The Book Arts Web

All volumes and a complete index online!


  • Please note that the archive starting 1/2019 is accessible to subscribers only. To gain access, click on link above and then using the email you subscribed under register a password towards the right hand side of the page.


  • Subscribers, to post a message send to:
  • Full FAQ with detailed instructions
  • Put ALL commands in body of message and send to:
  • To Subscribe send:
    subscribe Book_Arts-L "Your full real name"
    Leave out the "" . All subscription requests must include the full real name or they will not be approved by the moderator.
  • For daily digest: set Book_Arts-L mail digest
  • To unsubscribe: unsubscribe Book_Arts-L


Entry Deadline - October 1, 2004


Springbacks yearning to be free.Long threatened with an untimely extinction, we seek to resurrect the style and promote its use as a canvas for creative binding by organizing a worldwide springback "Bind-O-Rama," titled Spring[binding] Hath Sprung. While the title, timing, and play on words may not seem serious, rest assured, we are serious about promoting this style of binding

As a style, the springback is firmly rooted in the 'trade' binding tradition. The springback's robustness, and ability to lie flat and open for extended periods of time without stressing the spine unduly make the structure ideal for use as account and record books. These same qualities make it suitable for guestbooks, lectern Bibles, and similarly used books. Regrettably the structure has not seen much use on fine bindings or in contemporary book art, especially as the structure would be a suitable platform for many elements of design bindings. It's thick boards would provide a canvas for more sculptural or inset designs. With some minor modification it could also serve as a means of presenting pop-up constructions.

Workshops and presentations have been made on the subject in the United States at MCBA, for the Austin Book Workers, for the New England and Mid-west Chapters of the Guild of Book Workers and at the Guild's Standards of Excellence seminar. The style is also still required learning for apprentices in Germany. Articles on the style have appeared in the New Bookbinder and will soon appear in the Guild of Book Workers' Journal. A bibliography is included at the bottom of this page, including links to online tutorials for both the English and German style.

The Challenge:

In either the English or German style, design and complete a creative springback binding. The book can be bound in any workable material (cloth, leather, paper, ...) and incorporate any number of decorative techniques, including edge treatments, visible structure and cut-outs, inlays and onlays... The main intent of this exhibition is to have fun re-purposing the technique.

Entry & Submission Information:

Three digital images (640 x 480 pixels @ 72dpi, jpg file format) of your fully functional springback:
Images must show:

  • View looking at top edge with book flat on surface

  • Book held open at center

  • Any other view which shows the book from its best side

  • Files should be named as binder's name-1.jpg... (e.g. verheyen-1.jpg, verheyen-2.jpg, verheyen-3.jpg)
  • Images must meet these guidelines to be accepted and be of good quality.

A very brief description including:

  • Binder's Name
  • Location (City, Country)
  • Description of design (including English or German style)
  • Instructor / Where learned
  • All information must be included to be accepted.

Maximum Number of Entries:

  • Two

Entry Fee:

  • NONE - This is for the greater glory of the springback.

Entry Deadline:

  • September 1, 2004.

To Enter:

Entries will be compiled into an online catalog, which will be viewable here on the Book Arts Web

Binders who plan to attend the Guild of Book Worker's Standards of Excellence seminar in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, are encouraged to bring their book for an impromptu show and tell at the Friday Forum.

Interactive cut-away diagram for German Style:

Move cursor over image for explanation

Selected Bibliography:

Description of the style:

Don Etherington and Matt Roberts. Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A dictionary of descriptive terminology. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1982.

Middleton, Bernard C. (1996) A History of English Craft Bookbinding, New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press.

English style:

Government Printing Office (1962) Theory and Practice of Bookbinding, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.

Hasluck, Paul N. (1912) Bookbinding, Philadelphia: David McKay.

Mason, John. (1933) Bookbinding and Ruling, London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd. This is volume 5 of The Art and Practice of Printing: A work in six volumes, William Atkins, Editor.

Pleger, John. (1924) Bookbinding, Chicago: Inland Printing Company.

Vaughan, Alex J. (1996) Modern Bookbinding, London: Robert Hale.

Verheyen, Peter D. (2004) The Springback in the English Tradition.

Whetton, Harry (1946) Practical Printing and Binding: A complete guide to the latest developments in all branches of the printer's craft, London: Odhams Press Limited.

German style:

Henningsen, Thorwald (1969) Handbuch für den Buchbinder, St. Gallen: Rudolf Hostettler.

Kersten, Paul (1921) L. Brade's Illustrieres Buchbinderbuch: Ein Lehr- und Handbuch der gesamten Buchbinderei und aller in dieses Fach eingeschlagenden Techniken, Halle: Verlag von Wilhelm Knapp.

Lüers, Heinrich (1943) Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders, Stuttgart: Max Hettler Verlag.

Moessner, Gustav (1969) Die Täglichen Buchbinderarbeiten, Stuttgart: Max Hettler Verlag.

Verheyen, Peter D. and Conn, Donia. The Springback: Account Book Binding. London: Designer Bookbinders, The New Bookbinder, Vol 23, 2003.

Wiese, Fritz (1983) Der Bucheinband: Eine Arbeitskunde mit Werkszeichnungen, Hannover: Schlüterische Verlagsanstalt und Druckerei.

Wolpler, Florian. Der Sprungrücken. Online tutorial, in German. Part of the Website at <>.

Zahn, Gerhard (1990) Grundwissen für Buchbinder: Schwerpunkt Einzelfertigung, Itzehoe: Verlag Beruf + Schule.


 link to Bonefolder Extras & link to Bonefolder


The Book Arts Web © 1995-
Contact the Book Arts Web
Last Modified: Saturday, 14-Sep-2013 12:11:07 EDT
URL: /springbackbindorama-guidelines.shtml
Creative Commons License