The Contemporary Brits, Pt 2: Man Booker Prize shortlist

Designer Bookbinders has a sick partnership with the Man Booker Prize people. 

Every year six DB Fellows each bind one of the six titles shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Designed and completed in 4-5 weeks, these bindings are presented to the authors on the night of the Man Booker award ceremony.

They've apparently been doing it since 2005. Because it is hard to become a DB fellow, and the deadline challenges (see quote below), the set of binders isn't so diverse. They tend to be of the older generation and there is a fair amount of repetition (of binders and of designs) year to year.

A process which might normally take three to four months or more has to be telescoped into as many weeks, but it is this which makes the commission such an interesting one for those taking part.... There are at least twenty-five stages in the hand binding of a book - from the decoration of the edges of the pages to the final lettering - and the binder will have spent about one hundred and fifty hours on the work by the time of completion.

All the works are neato. But here are the best, sorted by age (from most recent). All photos from Designer Bookbinders, with links where possible, unless otherwise noted.

2014 - Derek Hood. Superlative. Elegant. Striking. Very interesting design. And surprisingly, a dos-a-dos .

2012 - Stephen Conway. Subtle but sharp.

2010 - Mark Cockram. For my tastes I could use a title on the spine. But I like this one. Not as over-the-top overwrought as some other works of his.

2010 - Sue Doggett. Rustic but still refined. (A lot of rustic or folk work is far too unrefined.) I could use a spine title here too.

2010 - David Sellars. Painted parchment sides, inlaid suede with printing. Very nice.

2009 - Stephen Conway. The 2nd S.Conway binding I'm highlighting. Printed/painted parchment sides are ok. But the spine leather color and titling are what make this one top notch.

2009 - Derek Hood's 2nd binding in this list. The panels are just amazingly sharp and smart.

2007 - Lester Capon.

2007 - Faith Shannon. Although there's a chance the image of this binding doesn't translate into what it looks and feels like in-person, the texture and colors create a nice impression.

2007 - John Murray. Classic technique that pops.