Book Binding and Covers

Book Bindings and Covers

Book Bindings and Covers

Specifications for Book Design

When offering so many different products, as we do, it is important to keep in mind that each product is different and requires a bit of special formatting. This page goes over all the important details to make sure your book is in tip top shape!

Tips and Tricks!

Designing a custom photo book is hard work. We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help with the process.

Crop GuidesCrop Guides

Our crop guides make sure your vital content is safe by showing you where the trim will fall. When you ignore them, it makes your content sad (and disappear).

Crop MarksCrop Marks

When saving your files out of your creation software, make sure you DO NOT include printer or crop marks. If a project is uploaded with these marks, they’ll likely show up in the final print (which no one wants!)

Know Your ProductKnow Your Product

Not all binding and paper types are available for every product on our site. Make sure you know what book you’re designing for to get the best results. See our full Product Catalog for more information on what we offer.

ReassuranceReassurance

It's always better to be safe than sorry! If you're unsure about something or just want a second set of eyes, email us or hop on live chat. We're happy to help!

Compare Covers

Our standard cover lamination is a Gloss finish, but many of our products are available in a Matte Lamination. Compare for yourself below!

Imagewrap Softcover

What is an Imagewrap Softcover?

An Imagewrap Softcover is a standard softcover book. These come with a thick laminated cover and has the capability of including a large number of pages. Cover images are printed directly on the cover material itself!

How is it made?

The binding method used for our Imagewrap Softcovers is the Perfect Binding method.

This method is a very common form of book binding where sections of folded pages, which are also known as “signatures” are glued together at the binding edge. The interior pages are then glued to the cover itself to create a sturdy and clean end product! The cover on perfect bound books is always scored or “marked” on the front and back near the spine to reduce stress on the spine itself when the book is opened.

Our perfect bound books are constructed an a computer controlled adhesive binding machine. This machine produces high quality adhesive bindings that follow the perfect bound method. This binding method is ideal for our on-demand products, as it is quick, effective and affordable!

Product Specs

  • Page Count: 13 to 500
  • Paper Type*: Matte 120 Photo Paper Silk 120 Photo Paper Premium 150 Photo Paper Lustre 200 Photo Paper
  • Cover Dimensions: All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.
  • Spine Text Availability: Spine Text is available on books with 35 or more pages.
  • Cover Material: Gloss Lamination is standard for Imagewrap Softcover books, however Matte Lamination is available by request for many of our products.

How does it look?

Saddle Stitch Softcover

What is a Saddle Stitch Softcover

A Saddle Stitch Softcover is a small softcover book. These books are intended for small projects, typically under 20 pages. They provide an affordable option for brochures, and other jobs that require a small page count. Cover images are printed directly on the cover material itself!

How is it made?

The binding method used for our Saddle Stitch Softcovers is the Saddle Stitch method.

This method is the most common and the most cost effective binding method. This binding style is achieved by punching a staple or wire through the spine of the book. The wire or staple is then bent flat on the interior fold of the book to keep all pages aligned in the binding.

Our Saddle Stitch Softcover books are ideal for small projects that are typically less than 20 pages long. The binding on these small books is Saddle Stitched, as there are too few pages to bind properly with glue. This method ensures the binding remains durable!

Product Specs

  • Page Count: 4 to 100
  • Paper Type*: Silk 120 Photo Paper
  • Cover Dimensions: All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.
  • Spine Text Availability: Spine Text is not available on this product.
  • Cover Material: Covers are uncoated.

How does it look?

Wire-O Softcover

What is a Wire-O Softcover?

A Wire-O Softcover is a Softcover book bound with a wire spine. This design helps the book lay flat on a table when opened. The cover is a durable thick material. Cover images are printed directly on the cover material itself!

How is it made?

The binding method used for this product is the Wire-O method.

This method uses a pre-formed wire (typically available in black or silver) that is threaded through holes in the edge of the project’s pages. This binding method allows for the book to lay flat when opened.

Our Wire-O Softcovers are available in the 14x11 size. It is made of a strong square wire spine that does not spiral out of the pages with use, like similar spiral bound products.

Product Specs

  • Page Count: 10 to 440
  • Paper Type*: Semi-Gloss 220 Photo Paper
  • Cover Dimensions: All softcover books have 1/8" (3mm) bleed on all edges, so the cover should be .25" (6mm) larger than the final book size.
  • Spine Text Availability: Spine Text is not available for this product.
  • Cover Material: Covers feature a Gloss Lamination

How does it look?

Imagewrap Hardcover

What is an Imagewrap Hardcover?

An Imagewrap Hardcover is a standard hardcover book. These come with a thick laminated cover and has the capability of including a large number of pages. Cover images are printed directly on the cover material itself!

How is it made?

The binding method used for our Imagewrap Hardcovers is the Case Bound method.

This method is the industry standard method used for Hardcover books. While the Case Bound method can differ based on the specific provider, it typically means that the inside pages are sewn together into “signatures”. These signatures are then glued to the end leaf of the book. The end leaf is then attached to the outer Hardcover casing.

