You can judge a book by its cover : a brief survey of materials [Newman, Joseph A.]

Bound in dark brown Oasis goatskin; sewn on three flattened cords; covers and spine tooled in gold leaf and red acrylic; light brown Oasis goatskin doublures (blind-tooled) and flyleaves; silk headbands; gilt top edges; in a drop-spine box. 

Joseph Newman did undergraduate work at Emerson college in Boston and went on to earn a Masters in Fine Arts in 1973 at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He then entered a formal apprenticeship at the Harcourt Bindery in Boston where he eventually became the Manager. In 1980 he established his own shop, The Pride’s Crossing Bindery, offering fine binding and restoration. He also continued his design binding work and had his first exhibition at the Wildcliff Craft Center in New Rochell, New York in 1979. He has continued to exhibit design bindings in many venues, including the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Rhode Island School of Design, MIT’s Museum of Fine Art, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, as well as many other colleges and libraries across the country. In 1983 he joined the staff at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover Massachusetts, where he worked for more than twenty years. After his death a scholarship fund was created in his honor in 2008 to benefit bookbinding students at the North Bennet Street School.


“The volume was sewn on three flattened cords. The top edge was gilt and tricolor silk end bands were sewn at the head and tail. The covering was done with dark brown Oasis goat skin. Light brown Oasis was used for the edge to edge doublures and flyleaves. The covers and spine were tooled in gold leaf and the red lines were done with acrylic. The doublures were blind tooled in the same pattern as the covers. The volume is housed in full dark brown Oasis drop spine box tilted in gold and designed with red acrylic. The design focus on the book is with the spine title where I wanted a play off the cliché you can’t judge a book by its cover. The design of the boards was executed to give an Art Deco effect, and was inspired by the illustrations in the book.”