Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition 2009
In Association with the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Great Britain


Announced in 2007, binders from all nations were invited to enter Designer Bookbinders first International Competition. The event was organised in conjunction with the Bodleian Library and an exhibition of selected competition entries is being shown alongside the Bodleian’s own exhibition ‘An Artful Craft - Fine and Historic Bookbindings from the Broxbourne Library and Other Collections’.

Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition 2009 featured two prizes awarded in honour of Sir Paul Getty KBE (1932-2003). Sir Paul Getty was one of our greatest book collectors and was a passionate advocate for the art and craft of bookbinding.

1st Prize GBP 7,500 - awarded to Alain Taral (France)
Binding made of pear wood covered by Karelian birch veneer. Decoration of "fusion" marquetry made of many different precious wood veneers including palm tree, yew, bubinga, lati, planetree, amboina, elm burrs, thuya and faiera. Wooden joints with steel axis. Suede flyleaves. Marquetery title. Wooden slipcase covered by Karelian birch veneer. Water comes to us from rocks, from mother earth, but also from clouds, sometimes from tears... at the beginning just a few drops that then come together to form streams and lakes. 

2nd Prize GBP 3,000 - awarded to Jenni Grey (UK)
The pages have been divided into two bindings 'Water' and 'Waterborn'. Machine embroidered grey Dypion-style fabric and airbrushed endpapers feature on both bindings. In 'Water', sterling silver wire fixings and etched acrylic, which creates shadows on the endpapers, are the predominant materials. The fold out container incorporates information about both books and has shell button fastenings. The design was inspired by the light and shade created by sun and clouds on the surface of the sea, and echoing the marbling forms in the text.

The Incline Press Award GBP 250 - awarded to Marja Wilgenkamp (Netherlands)
Presented by the publishers of the set book Water to the binder whose design most reflects their ideal for a trade edition of the book.

• Further details on the 1st and 2nd prizewinners can be found here.

In addition, specially designed sterling silver bone folders were awarded by the Judges for the 25 best bindings.

All entrants received a signed Diploma of Participation and their bindings appear in the illustrated competition catalogue.

• A full list of the exhibitors and prizewinners can be found here.

• All the prizewinning bindings can be seen here.

• Photos from the prizegiving ceremony can be seen here.

The First Prize binding is to be given by the binder to the Bodleian Library, and the Second Prize binding will be given by the binder to the Getty Collection at Wormsley in Oxfordshire, UK.

Designer Bookbinders has produced a catalogue to accompany the Bodleian’s fully-illustrated historical catalogue of bookbinding. 'Bound For Success' is a record of the International Competition 2009 with a photograph and description of every binding submitted. All entrants will receive a copy of this Competition catalogue.

The catalogue may also be purchased from this website - Price GBP30.00.
Further details can be found in the online shop.

After Oxford the exhibition travelled to three venues in the USA:

Boston Public Library, Boston Mass. - Friday 18 Sept to Sunday 13 Dec, 2009
(Photos from the Private View can be seen here)

Bonhams & Butterfields, San Francisco - Friday 12 Feb to Saturday 6 Mar, 2010

Grolier Club, New York - Wednesday 19 May to Saturday 31 Jul, 2010
(Photos from the Private View can be seen here)


Designer Bookbinders