Don’t you just hate it when you lose your place while reading? Not all of us can remember the page where they left off, or read an entire book in one sitting. Using the dog-ear fold harms the paper, and can get confusing if they double or triple up. That’s where bookmarks come in.
Bookmarks in Ancient History
The history of the bookmark is synchronous with the history of the written word itself. It even predates the book. In ancient times, when people wrote on papyrus scrolls, readers used clip-like objects to mark their place on scrolls as long as 40 meters. In the medieval period, books were an incredibly rare commodity, and methods had to be devised to mark one’s place without damaging the page.
The first bookmarks were made of parchment or cord. Throughout the ages, other materials have been used, such as fabric, leather, wood, plastic and precious metals like gold and silver.
t’s not just in terms of materials that bookmarks have evolved. The designs have also changed with the emergence of embroidery, cross-stitching and various printing methods.
Take a look at these beautiful designs for bookmarks, and see if you aren’t inspired to make some of your own. Who knows? You can even make some money out of it.
1. Oozing With Gruesome Charm
This unusual piece by Kyouei Design is perfect for those who love their reads surreal or murderous. Making the impression that the book is melting (or perhaps, with the red bookmark that makes it look as if blood is oozing out of the cover), this is sure to catch the eye of anyone aiming to give a splash of character onto their otherwise drab-looking book.
While we’re on the subject of the macabre, the clever folks at the Korean i3 Lab have designed these bookmarks that look as if some unfortunate souls have gotten themselves stuck in the pages of your book. Will you keep reading to save them from their misery, or will you wallow in intellectual blindness and leave them to their fate?
3. A Flash Drive… Feather You Like It or Not
Multi-functionality is a big factor in product purchases these days, and this bookmark from GeekStuff4U is no exception. The feather-shaped piece of plastic already marks your page well enough; but since at the calamus is a 2GB flash drive, it makes for an ideal gadget for students at the library, and even the librarians. Just don’t lose it!
4. A Burning Desire to Read
A librarian or a bibliophile’s worst nightmare. This plastic bookmark will be a great fit for that scorching thriller or that sizzling romantic adventure. Live your long-suppressed fantasies of book-burning with this item from GAMA-GO.
5. Bookroach Infestation
While not commercially available, this cockroach newspaper insert was commissioned by pest control company Terminix as part of an awareness campaign on the prevalence of roaches. Crafty minds might just wish to create their own version for some cheap shocks.
6. Squeeze n’ Puff, Abracadabra!
One of those “now why didn’t I think of that?” designs, this piece by Jung-Hyun Lee, Won-Sik Chae and Rhea Jeong uses air pressure to create a gap in the pages, enough for a finger to open the book. It might be an answer to a question no one had, but it remains magical indeed.
7. Funny Bunny
The very definition of “adorable”, these metal bookmarks clip onto your pages and make finding your page a pleasure. As these characters are also magnetic, you can stick them on your fridge when you’re done with your book and let the smiles continue.
8. Perched on a Leaf
For those who read by windows (or underneath a tree), re-forge your connection with nature with these birds. Spring and summer are perfect for unwinding with a good book, a feeling reinforced with this metal bookmark.
9.Magnifying Story Snapshots
A gift for the budding or professional photographer whose eyes aren’t what they used to be. This bookmark by Reno Features is in the shape of a camera, but the lens can also function as a magnifier, making reading tiny text all the easier.
10. 10. Monsterrific Moustache Characters
These bookmarks will be right at home in a picture book. Designed by Noodoll based on their various monster characters, they’re made of paper and are definitely environment-friendly. Just be careful when letting little hands play with them.
With these designs, it’s easy to see that the text and illustrations aren’t the only exciting things about reading books. Did any of these bookmarks capture your imagination? Did you suddenly feel like designing some of your own? Sound off in the comments!
Vincent Sevilla is a professional graphic designer and content manager for CameraHouse.com.au, a company that sells digital cameras and customized bookmarks online.