A complete guide to designing and crafting hand-bound books, from the Center for Book Arts

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Pub Date 22 Jan 2019 | Archive Date 20 Mar 2019

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Brought to you by the instructors at the Center for Book Arts, Bookforms is a comprehensive guide for making books by hand with a focus on functionality in design.

Written by the experts at the Center for Book Arts in New York, Bookforms presents all the instruction you need to craft by hand a comprehensive array of historic bookbinding styles from all over the world. Bookforms traces the functional roots of each structure, explains their appropriateness for various uses, and provides projects for making an essential structure for each style of binding.

Topics covered include:Why books work: General bookbinding principles for functionality and what we can learn from the past What you need to know for planning a special book or embarking on an edition How materials affect functionBookforms tackles a wide range of projects for all levels of bookbinders. You'll see everything from sewn and ticketed blank books and traditional western codex book forms, to scrapbooks and albums, Asian stab-sewn bindings, unusual structures, and aesthetics/embellishments. What better time to dive into this venerable and unique hobby than now?
Brought to you by the instructors at the Center for Book Arts, Bookforms is a comprehensive guide for making books by hand with a focus on functionality in design.

Written by the experts at the...

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Campaign Focus: A comprehensive guide to making books by hand, with a focus on functionality in design, by the instructors at the Center for Book Arts.

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Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781631596056
PRICE US$30.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

Bookforms was a wonderful read. As a longtime booklover, it was fascinating to see the process behind creating different types of binding. Many required a huge amount of work and some specialist equipment, so I don't see myself launching into it anytime soon; however, a few techniques were simpler, and were something anyone could attempt at home with a little time and patience. This book, with its detailed step-by-step instructions, will appeal both to those keen to give bookbinding a try and those who are simply interested to learn how it's done.

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Holding a special book in your hands you observe its features and may even wonder at how it was made. Bookforms takes you into the art and craft of bookbinding along the path of tools, materials, and on through the photo-illustrated and well documented steps. It is practical and inspiring. Whether you want to make a small personal notebook or attempt something larger this book is a guide for anyone interested in book binding. At the end of the book is a list of resources - supplies, paper and reading list - and a well-prepared index.

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As someone who would like to be a bookbinder, this was the perfect book for me. It combines books and book arts history, the tools and materials needed and their uses, pictures with descriptions and instructions to how to do it ourselves, with little notes and techniques to help us. It is really clear and descriptive, and I learned a lot from it, but as a debutant in this art and a not native English speaker, I would have liked for each tool to have their name next to them on the picture, since there were a few tools on most pictures of the material and sometimes I had trouble saying which was which. Apart from this little thing, I found all the rest of the book really instructive and would recommend it to all books lovers who want to know more about this craft.

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There's a name for that! Ever wondered what a technique was called in creating a book? Well, there is a name for it and this book has the answers. Not only does it describe techniques, but it has well laid-out photos of the step-by-step process for different book forms. This book will be sure to delight both the visual learner as well as the technical guru. Ever wondered how book forms evolved? There's an answer to that too! It also comes with some wonderful resources on where to find materials to create your own books.

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I think that my expectations for <i>Bookforms</i>--put together by the Center for Book Arts, Ana Cordeiro, Celine Lombardi, Sarah Smith, and Elizabeth Sheehan--were a bit unrealistic when I picked up this book. For some reason I had it in my head that reading this book was going to genuinely give me some insight into how to create bound books entirely on my own to the degree that I would easily be able to do so. Instead it made me gain a massive amount of respect for those who make books and despair somewhat at what I believe to be my own inability to create a book that actually looks decent. And, to be fair, my desire and determination to be able to do so was certainly a whimsical sort of fantasy that I know, deep down, I was fully aware that I probably would not be doing any time soon if at all. What <i>Bookforms</i> does offer, however, is nothing short of magical to a book lover. I'll admit that I didn't care, particularly, for the history piece of the book though I do understand its importance. But the truth is that I picked this book up to learn how to bind a book of my own and not to look back on how book binding began. Fortunately the bulk of the book does focus specifically on the area that I did want to learn. Unfortunately, I found myself overwhelmed at all the specialized tools, the intricacies that I don't have the equipment or skill for that goes into making books. Some processes of bookmaking are simple but do not look exactly as I would like them to, while others are complex and difficult, though quite beautiful. No matter what, it is very clear that this sort of thing takes practice. But it is also clear that it takes money, something I personally do not have at the moment. And I think the fact that I couldn't go out and simply put together a book that looks like the ones which sit on my shelf was disheartening, though not surprising. I found this book to be deeply informative and definitely appreciate having read it. And perhaps one day in the future I will finally find myself binding a book of my own as that, my friends, is the dream. <i>I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.</i>

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A stunning book for book lovers and if you want to try your hands at book binding. There are beautiful photographs and step by step instructions for different kinds of binding and cover making techniques. For most of the projects you'd need quite a lot of tools and materials, but nonetheless a great book. Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy.

