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Fine Binding

28 juli 2014

France France France … here I come … even twice this week 🙂 Lille is on my agenda for Tuesday and Paris for the weekend … could be worse 🙂 So with France in my head, today a binding method called Franse Binding (French Binding) in Dutch. The exact English verb is not easy to find, perhaps Fine Binding – if someone can help me with it …..?

Binding method
The Fine Binding method has been in use since the 18th century. For bookbinders this is one of the most beautiful ways to create a book. You can recognize this method by the spine cover, which is not attached to the spine and the visible lack of the board edge. If there are raised bands, they are most of the time false, the headband, on the other hand, is always hand embroidered, so not false at all.
The advantage of the unattached spine cover is that the precious decoration of the spine – usually gold leaf – is protected, because the spine cover doesn’t move when one opens the book and therefore it will keep its shape.

In practise
A lot of bookbinding skills are required to make a beautiful correct Fine Binding. Somewhere at the internet I read that an experienced bookbinder works for at least twelve hours at this binding. The steps in making such a book are:
– folding the sections and endpapers
– glue, trim, round, abpress and glue the book block
– creating the covers
– board lacing
– embroider headband
– prepare the cover material
– tie up for the fake raised bands
– apply flush joint
As you can see making such a book is a lot of work and therefore almost priceless. Since we don’t have the habit of using gold leaf at the covers and spines of our books, one of the biggest advantages of the Fine Binding became superfluous. Of course it is fun to maintain the craft is this bookbinding method, so I made one … once .. but learned a lot of it and I can use some of the tricks a learned for other books or possible new ways to bind books …

Prien Franse Binding
Prien Franse Binding



Another Guestbook

23 juli 2014

Guestbooks are not exclusively connected to weddings … they also fit well on other occasions, such as an official opening of a foundation. One of the board members of Stichting Zorg en Onderwijs Nu wanted to give her foundation a present that would last for a long time and that was also a present for the kids they represent. Together we developed a guestbook with blank pages of thick off-white paper, suitable for writing or drawing. It had to be a sturdy book that could withstand some rough handling.

The foundation’s logo is brightly colored and was an excellent starting point for the cover.
I bound the book in a traditional sturdy multi-section-case-binding, with the advantage of lying flat when opened. To accentuate the bright colors, I used red yarn for the sewing. For extra strenght the corners of the book have been provided with an extra layer book binders linen.

I love making personalized guestbooks! It is always a pleasure to develop a unique book together with a client. There are so many opportunities to give or use a book that has been made for that particular situation. Every person or occasion has it own story, and that is what makes it interesting: Matching the product with the occasion according to the wishes of the client. 



Prien’s Personalized Guestbook

16 juli 2014

Spring and the beginning of the summer means Wedding Season … so I am and have been quite busy making wedding booklets and guestbooks. As you already know it has been quite hectic, so I haven’t show you much of my work lately, but I didn’t want you to miss out on this special one.

In June Jan & Inge asked for a personalized guestbook for their special day. In close consultation we designed a beautiful A4 guestbook. Both the inside and the outside have been personalized. The book contains 70 pages with 204 squares for personal messages and some nice doodles at the bottom. These small drawings from Jan & Inge reflect their lives and personality. The doodles of the bikes have been chosen for the cover as well.

The book has been bound  in a multi-section case-binding, so it is strong and durable. It method also has the advantage of lying flat when opened, so it is easy to write in. The sections are sewn together and case-bound into a hard cloth-covered board-based case, with endpapers used to attach the book block to the case.

This is just one of the countless opportunities. You can always contact me if you have specific wishes or ideas for a special book.

Prien Personalized Guestbook - cover
Prien Personalized Guestbook - cover


Prien Personalized Guestbook - cover




4 May – Remembrance Day

5 mei 2014

May 4th, a day to remember … a day for remembrance. This day commemorates all civilians and members of armed forces of The Netherlands who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II. In Rotterdam mayor Aboutaleb together with prime minister Rutte were present at the Remembrance Ceremony in Crooswijk. Under the leadership of the ZangExpress, children of the Bavokring sang a song and handed over poems they wrote about Remembrance Day.

