Got It Covered
by Tatyana Sinioukov
Saying that a book is judged by its cover is not an overstatement. In fact, all stages of cover design, from concept to execution, come into play as equally important. Here, industry professionals share tips on cover design for efficient production, from choosing the right materials to shedding light on finishing options to outlining trends related to book cover production.
To select the right materials for the project, says Brice Draper, vice president of sales and marketing, Permalin Products, New York City, consider the project's direction, its cost and aesthetics, and the durability of materials used. Start with the budget, he says, and select materials that would fit into your budget. Next, consider the trim size. "The larger the size, obviously, the more durable you have to think," says Draper. Depending on the expected amount of use and the book's shelf life, different finishes could be considered (a Bible, Draper points out, is an example of a book that must have a durable cover, since it's expected to be used on a daily basis). Make sure that intensiveness of treatment of interior text and the cover are balanced, especially if you decide to invest a considerable sum into the book's text. Also, Draper advises, ask yourself the following questions: What is the thickness of the spine? What is the retail cost to a consumer? What kind of edition will it be, deluxe or standard? Does the book have a jacket? Is your audience a one-shot retail buyer or a repeat mail-order buyer?
Draper advises designers to seek the printer's recommendations and consult with the vendors as to how and whether non-standard materials could be incorporated and, as a result, some cost reduced. Sometimes, he says, switching from hard- to softcover also makes sense.
"There are now softcover materials available in a variety of different embossing patterns, which impart a rich look to the book itself and yet save considerably on the binding," he adds.