I am a huge fan of art deco and art nouveau, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh is right at the top of my list of favoured artists and designers. There was no question when I stumbled on these posters of his work that I was going to take them home, and make books out of them. The question was what style of book would properly showcase and honour his designs. It took nearly a year of them sitting in one of my paper drawers before the answer presented itself.
These books are bound in a medieval ‘limp’ style. Traditionally, the cover would have been made of vellum, and the spine piece from bone or wood. This contemporary version has a sturdy book board spine covered in durable book cloth in a colour complementing the section of Charles Rennie Mackintosh poster used on the cover. The posters have been backed with card for further strength, and the turn ins have not been glued down as a nod to the original form of binding.
This limited run of six books features three different posters, three different spine colours, and two different styles of stitching on the spine. The combinations and details can be seen in the images.
A – detail from poster for The Scottish Musical Review 1896
B – detail from poster for The Scottish Musical Review 1896
C – detail from poster for Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts c.1895
D – detail from poster for Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts c.1895
E – detail from poster for The Scottish Musical Review 1896
F – detail from poster for The Scottish Musical Review 1896
The books are roughly A5 with pages of 170 gsm Flat White paper, so called because it is made of 50% recycled coffee cups (and 50% recycled paper). It’s a delight to work with, has a nice finish and light texture, takes any soft media well, and can even handle a light wash of watercolour.
Each book I make is hand cut, punched, and stitched, resulting in a one of a kind piece. Each one ships with a small card with more information about the binding type.