13 Tips for Choosing the Best Cover and Binding Materials
Top production managers share their insights for choosing the most appropriate materials for each project's audience and budget.
There it is sitting in the queue. Files for the heavily illustrated 245-page marine biology book titled "The World Under the Sea: Mysterious Life Forms Revealed." Its budget: fairly restricted; distribution: students, local libraries and some bookstores; author's vision of the final product: a scholarly yet user-friendly piece that will withstand the test of time.
What binding and cover materials do you choose?
The decision isn't easy. If only there was a simple guideline to follow. While there is no clear set of rules, there are reasons to choose certain materials over others. Here, a few production experts offer insight on how to make binding and cover decisions less arduous:
Sylvia Hecimovich Mendoza, Design and Production Director, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Publishes: Reference materials and science books.
"Many of our binding and cover decisions are based on the publisher's plan for new books. For instance, we have an idea about what the market is for each title and what kinds of materials are available at the printer.
We also consider things like the type of paper used and pages per inch, which influences whether we use Smyth or adhesive binding.
If I had to offer a few tips, I would say:
1 Know what the expectations are for the book.
If you are dealing with a reference book, for example, you will want a Smyth-sewn binding to hold up to the wear and tear of constant use. Also, reference books are generally large and heavy so you would want the durability and longevity Smyth offers. Cloth covers are best suited for scholarly and reference books for the same reasons.
2 Know the run-size.
For higher quantities, notch adhesive saves time and money. There usually is not a huge gap in binding costs between Smyth and notch adhesive, but the difference can be significant on [larger print runs].