Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bookbinder's & Bookseller's marks

I think I mentioned before that we "collect" bookbinder's & bookseller's marks (a.k.a. book trade labels, bookseller's labels) when clients don't bother keeping them. I put the word "collect" in quote because we aren't serious collectors. It's just that some of these are too pretty to throw away, so we started putting them in an envelope and it just became a habit. Well, as there seem to be avid bookplate collectors out there, (like Mr. Jaffe of Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie) I thought some of you might be interested in knowing that there are such a thing as bookbinder's and bookseller's marks to collect! In case you are wondering how they look like, I just scanned our collection for you. Kinda cute, aren't they?
Humm, looks like there ARE indeed people who collect these little labels. There are websites dedicated to bookseller's marks. Check them out! The Exile Bibliophile , Bookseller Labels


  1. Things like this are the small everyday treats of being a binder.

    My mentor(or Master as MHR would put it:)once told me that a binder should always put his mark as a sign of his responsibility to the craft. Marked bindings show that he is proud of his work and that he is willing to face his mistakes if he isn't.
    Having this in mind I've recently started preparing my own, nothing fancy though, just initials and a small symbol.

    By the way, does the bindery you work in has a mark?
    Great collection!The khaki one at the down right corner is my favorite.

    (PS- I've added a link to your blog when I first asked you about a dyeing technique but I've only recently noticed you added me at book addicts. Thanks for that!)

    1. Hi Dimitris,
      We stamp our company name in micro type in gold only when the client asks for it. 99% of our works are restoration and custom binding that is special for the client, so we don't put binder's marks unless we are asked to do so. (One of the reasons is putting our insignia on restoration jobs might devalue the book.) We do sell a line of blank journals (occasionally), and for those, we stamp the mark. You see, we had been wanting to create a binder's mark because it's easier than stamping, but hadn't happened UNTIL recently. We now have a binder's mark, and from now on, we won't have to stamp! Yey!

      P.S. Oh, of course I had to add your site to my blog! I love your works!