Categories: Articles

A Little Guide to Bookbinding

In our ongoing acquisition of antique graphic arts resources we’ve recently been looking for books by Pedro J. Lemos who was the Director of the Stanford University Fine Arts Museum. Lemos wrote extensively on graphic arts, lettering and design in the early 20th century. Lemos’ work draws on the Arts and Crafts and Art Deco movements of the period and includes books on various artistic movements and themes, book on art instruction for children and adults and sourcebooks on various aspects of design and hand crafts. We’ve made some use of his guide to historic calligraphy which is simply titled Lettering and are also drawing on some of the design ideas in his Applied Art teaching guide, which includes a full, illustrated course of instruction for children and their parents.

Applied Art includes lots of useful information and detailed guides for a variety of art and craft projects designed for students of different ages. The instructions are often quite detailed and include technical information which you wouldn’t normally expect to find outside of a formal classroom. It’s given us some good ideas for fonts and for decorative motifs, but it can also be more directly useful. Some of its sections make good monographs on different kinds of design projects. For example, there are several projects included in simple home book design and book binding. The instructions are easy to follow and detail several different methods of creating your own books. We’ve taken these illustrated lesson guides in bookbinding and put them together as an easily accessible PDF for anyone who wants to try a little home book binding. The techniques are timeless and the results can be quite impressive. If there is interest we’ll put together some more of these little guides on other subjects. The one on paper lanterns is particularly charming.

To download the PDF click on the image to the right.

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