Recent work - 2014
Breakfast at Tiffany's December 18, 2014
This is Benjamin's entry for the Designer Bookbinders' annual competition (2014), which received the Judge's Award given by the prestigious London book dealers Magg's Bros. The set book was Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote, a 2013 Folio Society edition with illustrations by Karen Klassen. The binding is a dos rapporte with split boards. The spine is covered in japanese silk and the boards in decorated leather, and the endpapers are nepalese screen printed pattern paper. The placement of the title suggests something hidden and indeed there is something to discover between the layers of the front board...
In collaboration with a London fine stationery shop we created a special edition of notebooks using parchment. Parchment is animal skin which is treated using an ancient, manual process largely unchanged for centuries. We used goatskin parchment produced by William Cowley (UK), one of the last remaining parchment makers in Europe.
The idea for these notebooks was to highlight the natural beauty of the material and at the same time to give it a modern twist by introducing fresh, bold colours. These colours are visible on the edges of the book, as well as underneath the spine (in open position only), but they also change the overall hue of the vellum, in a subtle way that becomes apparent only when displaying different items next to each other.
Teaching in the USA September 23, 2014
From the 18th of august to the 20th of september 2014 elbel libro was on tour in the USA. We traveled from east coast to west coast and and Ben taught various subjects in 5 different places:
- Asheville Bookworks (North Carolina)
- Penland school of crafts (North Carolina)
- Minnesota Center for the Book (Minneapolis)
- Book Arts LA (California)
- San Francisco Center for the Book (California)
A star is born June 19, 2014
A photograph album? In the age of ipads, blogs, social media?
Why? Because it's more stylish, more personal, more durable.
A lovely present for the parents of a newborn baby.
Sonnet XVIII May 24, 2014
This is a collaborative project between Elbel Libro and Marja Wilgenkamp, Dutch bookbinder. Marja published an edition of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII using a process developed by the artist collective La Société Anonyme. First the poem was read out and recorded, then encoded and printed into a graphic language, making the book 'accessible for future, potentially post-apocalypse, post-computer, humans'.
Marja asked us to bind this edition (65 copies) into a paper binding using Benjamin's signature structure the 'dos rapporté'. The design on the fore-edge was lasercut in the Netherlands after binding. This book is for sale on our website, click here.
All photos of finished book are by Marja Wilgenkamp
Shangri-La hotel May 24, 2014
Shangri-La hotel is located in the Shard, London's (possibly Europe's) tallest building, and is the first luxury hotel south of the river. Commissioned by Printlogic Solutions to produce menu and bill presenters for their 3 outlets LANG, TING and GONG, this is the largest job we have ever undertaken. Gathering a team of 10 people for the occasion, Elbel Libro produced a total of 1400 items (13 different products), in just under 2 months. A few snapshots below.
Fanciful pages May 24, 2014
Fanciful Pages is a stationery brand run by Aoife Barron in north London. Aoife is a very talented designer and we were honoured to make the first run of her fanciful journals, all bound in extravagant colours and adorned with gold and black foil blocking and the most incredible ribbons and elastics. When Aoife picked them up from our studio, she said 'I bet it's the girliest job you've ever done', to which I answered 'yep'.
We just love them.
All photos are by Aoife Barron