Open Set 2020 Entry Information



the books

Information for both OPEN and SET categories

  • The binding design should be the artist’s own unique interpretation of the content of the book reflecting the binder’s response to the content.
  • Participants may submit bindings for either category or for both. Only one submission per category per binder will be accepted.
  • All submissions must be a fine binding in the codex format.
  • Submissions must be received by September 1, 2019.
  • To ensure anonymity, please do not sign or mark your work.
  • The binder must declare any work on the book that was done by someone other than the binder.
  • Make your book specifically for this competition; your submission may not have been displayed in any previous exhibition, online or otherwise publicly viewed.
  • All entries must be housed in a custom-fitted clamshell box. Please see Submission information for instructions. OPEN • SET is not responsible for inadequately protected bindings.


  • Participants may submit a binding from a book in sheets of their choosing.
  • No blank books will be accepted.
  • Maximum bookblock size is limited to 24 by 30 centimeters.


  • For this competition, the organizers commissioned a book printed by Russell Maret, a writer and fine printer from New York. The cost of the book in sheets is included in the Set Category fee and is not refundable.
  • You will receive the Set Book if you register for this category.


  • The entry fee for each category is $120
  • Fees are due at time of registration.


  • All fine binding, codex format entries are accepted for jury review.
  • All submissions must respect the size limitations specified.
  • Bindings must be accompanied by the fully completed Online Submission Form and appropriately protected in a clamshell box.
  • Bindings too large or too fragile may be disqualified.
  • No blank books will be accepted.

blind jury review

  • All bindings will be reviewed by a blind jury — the jurors will have no knowledge of the binder’s name. Books will only be identified by a randomly selected number that is assigned at registration, and will only appear on the spine of the submission box. If your identity is any way apparent, your book will not qualify for review.
  • The three jurors are Monique Lallier, Mark Esser, and Patricia Owen. Click here to see their biographies.
  • Jury decisions will be made in September 2019, and are final.
  • The jury will decide the prize winning bindings, and the bindings that will travel with the Exhibition.
  • OPEN • SET 2020 has selected venues with display capacities of 85 to 100 books. The jury will select 100 books for exhibition.
  • The jury reserves the right to return submissions deemed technically or artistically unsuitable, or that do not meet the outlined parameters of this competition.


  • Once a work has been selected to travel with the Exhibition, it must remain with OPEN • SET 2020 for the duration of the travel schedule.
  • Please note that not all selected books will necessarily exhibit at each venue. In the event of space limitations, the book selection will be at the discretion of the venue curator. Every effort will be made to include as many books as possible.
  • Entries selected for the Exhibition will travel nationally to four cities in the United States.


  • OPEN • SET will produce a full-color catalog of all entries meeting the jury criteria for the competition.
  • Each Registrant will receive a catalog, regardless of submission outcome.


  • OPEN • SET will photograph and use images of all submissions for promotional purposes related to the competition and exhibition, currently and in the future.
  • Binders will be asked to supply 1. binder information and biography, 2. book description information, and 3. a design statement.
  • Permission to use the above will be required at the completion of the Online Submission Form.


  • Participants will be responsible for shipping and insurance from their hands to the jury site. Carefully consider the value of your submission; the amount is not a sale price, it is the cost of what it would take to reproduce the binding. Maximum declared value for each submission is $2000.
  • OPEN • SET 2020 will photograph and report on any damage upon receipt of submissions and be responsible for books while in its possession.


2020 Registration  |  2020 Submission Information