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Fine Binding of Dune by Frank Herbert. Bookbinding techniques.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the plot of Dune.

A book open to show both covers.

What is Dune about?

Dune, written by Frank Herbert, is a sci-fi novel set in a far-future universe where interstellar travel is possible. The story revolves around the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, which is the only source of the most valuable substance in the universe, the spice melange.

The novel follows Paul Atreides, whose noble family is given stewardship of Arrakis, displacing their bitter rivals, the Harkonnens. The Atreides family, despite their initial triumph, faces treachery and betrayal in this hostile environment. Arrakis is a planet of immense strategic importance but is also dangerous, with its harsh desert conditions, giant sandworms, and a native population known as the Fremen, who have their own complex culture and traditions.

The top edge of a book.

Design Choices

Though the story takes place primarily on a desert planet, I chose to use black leather to reflect the stage on which the story is set. The immediate threat is on Arrakis, but the interstellar politics is what is ultimately responsible.

Sand, Spice, and Blood. These three words drove most of my design choices. The gold flecks on the cover are the sand of the planet and they are rising as the Fremen did. On the spine is a red hourglass. While it's not explicitly a theme of the book, I feel time is an interesting aspect because of the long train of events that have led to the place in time where the story begins. Both the red and gold are foil applied with a foil quill pen.

The endbands are red goat leather with thread wrapped around them. All edges were painted with acrylic paint.

A book open to show the endpages.

The endpages were hand-painted on lokta paper. The black from both sides is the constant threat from space. The gold line is a horizon and was painted on in-situ after placing the endpapers.

This book is available in my shop.

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