The first Designer Bookbinders International Competition was organized in conjunction with the Bodleian Library in 2009. Each binder involved submitted a binding of the set book Water, which is a collection of poems and illustrations based on the theme of water. The set book was published by Incline Press in a limited, letterpress edition.
In 2008, Lori Sauer bound a copy of Water as a stub binding covered in three stages: the spine attached first with the covers stuck on afterwards. The binding is covered in white vellum and the surfaces are decorated with impressions of circles that sit on a graphite grid. The rear board has pairs of circles and the front has single, larger circles. Onlaid colored circles run down the length of the front board. The spine has a pattern of plus symbols. The doublures are Fabriano Roma.
Lori describes the text as being filled with a myriad of styles of illustrations and poems from different writers, adding to its broad theme. The circles of her design are simply the symbols for the chemical composition of water, two hydrogen atoms plus one oxygen. The onlaid colored circles on the front cover were added a couple of years after completing the binding as Lori felt a focus was needed to the design. I certainly think the addition of the circles offers a focal point to the viewer, then you slowly begin to realize the complex pattern of lines and circles underneath.