The Art of Making a Book, Short Film/Bookbinding Documentary

A fantastically filmed short video (3:40) on the methods of making a traditional book from setting the printing plates to adding the leather covering.

One of the best short video documentaries I’ve seen on bookbinding, well worth a watch.

A simple overview of the bookbinding process

Setting the typeset at the printers into words and lines. Plates are inked and prepared for the printing process.

Paper sheets are then pressed on the inked type.

Moving onto the binders, the sheets are folded and then cut. After this they are hammered flat and the signatures are sewn onto cord.

The spine is then rounded using a hammer and the cover boards are attached to glued bands. After which the paper edges need to be trimmed so they are clamped tightly in a vice and trimmed using a sharp flat blade.

Endbands are then sewn into the top and bottom of the spine for protection and a leather cover is glued to the outside of the book for additional protection and aesthetic appeal. Decorations are added to the leather using hot metal tools. After this process is finished endpapers are added and the book is complete.


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