We did a collective double take when a beautifully bound hardcover book landed on the Wallpaper.com desk bearing our online editor's name in white embossed lettering. No, she hadn't written that tell-all memoir after all. The volume was a prototype Make Book with a custom cover, care of the pioneering paper supplier G.F Smith.
Smith - which was recently rebranded by Made Thought to reflect nearly 130 years of selling paper - launched the Make Book service to improve on the current vogue for tailor-made creative printing. The operation distinguishes itself with access to premium bindings and paper stock the other ventures simply don't have. It follows a photographic printing process and silver halide technology, using professional Fuji papers. And the binding is done entirely by hand - each book works its way through a chain of seven employees, according to a making-of video set at the G.F Smith headquarters in Hull, UK.
Wallpaper's version has a two-tone, quarter-bound cover with embossed print in two colours. It opens perfectly flat, so you can design a panorama to run across the spine without losing anything at the fold - and it holds itself open on a desired page.
For this level of handcraft you will pay; the base price for a 20-page A4 book is £100. But it'll turn that memoir into a work of art for your shelves.