Our Imagewrap Hardcover books are constructed using high quality pre-cut boards for the case wraps. The books are bound on a computer controlled adhesive binding machine to ensure the integrity of the binding. Imagewrap Hardcovers are unique, as your cover image is printed directly on the Hardcover casing itself. Once printed, the case is then laminated to ensure the image on the cover maintains it’s clarity!

Product Specs

  • Page Count: 13 to 500
  • Paper Type*: Matte 120 Photo Paper Silk 120 Photo Paper Premium 150 Photo Paper Lustre 200 Photo Paper
  • Cover Dimensions: All hardcover books have a safety margin for turn-in (Bleed) for all book sizes of 1.0"
  • Spine Text Availability: Spine Text is available!
  • Cover Material: Gloss Lamination is standard for Imagewrap Hardcover books, however Matte Lamination is available by request for many of our products.

How does it look?

Die Cut Hardcover

What is a Die Cut Hardcover?

A Die Cut Hardcover is a traditional case bound book. This book includes a material wrap cover with a cut out window on the front cover that allows you to see into the first page of the book! The front cover image is included in the interior of the book so that it can be shown through the Die Cut window. This product is available in multiple different materials.

How is it made?

The binding method used for our Die Cut Hardcovers is the Case Bound method.

This method is the industry standard method used for Hardcover books. While the Case Bound method can differ based on the specific provider, it typically means that the inside pages are sewn together into “signatures”. These signatures are then glued to the end leaf of the book. The end leaf is then attached to the outer Hardcover casing.

Our Die Cut Hardcover books are constructed using high quality pre-cut boards for the case wraps. The books are bound on a computer controlled adhesive binding machine to ensure the integrity of the binding. What is unique about the Die Cut Hardcovers is that they include a cut out window in both the Hardcover casing as well as the end leaf to reveal the 1st interior page of your book.

Product Specs

  • Page Count: 13 to 500
  • Paper Type*: Silk 120 Photo Paper
  • Cover Dimensions: Cover Image should measure .25" larger than final print size.
  • Spine Text Availability: Spine Text is not available on material wrap products.
  • Cover Material: Material wrap covers are available in several colors and materials!
  • Die Cut Dimensions: The Die Cut window is approximately 4.25”x3.25"

How does it look?

Layflat Hardcover

What is a Layflat Hardcover?

A Layflat Hardcover is a professional style hardcover book. These come with a thick laminated cover. Due to the specialty paper used, the books open and lay flat on a table. Cover images are printed directly on the cover material itself!

How is it made?

The binding method used for our Layflat Hardcovers is the Case Bound method.

This method is the industry standard method used for Hardcover books. While the Case Bound method can differ based on the specific provider, it typically means that the inside pages are sewn together into “signatures”. These signatures are then glued to the end leaf of the book. The end leaf is then attached to the outer Hardcover casing.

Our Layflatp Hardcover books are constructed using high quality pre-cut boards for the case wraps. The books are bound on a computer controlled adhesive binding machine to ensure the integrity of the binding. The only difference for our Layflat Hardcovers is the paper type used. The paper type is especially made to be “hinged” at the center to allow for the book to lay flat when opened.

Product Specs

  • Page Count: 13 to 152
  • Paper Type*: Velvet 250 Hinged Photo Paper
  • Cover Dimensions: All hardcover books have a safety margin for turn-in (Bleed) for all book sizes if 1.0"
  • Spine Text Availability: Spine Text is available!

How does it look?

Dust Jacket Hardcover

What is a Dustjacket Hardcover?

A Dustjacket Hardcover is a standard hardcover book optional addition. The Dustjacket is an independent wrap cover that goes around the front and back covers and wraps onto the inside of the book. This wraparound is called the “flap” of the Dustjacket. The “f lap” can include content as well! Cover images are printed directly on the cover material itself!

How is it made?

The binding method used for our Dustjacket Hardcovers is the Case Bound method.

This method is the industry standard method used for Hardcover books. While the Case Bound method can differ based on the specific provider, it typically means that the inside pages are sewn together into “signatures”. These signatures are then glued to the end leaf of the book. The end leaf is then attached to the outer Hardcover casing.

Our Dustjacket Hardcover books are constructed using high quality pre-cut boards for the case wraps. The books are bound on a computer controlled adhesive binding machine to ensure the integrity of the binding.

Please Note:This product is an add on to our traditional Imagewrap Hardcover. The add on is a small additional fee, though it adds a full wrap cover to the outside of our Imagewrap books!

Product Specs

  • Page Count: 13 to 500
  • Paper Type*: Matte 120 Photo Paper Silk 120 Photo Paper Premium 150 Photo Paper Lustre 200 Photo Paper
  • Cover Dimensions: All hardcover books have a safety margin for turn-in (Bleed) for all book sizes if 1.0"
  • Spine Text Availability: Spine Text is available!
  • Dustjacket Flap Dimensions: For 11"x8.5" Hardcovers, the flap should measure 4.875"x8.5". For 13"x10" Hardcovers, the flap should measure 5.75"x10"

How does it look?

