Book binding options: Choosing a Hardback cover

Finishing your printed book with a hardback cover can give a book a distinguished element and help to protect it from wear and tear. The perfect choice for stylish non-fictional books, hard wearing manuals, biographies and anything in between, a hard cover is a fantastic choice for publications of all kinds.

To help ensure you find the perfect style of hard cover for your next print project, we’re looking at the different options available.

Why choose a hardback?

Thanks to their rigid covers, hardback books are more durable and longer lasting than softback (paperback) alternatives. Although slightly more expensive to produce, they will stand the test of time and will look great on your bookshelf for years to come. In general, hard books need to be between 40 and 600 pages long for the binding process to be effective. If your b­­ook falls outside these parameters, talk to one of our sales advisors to find out about alternative options.

The binding process

The binding method used to create a hardback book is known as case binding. Printed sheets are folded to create groups of pages, known as signatures. These are stitched together using thread to create a book block. This is glued on to a flexible material which becomes the inner part of the spine. Head and tailbands may be added to produce a more attractive appearance. The next part of the process is to add the cover which is made of several components. End papers are used to hold the pages in place, they can be can be plain or printed. These will be glued to the book block and to the inside front and back covers.

case bound book elements

Finishing touches to your book

When choosing the various finishes for your hardback book, there are many options available, such as the style of endpapers, tail bands and cover materials. If you opt for a printed cover you can also choose from a variety of finishes to enhance the look and feel. Many hardback cover books also feature a wrap-around paper cover known as a book jacket.

For the choices available see book binding options explained

Book jackets

Book jackets help protect the main cover from damage, marking or general wear and tear. Often referred to as a dust jacket, it can be an integral part of a book design and included as part of the book production process.

Printed book jackets will typically be laminated with a matt, silk or gloss finish but there are other options available. Book jackets can incorporate spot varnishing to draw attention to specific areas of the cover.

Slipcases and boxes

A slipcase can be used to add extra protection, however generally they are used to enhance the overall look of the finished product.

Slip cases

Size options

Like paperback books, hardbacks are available in a wide variety of sizes. Standard sizes like A4 and A5 are common choices, however custom sizes are available so talk to a member of our team if you have specific requirements.

If you would like us to quote for printing your publication, or if you have any questions about the options available then get in touch with a member of our team.


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