The International Bookbinding Competition is held every two years and runs in conjunction with the Society’s biennial conference. Like the Conference it has grown over the years and now attracts, on average, around one hundred entries from countries all around the world.
Winning entries are announced at the Conference dinner, which in 2013 will be held on 31st August at Leeds Metropolitan University. All winners will be invited.
Entries will be exhibited at the Conference for the duration, after which the winning books will form a touring exhibition to Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds; George Bayntun Bookshop, Bath and one other venue, yet to be confirmed. Full details will be posted here at a later date.
Entrants should register before the 14th June 2013 by completing a registration form which can be downloaded here (PDF). The period for submission of bindings is 8th – 12th July 2013.
Entrants submitting work to the competition do so in the knowledge that if their work is selected for an award, it will be retained by the Society for the touring exhibition, and will only be returned following the final venue. Images of winning books may also be taken for use on Competition promotional material. Full entry details and instructions for delivering your books will be sent out with the acknowledgment of registration. Please do not send books until you have registered!
For all enquiries please contact competition organisers Hannah Brown and Arthur Green.
Category A: Fine
This category encompasses any skilled binding of a contemporary nature in a codex form. The binding must display a high standard of craftsmanship along with excellent overall concept and design.
Entries will be judged on the quality of the concept and design; the forwarding; finishing; craft skills, and suitability of materials used.
Category B: The Complete Book
Both the contents and the binding should be designed and executed by the entrant. Work in this category encompasses both artists’ books and traditional bindings, and need not be in codex format. Entries will be judged on the quality of the concept and design; the contents of the book; the binding; craft skills; and suitability of materials.
Category C: Case Binding
Entries in this category must be of a case-bound structure, i.e. the book made in two parts; the cover made separately from the text-block and joined by attaching the endpapers to the cover boards. Entries will be judged on the quality of the concept and design; the forwarding; finishing; craft skills; and suitability of materials.
Category D: Restoration
Any binding repaired in a way that returns the book to a former or original condition. Entries will be judged on the suitability of the repairs; the aesthetic of the restored book; craft skills; documentation; and materials used. Entries must be submitted with photographic documentation prior to restoration, along with a full written record of all work undertaken.
Category E: Historic Binding
A skilled or ‘fine binding’ of a traditional nature. Bindings can display an element of creativity, but must show excellent re-creation of a period of binding, or historical structure, as well as a high standard of craftsmanship. Entries will be judged on the faithfulness of reproduction; the forwarding; finishing; craft skills; and suitability of materials.
Estimated prize fund of over £6000
• Best Book Submitted by a Professional Binder: £1000
• Best Book Submitted by a Non‑Professional Binder: £1000
• Best Book Submitted by a Newcomer: £500 ‑ The Farthing Press Award
• Fine Binding 1st Prize Value: £500 ‑ Charnwood Books & F J Ratchford ‑ John Coleman Trophy
• Fine Binding 2nd Prize Value: £200
• Fine Binding 3rd Prize Value: £100
• The Complete Book 1st Prize Value: £500 ‑ The Portnall Award
• The Complete Book 2nd Prize Value: £200
• Case Binding 1st Prize Value: £500 ‑ The F.J. Ratchford Trophy
• Restoration 1st Prize Value: £500 ‑ The Bernard Middleton Trophy
• Historic Binding 1st Prize Value: £500 - The ABA Educational Trust
• Fine Cut International Award for finishing
• Harmatan Leather Award for forwarding
• J Hewit & Sons ‑ three Awards for Excellence in Design, Craftsmanship and Innovation
received to date:
… And many kind anonymous donors