Series Bindings in Focus: Bound to Sell

This page highlights two different publishers’ series created with a specific, distinctive style and bound to create a recognizable look, thus encouraging repeat purchases.

Cranford Series

Bound in dark green cloth with unsigned cover design attributed to Hugh Thomson. Highly embellished gilt stamping of shepherd and pasturing sheep within floral border, motif repeated to spine.

Bound in dark green cloth with binding design by Hugh Thomson featuring a large potted daisy, a tea service, and playing cards.



Macmillan of London created the look of the “Cranford” series in the 1890s—bound in dark green cloth with dense gilt stamping. Their look was highly influenced by Irish illustrator Hugh Thomson, and the success of his cover design for Mrs. Gaskell’s novel, Cranford, although not all of the bindings were designed by him.






Bound in dark green cloth with elaborate detailed gilt art nouveau front board featuring a peacock and a wild dog standing at the base of a fruiting tree within double ruled borders.

Bound in dark green cloth with elaborate detailed gilt illustration of Gulliver and the Lilliputians to the front cover. Cover design after an engraving by Charles E. Brock.

Bound in dark green cloth with marvelous art nouveau gilt decoration and titles to spine and front cover featuring poppies and thistle.


Henry Van Dyke Series

This series of Henry Van Dyke’s spiritual and naturalist essays was published between 1901-1926. It became one of Charles Scribner’s most successful publications. All books in this series are bound in indigo blue cloth, but each has a unique design. The striking Art Nouveau covers were all designed by Margaret Armstrong.













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