Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition 2021
In association with the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, and supported by Mark Getty


  1. It is a stipulation of entry that the 1st prizewinning binding will be given by the binder to the Bodleian Library, and that the 2nd prizewinning binding will be given by the binder to the Getty Collection at Wormsley in Oxfordshire, UK.
  2. The Registration Form and full payment of the entry fee must be received by 31 August 2020 at the latest. Please note that the entry fee is reduced if you are returning the form before 31/1/2020.
  3. The closing date for submission of bindings to reach the Bodleian Library is 25 September 2020 and bindings should arrive no earlier than 1 September 2020.
  4. Work arriving after 25 September 2020 can only be considered for judging at the organisers’ discretion.
  5. Registration fees are non-refundable.
  6. Judging will take place during October 2020 and the Judges’ decision is final. Neither Designer Bookbinders nor the judges can enter into any correspondence.
  7. The award ceremony and opening of the exhibition will take place in late June 2021 and will coincide with a new event - a ‘Festival of Bookbinding’, which will be held at the Bodleian in Oxford. Dates will be communicated to all entrants in good time.
  8. Entries not selected for exhibition will be returned to the binders after judging.
  9. Registration Forms must be submitted with full payment by 31 August 2020. By submitting a Registration form, you agree to abide by the Rules of the Competition.
  10. Your finished binding must arrive in Oxford by 25 September 2020. Neither your name nor any kind of identifying personal mark or symbol may appear on any part of your submitted binding.
  11. Except for edge-gilding, all work submitted must be made entirely by the individual binder. Any binding made by more than one individual will not be accepted.
  12. Size limitations:
    Maximum dimensions - 350mm x 350mm x 100mm
    Minimum dimensions - 100mm x 100mm x 10mm
  13. Weight limitation:
    Maximum weight of the binding and its display box must not exceed 5 Kilograms.
  14. Due to the space limitations of the showcases, any binding exceeding the maximum dimensions will not be considered.
  15. Entry Forms and full details of where to send your binding will be sent to you with your submission number from September 2019. These Entry Forms must be completed giving a full description of your binding which will be used in the catalogue. Information must be typed in upper and lower case. However, if a binder needs to hand-write the form, capital letters must be used for legibility.
  16. Entry Forms should be emailed to and a hard copy should be included with your binding.
  17. Binders are requested to make sure that the packaging used gives adequate protection in transit. On previous occasions some bindings have arrived damaged due to insufficiently robust packing. Binders must ensure that the book fits snugly in an bespoke box or slipcase and then packed with bubblewrap and placed into a sturdy double-walled cardboard postal box which can be reused to send back the binding. The final package should not exceed 600mm x 400mm x 300mm and the finished postal weight should not exceed 7 Kilograms.
  18. Binders are responsible for insuring their work in transit to the delivery address in Oxford. The work will then be insured by Designer Bookbinders from the date it is received by the Competition organisers in Oxford to include the exhibition in Oxford, the exhibition tour and the return to the binder.
  19. The organisers cannot handle any sales, but will be happy to pass on enquiries to the binder.
  20. The Competition is open to all binders except the Board of Judges. The organisers and judges can submit work to be considered for exhibition, but cannot be eligible for a prize.


Your Privacy
In line with GDPR regulations, the DB International Competition 2021 takes your personal data very seriously. We only request necessary information to communicate with you in regard the running of the competition. Once the DB International Competition 2021 is completed, you may request us to not contact you regarding future competitions and remove your details from our database. We will only share your personal details with other organisations that are involved with business diretly connected with the competition, for example: Bodleian libraries, courier services returning books, and insurance companies providing cover.

All binders are invited to submit their personal contact details for the catalogue. A separate signed form may be required in order for the publication to be compliant with GDPR. This will be sent to you if required.


Registration and payment
Entrants may register online and pay via PayPal (no Paypal account required)


If you wish to register via post or email and pay via an alternative method to PayPal, please email us for details:

The entry fee includes:

  • Registration for a single submission.
  • One copy of the International Competition catalogue.
  • A signed Certificate of Participation.
  • Insurance cover from date of receipt of binding in Oxford, during the exhibition and tour, and in postal transit back to the binder.
  • Postage for return of the binding and catalogue.



Designer Bookbinders