Due to the ongoing pandemic, Designer Bookbinders are sharing their summer exhibition ‘Art Book Craft’ (ABC) as an illustrated online directory for everyone to view, allowing a wider audience to engage with book arts. ABC is a collection of work produced by Fellows and Licentiates of Designer Bookbinders, proudly showcasing the variety of unique interpretations of contemporary bookbinding today.

Left to right – Work by Jenni Grey, Mark Cockram and Kaori Maki

2019 Print Futures Award winner Gillian Stewart is a Licentiate of Designer Bookbinders. Gillian runs her own bookbinding business JuJu Books in Glasgow where she hand makes bespoke books for artists and designers using a mix of traditional and contemporary techniques. Her promising talent in the world of bookbinding has her work ‘The Illustrated Man’ and ‘The Long Journey’ featured in the exhibition. 

Gillian took the speed of technological progress as inspiration for ‘The Illustrated Man’, using the motif of the circle as metaphor for wholeness, becoming fragmented and disjointed. The colours are lifted partially from the plates inside the text and saturated to bring to mind nuclear sunsets and endless space.

Left, The Long Journey and right, The Illustrated Man by Gillian Stewart

‘The Long Journey’ compiles works from the author that follow the narrative of the journey of life. With this in mind, the design references birds in flight, ovum and wholeness. Boards of watercolour painting, hand dyed goat edges, and tooled gold foil come together to create the final binding. 

It’s great to be able to celebrate the craftsmanship of the bookbinding world in spite of the changes this year. You can see the full series here and we’ll be sharing some of our favourites on Instagram all week.

We are proud to support the Designer Bookbinders Transferring Design project, which aims to excite students in the world of art and design about the possibilities of bookbinding, as well as improve bookbinding’s position within the wider spectrum of arts and crafts.