Perfect-Bound Cover

IMG_9740For perfect bound books that you will be printing and binding yourself.

  1. Dust Jacket, or Wrap Around cover that is similar to one found on a paper-back novel.IMG_9733 2
  • For the first option (the dust jacket wrap-around version) create the cover as one single page in Adobe Illustrator that is long enough to accommodate both the front and back panels plus the spine. To determine this, you will need to know the thickness of the book when bound. Add this amount to the width of the front and back panels, that will be your total length. Leave a little extra length at first.
  • After the cover is glued at the spine to the book, then trim the cover to the final exact size. An option is to have flaps wrap around the front and back pages.  If so, also add an extra amount to the length that is at least a third the width of the book cover panel for each flap. In the template below, the flaps are half the width of the cover panels. Glue on spine first and then lastly fold the flaps to length.
    • If the cover is not glued to the spine, the result is a dust jacket.
    • If the spine is glued with no flaps then the result is like a paperback book.
  • The size of the front and back panels for the cover wrap option are the same size as the pages.  The height  of the spine is also the same as the page height. The spine width is determined by the thickness of the text block of pages.

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2. Hard or Board cover with Spine

IMG_9736The size of the front and back cover boards for the hard cover option are not the same size as the pages. They are instead 1/4 inch taller and 1/8 inch wider than the page size. The spine height is also 1/4 inch taller than the page height. The spine width is determined by the thickness of the text block of pages.

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  • Case Bound Hard Cover

  • Hard Cover Coptic Stitch Binding


For perfect bound and Commercially Printed Only. (such as Calliope).

When binding the book the binder will trim where the pages meet along the spine, this is known as the grind off. {Grind off Definition: The portion along the spine of perfect-bind signatures that will be removed during the binding process.} Unfortunately, with InDesign’s “Facing Pages” option there is no ability to add that needed bleed. That area is shown in red in the image below.

When a document is provided to a printer with no bleed for the grind off there is a lot more pre-press work required to makes sure your pages flow properly with the pinch.

With the lack of bleed there is an increase chance your printer may incorrectly set up or have to alter you design so that it can be bound with little error.

There is debate that it is the Printer’s job to make sure that the book prints properly—we   agree 100%, but we believe this document set-up solution is a great way to get the spread look that “Facing Pages” offers while providing your printer with the bleeds they need to produce the book correctly.

1. Create a new document.

> TURN FACING PAGES OFF (This is the most important part of this entire tutorial! If this is on, then you will not be able to add bleed between pages.)

> Create a Bleed of .125 in (This is what most binderies need to create a “Grind Off”)

2. Create a new master page.

> In the panel options change the “Number of Pages” to “2” and the pages size and width should be that of one single page in the book.

3. Pages tool (Shift + P)

> With the pages tool selected click on the right page of the spread. Then change the x-axis by adding .375 in to it.

>This will give us our .25in  bleeds and a gutter of .125 inches. to separate the pages visually (The gutter is not necessary, but a preference of ours.)

You are done! Now you have a master page that gives you the spread look with the bleeds your printer needs.

Click on the preview mode (w on your keyboard) to see how the spread will look when the bleeds are removed.