Working on the Design*Sponge Book has made me so appreciative and respectful of the skill that goes into making books in their physical form. While cover designs often become a highly digital process these days, I always appreciate when I see books that embrace a cover or binding with an unexpected material or texture. Those sorts of bindings are incredibly expensive for publishers so you don’t see them a lot, but when they happen they’re absolutely stunning. Amy Azzarito is my book guru so when I saw her tweet about an amazing book binder working on these sorts of special bindings I immediately became obsessed with her work.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sonya Sheats specialize in handcrafted book bindings that use leather, wood, paper and cloth. While living in France Sonya took a course from Anne Vion on bookbinding and has continued to practice and teach bookbinding ever since her return to the US. I love the way Sonya creates such unique pieces that feel like there couldn’t possibly be another one just like it in the world. Her use with color and subtle detail is spot on and I am dying to see one of these up close in person. I’ve chosen my favorites above and below, but you can view her entire collection right here. Her work is really a feast for the eyes. xo, grace