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The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper | Atlas Obscura

The ultimate satisfaction of handling a printed book may be when you open the cover to spy an exquisitely designed endpaper. Sarah Laskow tells us a bit about the history of this unique art form…

The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper (Link)

Endpapers can set the stage for a text. CORI KINDRED/CC BY-SA 2.0.

“They’re an art form all their own.”

“When you open a book, an endpaper is the first secret hiding in between the covers, and a good one can deliver a jolt of wonder. ‘One of my favourite ways that designers provide surprise is through creative endpapers,’ writes Holly Dunn, a book cover designer, ‘where the viewer opens the book and finds something entirely unexpected and delightful inside the front page.’

Endpapers are often overlooked — an over-eager reader can breeze by even the most striking — but they’re an art form with a history all their own. For centuries, designers have taken the formal necessity of joining a book’s pages to its cover and turned it into an opportunity for creativity. Not every designer is excited about endpapers, but those who are can use it to elevate the beauty of any book.” […]

Sarah Laskow

READ MORE: The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper

Gorgeous endpapers… the dream of every print-published writer. (Sigh.)


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends--with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. usfman

    I will have to look more closely at this book feature.Thanks..

  2. Rosaliene Bacchus

    I haven’t come across endpapers in our modern hardcover book imprints. No doubt, they would increase production costs.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Yes. Today they are rarely used except in special editions.

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