Regarding books, the term “fore-edge” refers to the outer edge of the pages. Unlike the spine, this part is smooth and flat. Depending on how you close the book, it can be either at the top or bottom.
Bookbinding has its unique trick called fore-edge decoration. This technique involves adding illustrations or decorative elements to the very edge of the book. The beauty lies in their hidden nature when the book is closed, only to be revealed when you slightly fan out the pages. Sometimes, these decorations can be cleverly concealed by folding the pages towards the binding.
For a more intricate touch, some binders create stunning fore-edge paintings. Tiny scenes or pictures are delicately painted on this hidden canvas within a book’s edge. It’s like a secret world waiting for you whenever you venture into those partially fanned pages. Fore-edge paintings add an extra artistic splash and enhance a book’s overall visual appeal.
This all falls under what we know as “fore-edge.” It encompasses the outermost part of a book’s pages and includes the various techniques used to embellish it.
Note: Fore-edge painting and decoration require skillful hands and are often reserved for more luxurious or collectible editions of books. These techniques serve one purpose—to magnify a book’s aesthetic beauty and increase its value among treasure seekers.