Tom McEwan

Tom McEwan and Prophet Song

In 2023 Paul Lynch’s book “Prophet Song” won the Booker Prize, the unique, hand-bound edition was designed by Tom McEwan. Every year each of the shortlisted Booker Prize authors is presented with a unique, hand-bound edition of their nominated works, created by Fellows from the Designer Bookbinders society.

These extraordinary, one-of-a-kind books are designed and made between the shortlist announcement and winner ceremony.

Each book is the result of around 150 hours of dedicated work and the process, which involves at least 25 distinct stages, including the decoration of the edges of the pages and the final lettering, would normally take up to four months. This year it took around two.

On the Booker website the designers behind all this this year’s creations are showcased, the first is Tom McEwan who talks extensively about his creative process.

Tom McEwan is an award-winning design bookbinder based in the west of Scotland.  A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, Tom draws on his Fine Art background to create beautifully bold designs which, along with a high level of technical expertise, combine to produce fine bindings of exceptional quality in his own distinctive style. 

As well as working on commissioned and competition design bindings, Tom McEwan produces a range of bookbinding finishing tools and holds workshops at his bindery in West Kilbride (Craft Town Scotland), Scotland and other venues throughout the UK. He was elected Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2014.

Tom McEwan also teaches bookbinding from his studio where regular workshops, for all levels of ability, are held throughout the year and can include City & Guilds Certification.  Evening classes, ‘Open Sundays‘ and 1-to-1 teaching are also available, although these book up very quickly and places can be hard to find!  Tom McEwan regularly visits local groups, Colleges and Art Schools to deliver introductory bookbinding tuition, talks or demonstrations.