Occasionally, an author wants something above and beyond the usual look and feel of a book, something unique and personal. Often this premium book is part of a “split run” and has been produced in addition to a larger number of more basic, traditional-looking books. Populore’s authors have settled on quite a variety of features, leading us to draw on the skills of specialized artisans. Many elements come together to make a book, so there are many ways to step outside the “normal” way of doing things. We at Populore enjoy introducing authors to the beauty of the bookmaker’s art. Those who have chosen this pathway have been delighted with the results, whether the book’s a special treat for themselves or a gift for a loved one. Get a closer look at some of the possibilities here.

Beyond the Expected

To commemorate his son’s advancement to US Navy captain, a retired US Air Force master sergeant asked Populore to help design and produce a few family copies of a lavishly crafted book celebrating the illustrious history of the USS Constitution. (Two less lavish, bindery copies were also ordered, including one for the US Naval Academy’s Nimitz Library.)

A woman discovered a centuries-old precious family object. Her quest to learn its origin led to uncovering a trove of history, now preserved in an artisanal copy of the book, which takes its place alongside the object itself as a family treasure.

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor ordered two specially designed and crafted copies to hold and keep safe her father’s story. These fine books also pay tribute to his memory as a successful jeweler who possessed a keen appreciation for fine craftsmanship.

After getting all the pieces of their family history assembled in book form, one client opted to add some premium touches to the entire press run, including embossed gold-printed highlights on the dust jacket and printed endpaper featuring commissioned custom marbling.


Perseverance book cover - premium book
Perseverance book cover - premium book

Made to Order

Working away in shops and studios, behind-the-scene artists ply their crafts like binding books in leather or other nonstandard materials, marbling endpapers, reproducing the feel of yesteryear’s paper or the look of antiquated printing, stitching pieces of a book by hand, or using modern technology to invent new forms of book art. We at Populore are especially pleased when we have an opportunity to reach out to one of these magical artisans. Below are a few photographs from some of the eye-catching creations we have undertaken. A gracefully curved spine, deckled (ragged-edged) paper, inclusion of special objects, metallic or embossed titles and designs, made-to-order presentation boxes, and so many more details can say, “This book is special!”

commemorative-coin in book cover
letterpress and deckled book
leather corner book cover building
speckled edge headband of book
rounding spines
spine robes debossing book cover
painted edge of book pages
proposed designs for a premium book cover
inside option of a premium book with marbling
brick embossing book cover
book cover embossing
three boards book binding
sig sewing book cover process


The idea of a “premium,” handcrafted edition was all new to me. I had no idea how many details about the book could be made so beautiful. Truly exquisite.