Phage display is the longest-standing platform among molecular display technologies. Recent developments have extended its utility to proteins that were previously recalcitrant to phage display. The technique has played a dominant role in forming the field of synthetic binding protein engineering, where novel interfaces have been generated from libraries built using antibody fragment frameworks and also alternative scaffolds. Combinatorial methods have also been developed for the rapid analysis of binding energetics across protein interfaces. The ability to rapidly select and analyze binding interfaces, and compatibility with high-throughput methods under diverse conditions, makes it likely that the combination of phage display and synthetic combinatorial libraries will prove to be the method of choice for synthetic binding protein engineering for broad applications.