Build bookbinding course

Course Dates: 01/10/19 - 07/07/20
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Step into bookbinding with this three-term course. Learn essential techniques and develop skills in using tools and materials to produce your own work. A stimulating, challenging and comprehensive introduction for beginners.


What is the course about?

On this course you will gain a sound working knowledge of bookbinding. You will learn about book structure, techniques, materials, terminology, tools and equipment, and investigate historical and contemporary themes. Selecting and using design methods and elements in your bookbinding is an integral part of the course. Skills and knowledge gained will complement and support your future bookbinding practice.

What will we cover?

The course will cover the making of a range of bookbinding structures using a wide variety of techniques, including: single-section pamphlets with both limp paper covers and stiff boards, several multi-section bindings case bound in cloth and paper, samples of many types of sewing, and enclosures to protect bindings.

During the course you will bind books with both flat backs and rounded spines and try out rounding and backing, edge colouring and hand-sewing endbands. There will be the opportunity for more experienced students to undertake extra items subject to discussion. You will be able to work on one personal project during the final term.

Some sessions will include work on the design elements of visual art, with reference to bookbinding. As a group we will look at historical and contemporary book structures, investigate current and past makers in the craft, and develop design techniques to produce individual pieces of work to a high standard.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Use a variety of sewing techniques to sew single and multi-section text blocks, and single sheets
- Make a variety of different styles of book covers
- Round and back a text-block
- Make a variety of endpapers, and a hand-sewn headband
- Recognise contemporary and historical styles and makers
- Select and use design methods and elements in your bookbinding
- Move on to further study in conservation, fine binding or artist’s books.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is aimed at beginners or those who wish to revise basic skills and build up their knowledge of techniques.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You will be asked to take part in a small group presentation on a contemporary or historical binder chosen by your group.

You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations. Your work will be assessed and on completion of the course you will receive a certificate.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught by demonstration, individual and group tuition. We will use the internet to research work relevant
to the course. You will be asked to take part in a small group and pair work within the course. You mayoccasionally find it helpful to be able to complete or revise work at home during the course.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Some basic materials are included in the cost of the course. Other materials such as board and paper can be purchased from the classroom and students will be expected to provide for their own, more specific requirements.
You will need to provide your own basic small tools set once the course commences and you should allow at least £30 for this. You will be advised on this during the first weeks and nothing needs to be purchased before the class starts. Please bring a sharp pencil, notebook and biro to each class. You will be expected to make your own notes to supplement the course handouts.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, Build students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Recommended progression from VD190:
- VD322 Build Bookbinding intermediate
- VD320 Bookbinding: improver's workshop
You may also be interested in short courses:
- VD357 Limp Vellum binding
- VD316 Wooden boarded binding
- VD310 Gold tooling.
- VD434 Bradel binding
- VD360 Bookbinding weekend: endband extravaganza
Repair and conservation courses:
- VD324 & VD325 Book conservation for beginners
- VD351 Conservation for beginners
- VD202 & VD203 Book conservation
Book arts
- VD292 Book art: Learn to bind artist’s books.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details

Tutor Biographies
Sue Doggett See more
Royston Haward See more

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Check your level

Course Code: VD190

Tue, eve, 01 Oct - 07 Jul '20

Duration: 33 sessions (over 41 weeks)

Full fee: £1,099.00
Senior fee: £1,099.00
Concession: £670.00

Before booking on this course, please register or log in to your account to complete a short online assessment. We need you to do this to check that this course is the right level for you.
Why do I need an advice session?

Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online . You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.