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Gaspard, Melchior et Balthazar

(Gallimard, Paris, 1980)


One-of-a-kind design binding created by Benjamin Elbel, Haarlem, January 2019


‘Pixel’ binding in full cobalt blue calfskin, with hot foil stamping all over. The pixel binding is a semi-flexible binding stucture developed by Ben Elbel in which the boards and spine are made up of multiple individual squares of cardboard (in this case: 216 squares), allowed to hinge with one another.

The design is based on some of the colours of the book’s single illustration, in a horizontal composition moving from blue (bottom) to green (top), with in between, various shades of purples and reds. Each of these colours was obtained by stamping lines onto individual squares, using six different foil colours in various combinations. The lettering was executed on the same principle, with letters instead of lines.


The binding has leather doublures and suede flyleaves and comes in a quarter calf solander box with round spine and suede linings.

This book is in a private collection in France.

Photographs by Dirk Wolf

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