of the Jakob-Krause-Bund (J.K.B.)

Bindings by Paul Klein, member of the Jakob-Krause-Bund (J.K.B.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Designing Spines

In designing bookbindings, the spine is one of the defining characteristics because it is often integral to the structure and what is most visible of the book when shelved. Below a series of images relating to the design of spines in chronological order starting with Paul Adam's 1898 Die praktischen Arbeiten des Buchbinders (Practical Bookbinding, 1903, as it was titled in the English edition). The captions for the images are often pedantically charming.

"Simple spines"
Paul Adam (1898),  Die praktischen Arbeiten des Buchbinders

Only use German (fraktur) faces for titles if the book is printed using fraktur,
and Roman faces if the book is printed in Roman.
In other words, don't mix typefaces.
Paul Adam (1898), Die praktischen Arbeiten des Buchbinders

The "better" 1/4 linen binding. The caption goes on to say that the proportions are to be seen as fixed
"standards" with linen from spine and corners each covering 1/3 the width of the board...
The top part of the image shows the appropriate rounding for spine/foredge.
Paul Kersten (1909), Die Buchbinderei und das Zeichnen des Buchbinders
für Fortbildings und  Handwerker-schulen

The spines of "better" 1/4 linen bindings
Paul Kersten (1909), Die Buchbinderei und das Zeichnen des Buchbinders
für Fortbildings und  Handwerker-schulen

The spines of "better" 1/4 leather "extra" bindings with laced-on boards.
Paul Kersten (1909), Die Buchbinderei und das Zeichnen des Buchbinders für Fortbildings und  Handwerker-schulen.

Colors: This diagram shows how colors should be selected for binding designs,
with the lower diagrams  depicting (from top to bottom) the spine, sides, label, and top edge decoration.
Thorwald Henningsen (1935), Vorlagen für Buchbinder

The design of the bindings would then be depicted as above.
Thorwald Henningsen (1935), Vorlagen für Buchbinder

During my apprenticeship we had kept "spines" like these made of binders board in the appropriate thickness with swatches of the covering materials for spine and sides glued on including stamping the title with the selected face, size, and color foil at the appropriate height, measured from the bottom. As most of day-to-day work was "library binding," all done by hand, this would ensure that the title runs would be uniform. If a title changed size, measure title placement from bottom would ensure that it was still on the same level when on the shelf.What makes This book interesting is that the text is tri-lingual, German, French, and Italian as the book was designed for trades schools in Switzerland.

"Hand tooling" of the spine. The diagrams work the binder from a sketch to design,
show how the spine should be devided, title placement and spacing as well as suggestions for design.
Fritz Wiese (1937), Werkzeichnen Für Buchbinder

Originally published in German in 1983, this book continues the tradition of depicting spines and
book designs in this way. Like the German original, the captions are charmingly pedantic. Zeier wrote this
book for amateurs, one of the few in German at the time to do so, but his roots as a teacher in trade and design schools
are front and center.
Franz Zeier (1990), Books, Boxes, and Portfolios.

Franz Zeier (1990), Books, Boxes, and Portfolios.

Smitten by this book when I first bought it in German back in 1984, I have given a copy of the English edition to just about every one of my students and interns as I feel it is the best introduction to the German case binding in the English language, one that will allow those without full binderies to learn to construct a variety of bindings and other structures.