The most popular type of cover for books and brochures is the paperback cover. There is a wide range of materials available for covers but the most common would be in the weight range 250 gsm to 350 gsm and come as a silk coated, gloss coated or uncoated (sometimes called offset) stock. Very often, the cover will be over-laminated with a clear plastic material after printing to protect the cover from dirt and make it more robust. Other options include
- Spot UV varnishing, where parts of a matt cover are highlighted using a high gloss varnish in a few strategically chosen areas
- Embossing, either with or without a metallic foil, to add texture and luxury to the cover
- Die-cutting, where shapes can be cut out of the cover for dramatic effect.
These options can be chosen by the designer, either individually or in combination, to attract interest to the book or brochure and to add personality to the publication.
Case bound (Hardback) covers
Case bound, or hardback, covers are associated with premium books and are often used in conjunction with thread sewn, perfect bound book blocks. Once the book block is formed, end-papers are glued to the front and back of the block and then in turn to the case (cover). This keeps the cover and text together. There are two main types of hardback cover.
Printed Laminated Case (PLC)
The case is made up of a sheet of coated paper that is printed per the cover artwork and then over-laminated with clear plastic to protect it. The rigidity of the cover is maintained by sheets of thick cardboard that are glued to the printed sheet. The plastic laminate can have a gloss or matt finish.
Book Cloth covered case
In this case, the cardboard is wrapped in a book cloth. Instead of printing the cloth, it is embossed prior to it being wrapped. You can use blind embossing (where you just see the impression of the metal plate) or foil embossing where the design is ‘printed’ using a metallic foil.
Dust jacket and other additions
Very often, a dust jacket is used to enhance the appearance of a book cloth covered case and to add decoration to what might otherwise be a fairly plain cover. A ribbon or bookmark can also to attached to the spine of the book before drawing on the cover.
Canadian bound books
Canadian binding combines wiro binding with either a soft or hardback cover. It is used when a book needs to lie flat when opened but also needs a cover with a spine so it can be stored and located in a bookshelf. For a paperback cover, the wiro binding can punch through the back cover of the book only (half-Canadian) or through the front and back covers. For a hard cover, the pages of text can be wiro bound to a piece of heavy card which in turn is glued to the case (as in the picture above). It is an ideal solution for manuals and cookbooks – if the budget is available.