Binding of 'Rise and Fall' by John Crombie, 1984

JOHN PEARSON

Perspex, goatskin, nylon, paper.

Publishers have always known that in order for you to read a book, first they must ensure that you pick it up. Only then can you open it and begin to absorb its contents. Drawing your eye towards one volume rather than another is paramount. You would think therefore that every conceivable way of attracting attention to these slabs of folded and stitched paper has been tried...

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Binding of ‘Rise and Fall’
by John Crombie, 1984

JOHN PEARSON

Perspex, goatskin, nylon, paper.

‘Publishers have always known that in order for you to read a book, first they must ensure that you pick it up. Only then can you open it and begin to absorb its contents. Drawing your eye towards one volume rather than another is paramount. You would think therefore that every conceivable way of attracting attention to these slabs of folded and stitched paper has been tried.

This book goes beyond paper or print and uses light to draw your attention to it. With a transparent, fluorescent acrylic cover, internal reflection gathers the ambient light that shines through it, redirects it to the extremities, and gives the whole cover a bright yellow, glowing 'live edge'. We are reminded that the binding is the first physical presentation of the published work, and this binding is exquisite. The edges of the acrylic are chamfered and polished to deliver maximum effect.

Digital works on the other hand have no need of binding, consequentially they are not constrained by form and are free to explore a multiplicity of publishing formats within one volume. However, they must employ other means with which to make their existence known. They too use light to display themselves, but in an illuminated world this is not a distinguishing factor.

Where books have always had to shout to get your attention, now your own voice attracts them to you. The process of attraction suggests you search, rather than discover. Google finds anything you want, Wikipedia tells you more about it, and gives you further references. Amazon finds the publication, and suggests anything else similar. Books are thus attracted to you, not you to them. Recommendations and readers' lists have made browsing a disturbingly focused affair.’

Malcolm Garrett

‘Rise and Fall’ is one of a group of three bindings where Pearson first experimented with acrylic as a suitable material for book covers.

John Pearson trained initially as a printmaker at Ripon and Croydon Colleges. In 1984, whilst making a sketchbook in Croydon College bindery, he first became attracted to bookbinding. Subsequently, he set up his own bindery in Harrogate in 1986 and has since been designing and making bookbindings professionally.

 
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