Bookplates and Book Collecting

A bookplate is something which identifies the owner of a book.  They can be simple and utilitarian, or fancy and decorative.  Many that we have studied take the form of a black and white etching or engraving or an embossed (raised) design. 

When I chose a book to study, I found it in my grandparent’s collection. Knowing nothing so technical about books as I would hope to know now, I showed it to our good teacher.  She pointed out to me that a simple sticker in the front could have been my grandmother’s bookplate; I learned later that they collected books not for their monetary or ascetic value, but to read.  Or rather, my grandmother collected them to make my dad and granddad read every day, so that is maybe why she preferred a more practical kind of identification.

So when asked what I would make for my own bookplate, I think of all these references but I also think that it is supposed to be our personal fingerprint on our books.  It can be whatever we want, and we have a lot more technology nowadays to use.  And as books become e-books, what will bookplates become? It could be as simple as adding a signature image to a book you purchase.  Or maybe someday it will be more creative.  I think if I had the money and know-how, I would have a little hologram pop out and explain the fonts, illustrations, and ownership of my books, instead of having bookplates and a colophon page…

George Lucas' Star Wars

For now, I made a design the way I already know how.  I chose something  fantasy related, but that can bore me if I’m just watching or playing; I like to create.  So I tried to incorporate that idea into a design.

Several hours of 3D modeling and Photoshop


5 thoughts on “Bookplates and Book Collecting

  1. mundell2 says:

    To the pro designers in the class, I’m the first to admit I’m not a full-on art student, and what skills I do have are malnourished at the moment anyway. Brent Patterson would be ashamed.

  2. I’ve never taken a 3D modeling class but I can’t fathom all of the little vertices and polygons you had to fix and work with to do that. That’s truly amazing.

    I love that you’re thinking towards the future as well.

    • mundell2 says:

      Thanks! Its kinda weird, I can’t draw for pennies but modeling is almost relaxing for me. Brent taught me what I know; you should take the class if you have time, lots of fun. I’m just assuming you know him as an art student, sorry if not.

  3. Lew Jaffe says:

    Your posting about E-Book bookplates is thought provoking and has been mentioned on my bookplate blog

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