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Always found the art of bookbinding fascinating but had always thought it was very difficult, and in a sense it is, but this book breaks down the simpler methods to start with. The photos are very informative and easy to follow starting from a simple pamphlet book to a full cloth bound book. What a wonderful gift to make for a very special person, and what an extremely professional book this is.

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A great instructional book for those interested in how books are put together. Plenty of information and illustrations on equipment and supplies needed and some great step-by-step guides on how you can get started making your own books at home.

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Bookforms is a tutorial and artistic guide for learning bespoke bookbinding. I've always been deeply in love with books. Not just the contents inside (though I am a complete and total book dragon also) but the form, the binding, the presentation, even the smell . This book is a textbook on traditional and artistic book binding. Released 22nd Jan 2019 by Quarto on their Rockport imprint, it's 176 pages and available in hardcover and ebook formats. This book is published under the auspices of the Center for Book Arts and is written by four former students/interns/instructors at the CBA in New York. There is an introductory chapter which includes a short CV/bio for them, followed by a pretty comprehensive tools and supplies list. This is followed by a short line-illustrated subchapter on book and paper anatomy and related jargon. This is an accessible and interesting treatise for the layperson as well, since being able to understand the way books are constructed certainly helps us understand at least a little bit how to also protect and care for them. The introductory segments comprise roughly 16% of the page content of the whole. The introduction is followed by chapters with history and tutorials on: pamphlet and accordion books, multi-signature books, books with non-adhesive bindings, and specialty/artist books. The book is well documented and illustrated throughout with photographs and line drawings. Concepts and terminology are defined where they appear and the entire book is accessible to the average layman. The book ends with a resource list with links, where applicable, a bibliography/further reading list, and a list of where to go to see and find book arts. There is also an index. This is a dense little book. It isn't strictly speaking an instruction or tutorial book, although I did follow the included tutorial with some bookbinding tools I had lying around to create a small sewn pamphlet with a cover. This is more of a resource book to supplement and support other instruction, especially formal instruction at a bindery or other classroom situation. I really enjoyed the historical portions of the book as much or more than the tutorials. Worthwhile book for bibliophiles. It's strengthened my years-long desire for more formal tuition in creating handmade books. Four stars.

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...Enter Bookforms, a recently-published manual on bookmaking that contains lessons built from those taught at the Center for Book Arts in New York City. This manual is an edited volume with chapters authored by artists Celine Lombardi, Ana Codeiro, Sarah Smith, and Elizabeth Sheehan on basic tools and techniques, binding types, bookblock making, and cover creation. My favorite section of the book is the last, which focuses on art books. Eh...there are photos of amazing examples of modern bookbinding interspersed in Bookforms, but it’s chapter 5 that explains the finer parts of the craft. Take the section on editioning, where the authors suggest considering the number of copies of your work you will produce. It’s nice to think that the authors believe that their readership will use these lessons in a professional manner. Note to self: Check out the Jaffe Center for Book arts in Boca Raton, one of the handful of places mentioned in the Resources section for where to find book arts.

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What attracted you to this book? It’s about books. Or more specifically, it’s about making books. While I love to read, the more accurate truth is, I love books. Everything about them. Not just the pretty, amusing, emotional, perspective-changing words inside, but the whole package. The pages, the cover, the artwork. The whole kit and caboodle. While I read a great deal on my Kindle these days, my love for books as object has in no way diminished. And my heart skips a beat when I come across vintage books or books that have a binding that is something above and beyond today’s norm. Bookforms was a no-brainer for me. Was it what you expected it to be? 100%. In fact, it was even better than I anticipated. In the intro, we meet all the individuals who showcased the different bookmaking techniques in the book. We learn how they came into the practice, their history in the field, and where they are now. Then we learn about all the tools used in the trade and how to make glue/adhesive. Finally, we get step by step instructions for each style of binding, with large, clear photographs. There are also tidbits about the history of each technique at the beginning of each section. This book is very much about the art of bookmaking by hand. As someone who is drawn to art, as well as books, who thrives on making to feed her creative side, this book is absolutely what I never knew I needed. What’s in it for me? Of course, I realize that I’m not everyone else and my interests are sometimes a bit unique. In many respects, this book is tailored to people like myself, and I don’t think anyone would expect it to appeal to a wider audience. However. If you are a crafty kind of person, there are some techniques presented here that require very few specialized tools and are widely applicable. If you love funky journals for writing or drawing, if you love giving unique handmade presents to others who enjoy such things, then there is much in this book to love. Personally, I thought this book would be more about learning (and drooling!) for me, but almost immediately I saw ways in which I could utilize some of these methods for my own crafting practice. That is the bit that was more than I originally expected. If you give it a look, you might find it exceeds your expectations as well. Not for everyone (definitely for me!), but there is more to this book than meets the eye.

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