Laying out inner covers for perfect and PUR bound products

Creating a layout to avoid visual loss of images

When creating a layout for a perfect or PUR bound product, allowances must be made to avoid any visual loss of content in a spine. If ample space is not left between two pages in a spread, images or text may be lost between the pages.

This is especially important when producing an inner cover with a read-over or image running from:

  • the inside front cover to the first text page, or
  • from the last text page to the inside back cover.

This applies specifically to the front and back covers because the cover is actually stuck to the first 6mm of these papers with glue. A 6mm allowance must therefore be made at the edge of these pages for any images or text.

The cover must be stuck to the first and last text pages in this way, because a cover stuck only to the spine wouldn’t be robust enough to keep everything together.

This process applies to both perfect bound and PUR products – these terms tend to be differentiated only by the glue type used for the binding.

Creating your layout

The image below shows the inner cover of a product with a page size of 210x270mm. The 8mm spine is incorporated into the cover so that it appears as a spread.

The red lines indicate the spine area, and the blue lines show the ‘hinge area.’ This is the area of the image which will be lost due to the binding method.

For the first and last text pages, we recommend drawing a similar guideline 6mm from your trim edge – to indicate the area of the image which would be lost when the finished book is opened and viewed as a continuous spread.

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The rest of the text pages within a production aren’t affected by the 6mm hinge allowance, as they are only attached to the cover by glue seeping in from the spine. However, since this binding method doesn’t allow pages to open completely flat, the pages can curl into the spine, and this can result in some loss of visual image.

Where possible, it is best to avoid any ‘read-overs’ – where a line of copy crosses the hinge across two text pages. If this is necessary, though, it is recommended to move the element out by 2mm, to avoid it getting lost in the spine. If this allowance isn’t made and images or text are too close to the spine, readers may open the book by force, and this could risk breaking the binding adhesion.

Read more on how to prepare files for print, here.

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Laying out inner covers for perfect and PUR bound products

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