Category Archives: Designing a Book Cover options

Layout tips for Book Covers

Layout tips for Book Covers

Here are some tips when creating the cover art files for your book project.  Whether you are printing a hard cover book or soft cover book, you need to provide a printer with the correct dimensions and layout of the covers and interiors.

Creating your hard cover book, you will need the spine width, note the cover is always larger than the interior book block.  Be sure the text on the spine is facing the standard direction as placed on a book shelf next to other books.  Standard the texts is printed from top to bottom, the text should face left.  What is usually placed on the spine of a book?  Standard information is title and author’s name.  You can put your logo which will spruce up the spine.   If you are applying a dust jacket to the book development, the spine differs from the hard cover.  The dust jacket is wrapped around the entire book which the spine will be larger.  You can create your dust jacket flap from 2” – 4”.  Standard flap size seen often is 3.5”.

Producing a perfect bound book the spine of the book is usually the same measurement as the book block thickness.  Same as the dust jacket you can add flaps to your perfect bound book project.  The flap size is the same as a dust jacket. Of course if you are producing a saddle stitched book you cannot print on the spine.

The interior book block for all style books, especially if your interior pages are bleeding off the page, is to leave .125”/3 mm around all four sides of the pages.  Example if the trim size is 8.5”w x 11” h, the page size will be 8.75” w x 11.25”.  Adding the trim marks will measure at 8.5” w x 11” h (this is a portrait finished size).

Your best bet is to work with your printer which whom should provide you accurate information or provide you with cover templates.

Here at PRC Book Printing we will provide you with cover and dust jacket templates, to ensure your book will size correctly at print and binding!  Please reach out to us for your next hard cover or soft cover book printing!  Please do not hesitate to email us: or call us at:  888.659.8320!

Cover Finishes

Cover Finishes

It’s the Preference of the Artist

When designing the cover for your book, the artist has many choices to grab the attention of the reader!

Do you want the cover to have a screaming title or have the main picture on the page pop from the rest of the print?  This special effect is called Spot varnish/overprint varnish used on a specific area which highlights the image on the page.  You can also add embossing of the image to give a raised effect. For spot varnish the norm is to use a UV Coating.  One of my favorite effects or options for the cover is a Matte lamination with Spot UV. This is great when you want to emphasizes a shinny area while all the other areas are dulled or matte finished.

There are many clear coatings to choose, UV coating, aqueous varnish, matte (dull) varnish and matte lamination, satin or glossy varnish and glossy lamination to finish!

Aqueous coating provides good protection to pieces that may be handled a lot (doesn’t leave finger prints), good finish for a children’s book, cook books or reference books. Aqueous coating is a fast drying water base protective coating, applied right after the ink is laid on the coated paper. The reasoning of why this is more expensive than other coatings is due to the chemicals used damages the roller in the process.

There are two types of laminates film and liquid.  Great coating protection; for the book cover, if you want to prevent finger print smudges or water resistance.  The film or liquid is laid down over the sheet and cures like a varnish.

UV coating is clear liquid spread over the paper like ink then dries instantly with ultraviolet light.  UV’s are mostly used on spot coatings.  Be sure to keep your spot coating away from the scoring of the cover or folds.

Varnish is basically ink without pigment.  It requires its own printing unit, which would be a 5th unit.  You can choose a gloss, dull or satin finish.

Being the designer for a book, there are many options to inspire your creative mind.

Please contact PRC Book Printing to assist you on the many options for the artist’s preference at