Book Binding and Covers

Professionals and designers need more information and details about how design their cover. First, we cannot emphasize this enough:

Three Rules of Cover Design

  1. Do not try to be precise about placements of items on your cover.
  2. Do not try to place anything on the spine
  3. Leave lots of bleed. You cannot be too conservative moving elements away from the edge.
... and like all file uploads, do not include crop guides.

Not all binding and paper types are available for every book, cards, and calendars.

Our perfect bound photo books are constructed on a computer-controlled adhesive binding machine, which produces high-quality adhesive bindings. Our perfect bound process rivals the strength and flexibility of sewn books. Covers are laminated and pages are hot-glued to the cover, which is ideal for all of our on-demand products.

The cover paper for all of our softcover books features full color, laminated 100# Cover Stock available in either Gloss or Matte Lamination.

Softcover Spine Width
Pages Silk 120 Premium 150 Lustre 200

All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.

The wire-o binding service is used for 11x8.5 calendars, and the 14x11 portfolio products.

It is a strong square wire spine that does not spiral out of the pages with use. This durable binding option allows your book to lay flat on a table to display your work.

All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.

The saddle-stitch binding option is used for our softcover books of less than 20 pages.

The binding is stapled because there are too few pages to actually bind with the glue process. This is a durable binding option because the spine is stapled with industrial quality staples. Covers are not laminated.

All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.

Our imagewrap photo books are constructed using the highest quality pre-cut imagewrap boards and also are bound on a computer-controlled adhesive binding machine. The casebound binding service offers a spine lining sheet which is applied inside the front and back cover and secures the fold over of the cover sheet. Covers are laminated and pages are hot-glued to the cover, which again is ideal for all of our on-demand products.

More cover guides are available Cover Guides Gallery.

For Advanced Users, below are the spine dimensions we use when calculating our covers. Most users do not need to use these numbers as our software will automatically calculate this for you. They are provided for professional designers creating full wrap covers.

All hardcover books have a safety margin for turn-in (Bleed) for all book sizes: 1.0"

Hardcover Spine Width
Hardcover Spine Width Silk 120 Pages Premium 150 Pages Lustre 200 Pages
0.35" (9mm) 26 - 78 20 - 62 20 - 44
0.43" (11mm) 80 - 114 64 - 92 46 - 64
0.51" (13mm) 116 - 150 94 - 122 66 - 86
0.59" (15mm) 152 - 188 124 - 152 88 - 106
0.66" (17mm) 190 - 224 154 - 182 108 - 128
0.74" (19mm) 226 - 260 184 - 212 130 - 148
0.82" (21mm) 262 - 298 214 - 242 150 - 170
0.90" (23mm) 300 - 334 244 - 272 172 - 190
0.98" (25mm) 336 - 370 274 - 300 192 - 212
1.05" (27mm) 372 - 408 302 - 182 108 - 128
1.13" (29mm) 410 - 440 332 - 360 234 - 254
1.21" (31mm) n/a 360 - 390 256 - 274
1.29" (33mm) n/a 392 - 418 276 - 296
1.37" (35mm) n/a 420 - 440 298 - 316

A Few More FAQs

We HIGHLY recommend your covers and interiors be created as sRGB files.

If you would like to have the best possible color match, you have two options:

  1. If you have predominantly photo oriented work, our strongest recommendation is just go with sRGB. The system is tuned to sRGB, so that is ideal, however Adobe 1998 also works fine. *Using other RGB color spaces (such as ProPhoto RGB) are highly discouraged, and likely to yield muted or color shifted results.*
  2. If you have a lot of page layout work already in CMYK, then you can use that colorspace. The easiest ICC profile to use is the US Web Coated SWOP as that has a slight yellow cast. The iGen applies magenta as the last color, so there is always a leaning towards magenta.

You can learn more about our Color Specs here!

There is an automatic trim that occurs during production to ensure that all pages are flush; it gives your book that “finished” look that you would see in bookstores! For standard sized books (sizes above 6x9), you’ll need to make sure no vital contents (such as faces or text) are under the red crop guides. For mini books (sizes under 6x9), you’ll need to keep in mind the pink guides.

We have a great help page on this here: Crop and Bleed This page has FAQs, pointers, and more in depth information on cropping and bleed in projects!

The term "Cover Stock" refers to the material used for the cover itself. This is what the cover images are printed on. The term "Text" refers to interior pages of your project. So 100# Cover Stock is not the same thickness as 100# Text Stock!

Each side of a piece of paper is a page - just like in a novel. So each sheet of paper (front and back) is considered 2 pages.

All interior pages are printed as double-sided unless otherwise specified.

We can bind books up to 700 pages. However, we do not suggest creating project with over 275 pages. When books are bound with this many pages, we can not guarantee the binding, as the more pages you have, the more at risk your book is for the binding to become weakened.

Each book size and type has a different minimum and maximum page count. To learn more about these numbers, go to the specific product page that you're interested in!

We place a discreet ghosted logo on the back cover - you can select the logo placement when you build your cover. You have 2 options to take off our logo from your book:

  1. Pay a $10 logo removal fee at the end of checkout
  2. You can purchase a Professional Membership if you plan to order many books in the future- which will waive you from having our logo on the back of all of your future books!

