Man Booker Prize

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Every year six DB Fellows each bind one of the six titles shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Designed and completed in 4-5 weeks, these bindings are presented to the authors on the night of the Booker award ceremony.

  • by Hanya Yanagihara

    bound by Joanna Bird
    The book is bound in black goatskin leather. The leather has been cut away at various points on the spine and the boards to reveal images below. The images are mono-prints and pen and ink drawings on paper. Silk headbands and title on spine 24ct gold. The images are drawn with reference to microscopic cross-sections of human skin cells and nerve endings.

    "Life would happen to him, and he would have to try and answer it, just like them all"
    Hanya Yanagihara
  • by Marlon James

    bound by Stephen Conway
    Details coming soon.
  • by Sunjeev Sahota

    bound by Kate Holland
    Cover and doublures of full chocolate brown goatskin with yellow Japanese tissue onlays highlighted with neon orange acrylic paint and red leather dye; tooling in red and yellow gold. Endpapers printed on gold paper with applied black lino ink and red gold pigment. Edges sponged with orange watercolour, spattered with brown and applied gold leaf. Hand sewn silk end bands.
  • The 2015 Man Booker Bindings
    click images for details

  • by Tom McCarthy

    bound by Peter R Jones
    The binding has boards of clear acrylic sheet, sanded to give a translucent effect, and a leather spine. The joints are partly open but are closed at the head and tail, and intermediately where they are traversed by some multi-coloured inlaid leather panels. Further panels of are of leather or wood. Inlaid black lines draw the eye from each of these panels to a circular focus on the spine which bears the title. Grey scarf jointed endpapers show through the boards with the book closed but fade away on opening.

    The design reflects the central character's (U's) system of creating dossiers by fixing scraps of paper to his office walls. Connecting lines help focus his thoughts, or may lead to a resolution, as might 'The Great Report' find its shape.
  • by Anne Tyler

    bound by Midori Kunikata-Cockram
    Unsupported link stitch with secondary sewing. Full leather brown goatskin Bradel Binding with blue linen thread and hand dyed leather onlays. Coloured edge decoration with air brush. Endpapers are hand drawn lines on coloured zerkall paper, using a white pencil.

    The design for the binding is based on a conversation in chapter 10, about the colour of paint used to paint the porch swing and title of the book. 'Blue' is studded through whole story. The binding represents house in the Baltimore which related this family story. The endpapers are likened to an architects blue print.
  • by Chigozie Obioma

    bound by Dominic Riley
    Sewn on four tapes laced into laminated boards. Edges painted with acrylic, sewn headbands. Covered in overlapping grey goatskin, with additional onlays of red goatskin. Silver tooling. Title tooled in silver down the spine. Leather joints and doublures, blind tooling, suede flyleaves. Protective box tooled in silver, with tooling and onlay on cover.

    The novel traces the lives of four brothers over a few years, and is a dark story of how a prophecy takes over their lives and changes them forever. The narrative centres on the dark and sinister river, which is reflected in the cover design. The red leather onlays suggest the bloodshed that is fore-told in the prophecy, and the silver tooling suggests the shimmering surface of the water at night.

In the short period between shortlist announcement and the award ceremony, the binders must read, design and produce a hand bound fine binding, together with a protective container, for presentation to each of the authors. A process which might normally take three to four months or more has to be telescoped into as many weeks, but it is this which makes the commission such an interesting one for those taking part.

There are at least twenty-five stages in the hand binding of a book - from the decoration of the edges of the pages to the final lettering - and the binder will have spent about one hundred and fifty hours on the work by the time of completion. For those involved in this collaboration, the work is most rewarding; an opportunity to read and interpret some of the finest novels of our time, and, of course, it is hoped that the authors will derive as much pleasure from being presented with the finished results.


Designer Bookbinders