Please find below all information about the art bookbinding competition :

  • the contest procedure
  • the awarding of prizes
  • the composition of the jury
  • le theme du concours
  • the regulation of the contest.

Amateur et professional binders, binding schools, register now !

Contest procedures

The principle of the contest is simple : the association selects a book from French literature, has it printed on Arches Vellum and offers it in January of even years to both amateur and professional bookbinders all over the world.

Chaque livre est unique et bénéficie d’une impression typographique au plomb de grande qualité, sur Vélin d’Arches pur chiffon 160 g. Les livres à relier sont imprimés à l’atelier Cheyne, labellisé Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant.

Des illustrations sont proposées aux relieurs, réalisées par un artiste choisi par l’association. Les relieurs sont libres d’insérer les illustrations comme ils le souhaitent.

Every participant has until May 25th of the following year to achieve the bookbinding of his/her choice. No constraint is imposed relating to the shapes, techniques and materials used, but the perfection of the realization will be the jury’s key decision factor.

The binding must be returned before May 25th with the participation form, to : Biennales Mondiales de la Reliure d’Art, 2 rue Victor Hugo F-78470 Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse FRANCE. Download the participation form, to be filled, printed and joined to the binding before expedition.

Each Biennial ends with the exhibition in September of all the bindings presented to the Jury.

Awarding of prizes

As soon as we receive a binding, it is registered with a number (in chronological order).

All the bindings are presented anonymously to the Jury and each juror selects 20 bindings, which are then gathered on a central table.

The jurors then give points to each pre-selected binding for each of the following criteria : quality of the realization, originality of the materials used, technical performance, consistency with the subject and overall aesthetics.

When we add all the points, we obtain the final score of each binding and the prizes will be awarded accordingly.

We proceed in the same way for the bookbinding schools after having re-assembled the bindings that had been pre-selected for an individual prize.

As for the prizes given by our sponsors: we show them the rest of the pre-selected bindings, but it may happen that they have a preference for another book and do not follow the opinion of the jury.

Only after the attribution of all the awards do we disclose the identity of the winners.

Composition of the jury

A jury of 6 to 8 professionals, depending of the year, is held every odd year in June. These professionnals are internationally well-known in the fine bookbinding and bibliophile community (France, Canada, Netherlands, Italy).

Contest theme

Les Biennales Mondiales de la Reliure d’Art mettent la littérature française à l’honneur : Joseph Kessel, Albert Camus, Victor Hugo, Michel Tournier, Maurice Leblanc, Jean de la Fontaine, Charles Perrault, Beaumarchais, Jules Verne, …

Tous les candidats créent une reliure sur le même thème, ce qui fait la spécificité de ce concours.

Contest rules

By enrolling in the contest, participants accept to conform to the regulations.

Article 1

The association World Biennials of Art Bookbinding organizes a contest of art bookbinding all odd years, using a book title chosen by it and especially printed to that effect.

Article 2

The association encourages professional and amateur bookbinders to enrol in the contest, by means of mailing or press reports in magazines. By enrolling in the contest, participants accept to conform to the regulations.

Article 3

Enrolment in the contest entitles the participants to :

  • the postal consignment of one copy of the book (in sections),
  • the insertion into the contest’s catalogue,
  • the presentation of the binding during the exhibition,
  • the return of the book to the participant, after the end of the exhibition. Extra fee will be charged to the participant : Frais de réexpédition des reliures après l’exposition

Article 4

Only the participants whose binding is present at the exhibition recieve a free catalogue.

Article 5

The staff of the association reserves the right to accept or to refuse an enrolment without having to justify its decision.

Article 6

The association sets the theme of every contest and the amount of prizes assigned.

Article 7

Prizes are remitted in the respective laureates’ presence only. No prize consignment is done. In case of non-delivery, prizes remain the property of the association.

Article 8

The association nominates the Jury members. The Jury’s decisions are irrevocable. The other assigned prizes are of the goodwill of the donors, in presence of the members of the Jury.

Article 9

The staff of the association will examine any dispute and its decisions are irrevocable.

Article 10

The Court of Justice of Versailles is competent to settle all litigation that would not have been solved amicably with the Office of the Association.