By Mike Daniels

I like the use of different types of cover decorations to make a book cover really stand out among the others on the shelf.  Foil can be stamped and/or embossed on covers to emphasize titles, logos and images. Foil is available in many colors in addition to the traditional gold and silver variations.  In addition there are pigment foils that can be used that have a dull finish versus the usual shiny foil colors.

Another way to make your cover titles and images “pop” is to use spot gloss over matte film lamination which makes the title or image shine compared to the rest of the cover.  Stamping is different from embossing and covers can be foil stamped, stamped and embossed or just embossed without the use of foil or pigment.  When a cover is just embossed it is known as “blind embossing.”  If you want your title or specific cover image to stand out in relief like a 3D image you can have the cover blind embossed. Stamping dies will need to be created for stamping and embossing.

Another type of decoration is the use of die cutting where titles or images are cut out of the cover for affect and/or to allow the image or color printed on the end sheet to be seen through the cover. If you like the flaps that dust jackets have to hold them on to hardcover books you can add “flaps” to a softcover book as an option. Softcover books with flaps have “gatefold” covers that require special trimming after being bound. Adding flaps to a softcover book allows the book designer additional space to place the author’s photo, bio or other information somewhere other than on the back cover which frees that cover area for another purpose.  The cover flap can also serve as a handy, ever ready bookmark!

Cover decoration will indubitably increase the cost of manufacturing your book beyond what it would have been for a standard 4-color film laminated cover.  Not every book manufacturer can offer in-house cover decoration so check to see what your selected printer can offer.  If the covers have to be sent out to another company your overall price quote will most likely be higher than from a manufacturer who can do the work in-house. Also the total production time will probably be extended beyond what it would have been if all the work were done on site.

Mike Daniels is the Great Plains Territory Manager for Four Colour Print Group, a well-respected resource for quality book manufacturing where he consults authors and publishers on the production of their books. He’s a published author, editor of Peaks & Planes magazine, is a Past President of CIPA, current President of the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation and serves on CIPA’s Board of Directors. PH: 303 325-7876 or [email protected]