We strongly discourage including your spine in your cover file. Paper size and cover dimensions vary greatly which makes calculating spine width difficult and we cannot guarantee that the spine you create will print perfectly. There is a high chance that it will fold over the cover. For this reason, we will not reprint a book with a custom spine.

For the best results, you have 2 options:

  1. Upload a separate front and back image and use the spine text tool in the "Cover" section on our site. Our software will automatically fit the text in the center of the spine.
  2. Create a full-wrap cover with a continuous image - then use the spine-text tool to lay text on top of the full-wrap cover.

Note: Your book needs to be 40 pages or more in order for text to print on the spine.

To add spine text to an uploaded PDF you'll need to do so from Step 2 of the upload process. Under "Cover Text & Colors" you would click on "Spine Text" and then you can type the text you'd like to have at either the top and/or bottom of the spine. Once you have entered the text you'd like click "Update Cover" at the bottom of the page and it will be applied to your cover.

To add spine text to a Book Designer project, select the "Cover Preview" button in the left panel. Scroll just below your cover preview and enter in the spine text you'd like! Once you're done, hit "Save"! Your cover preview will regenerate and the updated preview will be shown.

We have a "Full Wrap Cover" option which you can find when designing your cover. The full wrap cover is a great feature that many individuals use to make breathtaking books! Keep in mind this option will auto-stretch the front cover image to exactly fit the entire book and may cause some slight distortion depending on the dimensions of the image your uploaded.


Cover Wrap

by cobie, 17 Apr 2016 (19:47 UTC)
I have made books here before, but the book I uploaded today (separate files for cover and copy) the cover is being shrunk to fit on the front page instead of enlarged to fit back and front. Nothing has changed (size) from the previous books I have uploaded....can you take a look and let me know what to do? I am building a 6x9 hard cover.

Re: Cover Wrap

by connie, 19 Apr 2016 (18:00 UTC)
In our cover section there is a check box to let the system know you have a "full wrap" cover. Just check that box and click the Update Cover button at the bottom of the page

Cover Image

by Corin Williams-Dixon, 08 Jun 2014 (16:53 UTC)
I am not sure if the image on the front and back of my book will be cut off an any way? I am not understanding the other messages below. Please help! Corin

Cover Bleed

by Jennie VanDuyne, 20 Nov 2012 (19:15 UTC)

I have uploaded the front and back cover images with the 1/8" bleed for the 5x5 mini book. When I click on Preview Hi-Resolution Cover it shows the images with the bleed still showing on the top, bottom, and outsides. It has taken the inside bleed off and included the spine which I was pleased with. However I do not want the bleed to be shown for the top and bottom. My design is text that is supposed to get cut off and my fear is that it was re-sized so that this would not happen. Please let me know if this is the case and how to fix it. Also I was disappointed to discover that your logo is going to be on the back of the book unless we have a professional membership which would be more than my order. Previously we wanted to order the mini books and the quote was around $107. Please let me know if there is another option other than the professional membership. If something can't be arranged to take the logo off we will take our business elsewhere.


Re: Cover Bleed

by PrestoPhoto Support, 20 Nov 2012 (21:02 UTC)
Jenne, thank you for your message!

I looked over your project. With the way it is, it looks like almost all of the text you have one the edges will be trimmed, so you may want to bring it in a bit. For mini books, you want to look at the the pink crop guide for the cover and the interior.

A professional membership is not required to remove the logo. You can also pay a $10 fee to remove the logo on a per order, per project basis. For instance, if you are ordering 10 copies of the same book, the fee to remove the logo is $10. If you are ordering 2 different books and you don't want the logo on either of them, the fee is $20.

If you have any questions about this specific project, please contact us at so we can further assist you.

PrestoPhoto Support

by , 03 Aug 2012 (19:48 UTC)
Will I be able to print on the inside cover both front and back?


by PrestoPhoto Support, 06 Aug 2012 (14:05 UTC)
Greetings from PrestoPhoto!

We do not print on the inside of the front and back cover. The image-wrap Hardcover have a black endleaf page ( ), then page 1 beginning on the right, just like novel. The Softcovers begins with page 1 on the right just like a novel.

If you have any further questions please let us know and we'll do our best to help!

PrestoPhoto support

Premium Paper with Die-cut cover?

by alex, 01 May 2012 (22:55 UTC)

Could it be possible to have a Die-cut cover on a photo book with premium paper? Or is there something I've missed to allow that option?


Re: Premium Paper with Die-cut cover?

by PrestoPhoto Support, 02 May 2012 (15:16 UTC)
Hi, Alex!

Currently, our die cuts are only available with express paper. Let us know if you have any other questions!

PrestoPhoto Support

Cover image size?

by chbamey, 20 Dec 2011 (01:55 UTC)
I'm not clear on exactly what size to make my cover image document. It looks from the the image that I should I add the 0.75 inch recommended bleed to the 8.5x11 cover size for an imagewrap hardcover, for a final 9.25x11.75 inch document. Is this correct?
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