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©Malene Lerager
©Malene Lerager
©Malene Lerager
©Malene Lerager

Malene Lerager

  • Co'libri
  • Bookbinder
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Master Artisan
Malene Lerager Bookbinder
Danish, English, Spanish
By appointment only
+45 33140844
©Malene Lerager

Bound to tradition

  • • Malene describes her work as old school with a twist
  • • She combines old fashion techniques with modern graphic and colour matches
  • • She learned her craft from Ole Olsen

Malene Lerager continues the heritage of Danish hand bookbinding in the Co’libri bindery workshop, which is located in an ancient building close to Copenhagen Cathedral. “In the 1970s, Danish bookbinders were very well known around the world. Ole Olsen, from whom I learned all the secrets of the craft and took over the business, held many exhibitions in Switzerland, New York and around the world. But the craft has almost disappeared. Many people don’t even know that it exists anymore.” Malene works on her own, and executes every step of the process using old tools and machinery that belonged to her master. “I strive to live up to my talented predecessors and still love the process of learning.” She is also one of the very few bookbinders to create limited editions of new published books.

Read the full interview


  • ©Malene Lerager
  • ©Malene Lerager
  • ©Malene Lerager
  • ©Malene Lerager
  • ©Malene Lerager
Photo: ©Malene Lerager

Hand bound in goat parchment, this photo book by Therese Maria Gram illustrates a timeline of many visits at her grandmother’s. The world changes rapidly, but in her house time seemed to stand still. All photos were taken from outside the house, with her grandmother waving goodbye behind the curtain. Friheden (Freedom) is the name of her retirement home.

Height 20 cm
Width 18 cm

Photo: ©Malene Lerager

A serie of eight books by Henrik Pontoppidan bound in half leather bindings. The decoration, made by Michael Chang, covers all eight spines and is a reference to the original covers.

Height 19.5 cm
Width 13 cm

Photo: ©Malene Lerager
Prismatic flora

This leporello book won The Danish Designbook Award 2022 for best bound book. A hand drawn colour wheel made by illustrator Lena Nicolajsen, it is bound in goat skin embossed with capitals forming the title on the front and back.

Height 25.5 cm
Width 16.5 cm

Photo: ©Malene Lerager
Dansk sølv I & II

Dedicated to Danish silverware, these volumes are hand bound in blue full leather bindings with hand tooled silver decorations: a special technique used in silverware called nålepunslet (needle stroked) - little dots hammered in the silver.

Height 29 cm
Width 25 cm

Photo: ©Malene Lerager
Den røde tråd

“Den røde tråd” (The Red Thread) by H.P. Rohde is a black full leather binding with a red decoration that goes from the handwritten, red foil embossed title to the two red “thread” leather onlays on the front and back.

Height 21 cm
Width 14 cm

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