Prien has been commisioned by the ZangExpress to bind those poems into a booklet. It was such a nice assignment. The poems were really beautiful, some made me think, other made me laugh. I gathered some lines that stood out (in Dutch):

Vrijheid is vrij zijn
Vrijheid is blij zijn
vrijheid is voor ieder één
Vrijheid is vrij zijn van de oorlog
iedereen mag vrij zijn
of je nou: turks, marokaans, afrikaans
antilliaans, surinaams, of chinees bent.
We zijn nu vrij
dat maakt iedereen
blij. Zo moet het zijn.
Ik heb een wens
voor de vrede. De mensen hebben
voor elkaar respect.
Zonder vrijheid geen blijheid
gelukkig is de oorlog voorbij
Voor al die mensen die ons hebben gered
wij allemaal vinden jullie een held
Hitler hij deed erge dingen voor mensen
en hij droeg geen lenzen. Als hij dat zag
moest hij zien wat hij met de menshijd deed

Thank you very much for your poems and stories: Nurya, Cairo & Rohit, Dilda, Bafode & Jaden, Esmagül, Aymane & Volkan, Rana, Sara, Imane, Vanadil, Ilyas, Jamel, Bilal, Oguzhan, Moga,Thijmen, Kayra, Trishana.
Mark Rutte en Aboutaleb met ZangExpress boekje van Prien



Prien’s New Spring Notebooks

20 maart 2014

Spring is in the air … so it’s time for the traditional Spring Cleaning … not only for your house, but also for your head. Prien’s new notebooks will help you to get organized. These handy sized beautiful pastel notebooks fit in every bag, so you can always have one with you. Choose your colour and print and write down all your to-do-things. Sometimes you can make your live a little bit nicer, just by using the right equipment 🙂  Enjoy spring!!

Prien Spring Series Notebooks


Prien's Spring Series Notebooks


Prien's Spring Series Notebooks
Prien's Spring Series Notebooks



Prien’s Photo Boxes

17 februari 2014

A few weeks ago we were on ski holiday with some friends. It was such a great week! We had a lot of hard and long good laughs, interspersed with serious talks and it was just great to be with each other. Of course we skied a lot as well, the snow was great and we even had some sunny days.

Afterwards I had such a good time sorting the photos. All those crazy selfies were hilarious. The quality of the photos -especially the indoor and night photos- wasn’t always good enough for enlargements, so I chose for Polaroid sized photos. To make the photos firmer I glued them on white photo board, this gives the images a tough look. One can shuffle as much as he or she wants. Line up all the selfies, or show the area, or the way he or she skies. In short – a very flexible and stylish way to stock photos.

To keep the photos together I made photo boxes in several colours, matching the person the box was for. It was a precise, but nice job to do the maths. Thinking, cutting, glueing, good music, some sunshine and good memories … in short a happy moment for a bookbinder!

Personalized Notebooks for Clever Strategy

3 februari 2014

Just before a relaxing ski holiday Prien finished a nice assignment for Clever Strategy. This company, specialized in marketing and technique, always sends its customers a new year gift. This year they wanted to send a marketing calendar combined with a notebook.
The logo of Clever Strategy is blue and orange, in close consultation we have chosen to put the logo in the middle of a white cover, supplemented with a blue rubber band to close the book. The spine of the booklet contains the url. and the logo with caption is centered at the bottom of the back. To raise the white cover and pages of the notebook, the flyleaf is bright orange. It was fun working on these cheerful booklets and I got inspired by the marketing calendar, so at the moment I am busy planning my year, using the events mentioned in this inspiring calendar.
Want to receive this handy booklet, become a client of Clever Strategy 🙂






Prien’s Personalized Notebooks for Portret van Jeannette

16 januari 2014

Looking for a smile on your face at this rainy drizzling day … check out Portret van Jeannette. Jeannette sketches little portraits of people and animals. These miniatures touch the essence of once’s being with just a few lines.
Since the best ideas -or faces- always come to you when you are not at home, it’s necessary to have a notebook with you all the time. And what’s better than a personalized notebook with your name on the cover:) So Jeannette asked me to make some notebooks in A5 and A6 format with her logo on the cover. I used several techniques for the letters, like printing on paper and cover it with a very thin laminated layer or cut out the letters in flock foil and iron them on the bookbinders linen. I hope a lot of new great portraits will find their way to these booklets .. and to her Facebook page of course!

Prien Personalized Notebooks Portret van Jeannette



Personalized Notebooks

6 januari 2014

Some weeks ago I made these personalized notebooks for two dear friends. They have been – and are- a big support for me and my business. When I started Prien, they surprised me with a large bunch of beautiful flowers and they constantly help me to develop my business. As a thank you, I made these personalized booklets. Neutral at the outside, personalized at the inside.
Thank you for helping me, and I hope you enjoy the notebooks!

Prien Personalized Notebooks





Library Notebooks

23 december 2013

Last weeks I have been working hard at an assignment for about twenty notebooks. It was fun to see all those splendid colours around me. In these wet winter days, the rain and wind were lashing my windows, and I only had to look at those lovely booklets to see the sunshine 🙂 Each booklet is unique. The cover is provided with letters saying ‘BIEB’, which is a Dutch acronym for library. When you open the booklets you figure out that the flyleads are printed with the word ‘NOTE’ and have several bright and sparkly colours. It was fun creating all those different booklets. mass production, with a small escape 🙂
The booklets are Christmast presents for the library employees. I hope they enjoy them!