Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition
for American Bookbinding 2025

Bridwell Library’s triennial bookbinding competition is named for Helen Warren DeGolyer (1926–1995), a well-known supporter of the arts and education in Dallas, as well as a skilled devotee of design bookbinding. Following her testamentary wishes, her brother, Joseph Warren, and her children, Everett Lee DeGolyer and Edith DeGolyer, established in 1996 an endowment to support a triennial bookbinding competition, exhibition, and conference on the contemporary book arts to be held at Bridwell Library.

The competition challenges bookbinders to submit their proposals for a specific book held by Bridwell Library, as well as a recent example of their work. While the DeGolyer Award winner receives a commission to bind the book according to his or her proposal, the jury also selects award winners for excellence in fine binding and artistic design.


Helen Warren DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding

  • Awarded to a binder whose combined entry (design proposal and example binding) demonstrates the ability to create an exceptional binding for New Borders: The Working Life of Elizabeth Friedlander by Pauline Paucker.  
  • $6000 commission

Award for Excellence in Fine Binding

  • Recognizes a completed example binding distinguished by its structure, technique, and use of materials.
  • $2000 prize

Award for Design

  • Recognizes a design proposal distinguished as an inventive, effective, and appropriate representation of New Borders.
  • $1000 prize

Competition Book

New Borders: The Working Life of Elizabeth Friedlander by Pauline Paucker

self portrait of Elizabeth FriedlanderElizabeth Friedlander (1903-1984) was one of the most successful female typographers and graphic designers of the last century.  Born in Germany, she studied design, calligraphy and typography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin.  Her work as a graphic designer doing titling and layout for the magazine, ‘Die Dame’ led to her being commissioned to design a typeface for the Bauer Type Foundry in Frankfurt, in 1927.  As a Jewish woman in Germany during the start of WWII, she was denied the ability to continue working and forced to move to Italy, and eventually London, six years before its completion.  Her ‘Elizabeth’ typeface was finally released by Bauer in 1938 and was the first commercially produced type ever designed by a woman.  During WWII, Friedlander was in charge of design in the British Ministry of Information’s black propaganda unit, forging Wehrmacht stamps, ration books, and other official documents.  After the war, she stayed in Great Britain and continued to find success as a graphic designer, most notably for Penguin Books.

New Borders is printed by Incline Press, Oldham, United Kingdom on cream colored Zerkall book, approximately 80lb/215gsm with deckled edges.  The binding includes tipped-in reproductions of Elizabeth Friedlander’s design work printed at Curwen Press and the structure of the binding is akin to a photo-album with tabs/spacers built in to accommodate the added thickness of the samples.  There are 8 signatures and 92 pages printed on an Arab treadle press using Bembo types.   

It measures approximately 12.25 inches tall by 7.75 inches wide and 1 inch thick at the spine.