A Few More FAQs

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!

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 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.

Please Note: The following information is intended for Advanced Users Only. 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.

Below are the spine dimensions we use when calculating our cover sizes.

Softcover Spine Width
Pages Silk 120 Premium 150 Lustre 200
0.04"( 1.1mm ) 0.05"( 1.3mm ) 0.08"( 1.9mm )
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

Comments

Re: inside edge of pages

by PrestoPhoto Support, 23 Apr 2012 (16:48 UTC)
Janie,

Definitely! You can view your project in reference to the crop guides most accurately at the Layout Preview in Step 3:

For the Layout Preview:
(The crop guides are able to be viewed or removed by simply clicking or un-clicking the "Show Crop Guides" at the top left of the preview.)
The Red crop guide is for standard size projects (9x7 or larger)
The Pink crop guide is for mini-books (anything smaller than a 9x7)

For the Flip Preview:
The Flip preview offers 1 single yellow crop guide that is both the Red and pink crop-guide combined, and is therefore more aggressive than necessary for standard size books. For most accurate crop guides when considering your work, please use the Layout Preview

All vital content like text and faces should be kept within the Red Crop-guide for all standard size books. The Pink Crop-guide for mini-books is more aggressive due to the the mini-books small size, and therefore requires a more aggressive crop-guide.

Here is a great screencast that will explain all of our crop-guides: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8Ksz1k8Djs&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Best,
PrestoPhoto support
support@prestophoto.com

Don't want wraparound cover

by Cristine Lynch, 01 Dec 2011 (16:01 UTC)
I want a photo on the front, a photo on the back and nothing on the spine. However I have uploaded both photos into your Design Cover page and the preview shows the two photos butting up against each other along the spine. The instructions on the page say "The Full Wrap cover below is the default used for all softcover and image wrap hardcover books" but that is not what I want.

Re: Don't want wraparound cover

by Amanda, 01 Dec 2011 (16:44 UTC)
Cristine,

If you wish to ensure that the cover is not full wrap you will simply need to click off the "full wrap cover" option.

When the system calculates the thickness of the spine one of the biggest factors that determines it is the amount of pages in the book. It is possible that your book is too thin to account for much spine width.

You will need to make sure you don't enter any spine text and the spine will appear as whatever color you choose as the "background color" for your book.

If you have any further questions please let us know and we will help in any way we can.

Regards,
PrestoPhoto support
support@prestophoto.com

Question on 3:4 landscape book cover

by Cristine Lynch, 28 Nov 2011 (18:11 UTC)
I have created a book in 4:3 landscape format. Do you offer a cover in that format with a photo on the front and a photo on the back? I can only find covers in that format with wraparound and die cut.

Re: Question on 3:4 landscape book cover

by PrestoPhoto Support, 28 Nov 2011 (19:38 UTC)
Greetings, Cristine!

Imagewrap hardcovers allow you to have photos and text and the front and back.

PrestoPhoto Support

by , 14 Nov 2011 (19:10 UTC)
Wish you had a picture of the softcover photo book. That would be extremely helpful!

Re:

by PrestoPhoto Support, 15 Nov 2011 (15:03 UTC)
Greetings from PrestoPhoto!

Thank you for your suggestion, we definitely agree and will implement this asap. Until then you can view a picture of our softcover books here: http://www.prestophoto.com/wiki/9x7+Photo+Book

If you have any further questions please let us know!

Regards,
PrestoPhoto support
support@prestophoto.com

Pre-order Samples

by Jane H Barber, 15 Sep 2011 (15:29 UTC)
Would love it if you offered a full complement of paper / print samples one could order before ordering books. Would help a lot

Re: Pre-order Samples

by PrestoPhoto Support, 15 Sep 2011 (16:49 UTC)
Jane,

Greetings from PrestoPhoto, thank you for your suggestion!

PrestoPhoto has some of the most competitive prices on the market and one ways we ensure that we are able to continue to provide such savings to our customers is to not offer paper samples.

What we suggest is to make two minimum orders. You can order a 10 page softcover book in both the Premium Photo Paper ($9.99) and the Express Photo Silk Paper ($7.49) and compare paper that way.

Then, for every future order you make you will have the peace of mind knowing that your purchase will continue to be the most cost-effective on the market!!

If you have any further questions let us know and we'll help you in any way we can!

PrestoPhoto support,
support@prestophoto.com

by Socorro Hubbard, 28 Jul 2011 (22:41 UTC)
Dear PrestoPhoto,
I am creating my first book and having trouble with the front cover. My title text seems to be on the top edge and I wanted to move it below the top edge a bit.
Also, the font color of title is black even though I tried to change it bc its on a black background from where the photo seems to be cropped to fit your cover format. Thanks for the help
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