August 2005 - Perfect Binding Cover Planning

We’ve all heard it: “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” A handy phrase for schoolmarms, but in the printing industry, a quality cover can get your product noticed and your message heard. Let’s take a look at a few guidelines for planning problem-free perfect binding covers:

Don’t get stuck: trap the glue – Perfect binding cover layouts must include an extra margin at both the head and foot for the ‘glue trap’. During gluing, the adhesive can string out slightly from a book block and seep onto other books or equipment, which can slow production and increase spoilage. Maintaining a margin of 1/8” beyond the trim margin at both the head and the foot of the piece can catch the excess adhesive and ensure efficient binding.

Knock out margins for hinge scores: At Printers Bindery, we apply hinge scores to perfect binding projects to make books easier to open and increase durability and layflat capability. Remember to include a margin of 1/4” free of inks and varnishes, which may not bond well with the side glue necessary to attach the cover. When planning text for the inside covers, add whatever viewable margin you require on the inside covers of your products in addition to the 1/4” side gluing area. Otherwise, your copy may be obscured.

Note: Knock-outs are unnecessary for projects designed for full-flood UV coating, as Printers Bindery can full-flood with glue-ready UV that will accept the binding adhesives that other coatings and many inks will not.

Use a dummy - Submitting a “bulking dummy” – or an untrimmed, collated mock-up of the final piece - along with a detailed purchase order can make production more efficient. This piece not only allows your finisher to gauge critical color breaks on scores, but to match the specs of the purchase order and evaluate book thickness and stock characteristics. It also allows your finisher to troubleshoot potential problems prior to production, helping you save both time and money.

The Printers Bindery, Inc. Advantage

Not sure how to begin planning your covers? Printers Bindery, Inc. has been assisting printers and designers with cover layout solutions since 1958. Use our expertise to plan “perfect” covers for your projects, which may also require the cover protection of UV coating or layflat film lamination. Give us a call when planning your next project to discover the possibilities!