Bound by: Mark Cockram

An Advertiser’s Alphabet; Illustrated by Ceri Richards. Introduction by Mel Gooding.

Quenington (England): Reading Room Press, 2014. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Fine.


One of 125 copies. One of three copies similarly bound by Mark Cockram, only this copy for sale. Cockram has created three fine art bindings, simultaneously, on three copies of the same book. The materials and techniques used are identical, but the bindings are not (see Mark Cockram’s blog post about the finished bindings). Two of the binding are presentation copies: one for art critic Mel Gooding, author of the introduction and son-in-law of Ceri Richards; another copy is for the publisher. Only this copy is for sale. Cockram’s design inspiration is the wall or billboard that begins its life blank, but becomes layered with advertisements in a repeating cycle: paste up, tear down; paste up, tear down. The surface of Cockram's binding looks and feels like a much-used billboard. The “A” replaces the letter missing from the book. From the publisher’s description: Lying in Tessimond’s archive, not much more than a cardboard-box, has been a stapled booklet signed by both Tessimond and Richards on the first page and dated 1930. Tessimond appears to have entered alphabetically, words relating to his trade as an advertising copywriter such as ‘Brand Name’,’Habit’, and ‘Psychology’. Richards has painted 25 (there is no ‘A’) delightful gouache vignettes while Tessimond has added his own interpretation of the art and guile of the advertising business. Bradel structure, hand-sewn headbands, black goat skin head and tail, multi-colored leather mosaic edges, mixed media spine and boards. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Bound by Mark Cockram in 2015. 17cm x 25cm.