Competitions

DB UK Bookbinding Competition

Latest Update
The online exhibition is now available for viewing by clicking the links below:

The judges were: Bill Amberg, internationally renowned leather designer, Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research at University of West of England and Editor of the Artist's Book Yearbook, DB Fellow Lori Sauer, DB President Lester Capon.

We are delighted to announce that the 'St. Brides Prize for Finishing' has now been renamed the 'Bernard C. Middleton Prize for Finishing' as a tribute to one of the UK's finest bookbinders. The prize's sponsor Flora Ginn writes: The Finishing Prize is in memory of Bernard C Middleton in whose Broadwick Street workshop the early meetings of our society were held. Although perhaps best known for his antiquarian book restoration, as a young binder he was passionate about design reflecting the age. This combined with his technical excellence resulted in a demand from enthusiastic collectors. I hope this award will inspire and encourage bookbinders to harmonise design with fine finishing.

In addition we would also like to welcome three new prize sponsors: John Purcell Paper Prize, Ratchfords Non-Leather Prize and The Circles of Art Prize for Artistic Innovation, and also take this opportunity to thank all the prize sponsors, especially the Folio Society, for their continued support over the years. A full list of prizes and their sponsors can be found here.

Sue Doggett and Kate Holland


The DB UK Bookbinding Competition was established to encourage apprentices and students of bookbinding, but anyone who loves making books can enter. The only limitations to entry are that you are resident in the UK when the book was bound and that you are not a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders.

We are encouraging entrants to submit well-made design bindings, cloth bindings, paper bindings, artists' books and book objects. We recognise that, with so many bookbinding courses closing, it is harder to study bookbinding at a more advanced level and so we are really excited to announce new prizes for paper, non-leather, artistic innovation, student and newcomer, on top of the usual prizes for the more traditional fine binding techniques.


To see the results and some of the books from previous competitions, make a selection…

 
2002
 
2006
 
2007
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2008
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2009
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2010
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2011
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2012
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2013
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2014
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2015
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2016
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2017
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2018
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2020
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Many fine bookbinders have been discovered as a result of winning prizes at the Competition and have gone on to apply for Licentiateship and Fellowship within the society.

The ‘Set Book’, compulsory for all entrants, is currently donated each year by the Folio Society.

 

   
Designer Bookbinders