- Choose the stock for the inside pages. Our most popular stocks are 100lb Gloss Text, 100lb Silk Text and 100lb Uncoated Text. This will help you with the next step.
- Calculate the spine width. The spine of a book is the side/edge where it is bound. For perfect bound book, the width of the spine varies based on the total number of inside sheets and how thick each sheet is. You may contact our Customer Service team if you need assistance with calculating this. See examples below:
- 10 sheets (20 pages) of our 100lb Uncoated Text stock is 0.065" thick
- 10 sheets (20 pages) of our 100lb Gloss Text stock is 0.05" thick
- Calculate the total width of your book. Now that you have the spine width, add this to the width of your front and back cover. For example, if the calculated spine width is 0.125” and the closed/finished size of your book is 8.5" x 11" (open/flat size is 17” x 11”), you would add 8.5” + 8.5” + 0.125” to get a total width of 17.125". The total open/flat size of your cover is 17.125" x 11".
- Add bleed. Add a 0.125" bleed to each side of the total cover size to get your final document size. From the previous example, if the total open/flat size is 17.125" x 11", the adjusted size with bleed will be 17.375" x 11.25".
- Create a new document. Using Adobe InDesign (or a similar program), create a new document using the dimensions you calculated in the previous steps. For example:
Document Size (width spine included): 17.125" x 11"
Bleed (all sides): 0.125"
While a book cover has 4 pages (front cover, inside front cover, back cover and inside back cover), when designing a perfect bound book cover, it is always done as a spread or as one open/flat sheet. That being said, when creating your document, enter 2 for pages. Page 1 refers to the outside covers and page 2 refers to the inside covers.
Margins show the safe area of your document - all important content should be within this area. Set all sides to 0.125”.
Add guides. You’re one step away from designing your cover! Before adding any content to your cover, it’s best to add a few guides as this will help you determine where certain elements of your design can be placed.The first set of guides will specify the spine width of your document - add this based on the dimension you calculated on step 2. The second set of guides indicate where the score on the front and back cover will be made and this is approximately 0.1875” - 0.2” away from the spine. Scoring the cover will allow them to easily open and not get damaged.
- Design your cover artwork. Your cover document is all setup and ready for creative work! Keep in mind that the inside pages of perfect bound book are glued to the inside cover. That said, the inside spine cannot be printed on to ensure that the insides sheets will adhere to it with no issues (this must be blank).
- Export a print-ready PDF file. When you’re finished designing your inside pages, export your document as a PDF file with crop and bleed marks, and using the document bleed settings.