Beautiful Bindings – Winners of This Year’s Designer Bookbinders Award

Every November Designer Bookbinders announces the winners of the Annual Competition. This year is not an exception, and as usual, the bindings are examples of beauty and craftsmanship. This year’s winner is Mel Jefferson with his rendering of “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury.

To participate, you have to be trained in Britain and be a resident in the UK at the time of completing the binding. If you do not meet these conditions, you may try your luck with the International Competition held by the Designer Bookbinders once in a few years. Here you may find a report about the winners of the previous competition who were announced in 2017. The next international competition will supposedly happen in 2021, with the submission deadline somewhere in 2010.

During the Annual UK Bookbinding Competition bookbinders compete for twelve awards and prizes. Also, there are Four Highly Commended Certificates given by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

This year’s ‘Set Book’ was “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. It is compulsory for all entrants to apply for the Competition with a Set Book. However, they may choose to add another binding of their choice as well. The Set Book is currently donated each year by the Folio Society.

Winners of the 2018 Annual UK Bookbinding Competition

The Mansfield Medal for Best Book in the Competition

Mel Jefferson

As he characterized himself on his website, Mel is an occasional bookbinder. He served as the editor of Bookbinder, the Society of Bookbinders journal (Vols. 12-14) and he is the current webmaster of both the website of the Society of Bookbinders and the site of Designer Bookbinders.

The Mansfield Medal for Best Book in the Competition and the Folio Society Prize for Best Set Book, 1st Prize. “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. Binding: Mel Jefferson

Here you may also find some photos of the making of this binding: https://www.instagram.com/antonbukowski/

Folio Society prize for the Set Book 

1st Prize: Mel Jefferson (see above)

2nd Prize: Gillian Stewart

Folio Society prize for the Set Book, 2nd Prize. “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. Binding: Gillian Stewart

The Clothworkers’ Prize for Open Choice Book

1st Prize: Yuko Matsuno

Two years ago Yuko Matsuno won the Mansfield Medal for Best Book in the Competition for an amazing binding of “Through the Woods” by H.E. Bates. This year, as a year ago, she gets the Clothworkers’ Prize for Open Choice Book.

2nd Prize: Kaori Maki

For Kaori Maki that’s not the first time she gets the prize. Since 2006 she has been awarded multiple times. You can find more about Kaori Maki on her web site and at her Facebook page.

The Clothworkers’ Prize for Open Choice Book, 2nd Prize. Emily Dickinson, Selected Poems. Binding: Kaori Maki

The Lisa von Clemm Prize (judged by Stefanie von Clemm)

Yuko Matsuno

The Lisa von Clemm Prize (judged by Stefanie von Clemm). “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. Binding: Yuko Matsuno

The Sally Lou Smith Prize for Forwarding

Marie Doinne

A Qest scholar and an independent bookbinder, Marie Doinne is the person behind the Folio Atelier in London. You may find more about her work by following her Instagram and Twitter feeds.

The Sally Lou Smith Prize for Forwarding. Vathek. Binding: Marie Doinne

The St Bride Foundation Prize for Finishing

Miranda Kemp

Another habitual frequenter of the Annual Competition, Miranda was first distinguished as a receiver of the Highly Commended Certificate in 2009.

St Bride Foundation Prize for Finishing. “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. Binding: Miranda Kemp

The Elizabeth Greenhill award for Gold Tooling

Not Awarded

The Ash Rare Books Lettering award

Clare Bryan

The Ash Rare Books Lettering Award. “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. Binding: Clare Bryan

The J. Hewit & Sons prize

Yuko Matsuno

The J. Hewit & Sons Prize. Fifty-one Poems by Mary Webb. Binding: Yuko Matsuno

The Harmatan Leather Ltd prize 

Mel Jefferson

The Harmatan Leather Ltd. Prize. Enclosures Times and Places, a book of woodcuts by Andrew Anderson. Binding: Mel Jefferson

The Judges’ award (donated by Maggs Bros)

Rebecca Price

Last year Rebecca got the Highly Commended Certificate, and now she receives the Judges’ award.

The Judge’s Award (donated by Maggs Bros.) 31 Days of Endangered (BBC), Artist’s book. Binding: Rebecca Price

The Shepherds prize for Book Arts

Yuko Matsuno

(see above, The Clothworkers’ Prize for Open Choice Book, 1st Prize)

Four Highly Commended Certificates (given by Antiquarian Booksellers Association)

Helen Schrager

Highly Commended Certificate (given by The Antiquarian Booksellers Association). Selected Poems, John Betjeman. Binding: Helen Schrager

Glenn Malkin

We talked with Glenn when he had won the Folio Society Prize for the Set Book two years ago. Here you may find that interview.

Highly Commended Certificate (given by The Antiquarian Booksellers Association). “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury. Binding: Glenn Malkin

The following set of photos was provided by Glenn Malkin

Linda Miles

Highly Commended Certificate (given by The Antiquarian Booksellers Association). “The Making of the English Landscape” by W. G. Hoskins. Binding: Linda Miles

Kaori Maki

 

Highly Commended Certificate (given by The Antiquarian Booksellers Association). “Sundrie Pieces” by George Herbert. Binding: Kaori Maki

 

 

Many thanks to all the participants and the winners of the Competition, as well as the organizing committee, and the judges.

Judges

  • Julie Farquhar, The Folio Society
  • Douglas Bevans, Lecturer, Royal College of Art
  • Simon Prosser, Publishing Director, Hamish Hamilton
  • Dominic Riley, Fellow of Designer Bookbinders
  • Lori Sauer, President, Designer Bookbinders

You may see the reports from the previous Competitions as well as the interviews with some of the awarded bookbinders in a section of our website devoted to Designer Bookbinders.

The photos are provided by Designer Bookbinders