Tooling and Embossing Samples

Bookbinders have traditionally used both blind tooling (where heated metal is pressed directly into the leather) and gold tooling, where a thin sheet of gold is laid under the hot tool. Though gold tooling is often considered the height of opulent bookbinding, both techniques can create beautiful results, especially when used together. A beautifully understated binding might feature a title tooled in gold and the rest in blind. This collection of some of our projects may inspire yours.

Presentation binding for the publisher. Calf onlays, tooled in blind and gold.

Silver tooling around the inner dentelles.

Blind tooling in a 15th century style, with gold tooling on label. This book, with your choice of new label, available here.

Gold tooling the spine of a 17th century book on heraldry

A more elaborate tooled border around painted wood. With red and white onlays. This binding is for sale here.

An example of one of our favorite techniques: decorative blind tooling accented with tiny gold dots.

A simple mix of gold and blind tooling on a half-calf volume.

Extra leather corners over calf with both blind tooling and gold.

Gold and blind tooling in a medieval style.

A common 19th century use of blind tooling.