You can judge a book by its cover : a brief survey of materials [Von Hahn, Geneviève, 1952-]

Bound in black morocco with pale veneer inlays; sewn on cords; red headbands; in a chemise and slipcase of the same materials.

Von Hahn was born in 1952 and grew up in Paris. After getting her MBA, she started a career in banking, teaching and publishing. The challenge of raising three children in Germany prompted her to seek more flexible alternatives. A look at the numerous books in need of repair in her library inspired her to study fine book binding with Maureen Duke at the Guilford College of Technology in England. She currently works freelance, specializing in leather bindings, and tries to combine proven classical structures with original designs closely related to the book’s content. She writes “My primary aim is to create a faultless, aesthetically pleasing work of art. By developing timesaving and effective techniques I try to control costs so as to make fine binding available to a broader public. Over time, I hope to reintroduce German bibliophiles to the tradition of having their favorite books bound while respecting their financial constraints. This, I hope, will rejuvenate interests in fine bindings and help preserve a very special handicraft.”


“Black maroquin binding underlaid with pale veneer. The chemise and slipcase are of the same material. The book is sewn on cords and has red headbands. The basic design is repeated on the guards and impressed into the lining of the chemise. My design is closely linked to the subject of the book and inspired by the wood block illustrations. By choosing muted colours and emphasizing vertical lines I tried to diminish the impression of thickness of this small book.”