Perfect binding is a process where the pages are bound together on one edge with flexible glue, and the cover is adhered to that edge to form a spine. During the binding process, a score is created on the cover 1/4 inch from the spine to allow the cover to open freely. The page count will need to be an even number, but does not need to be a multiple of four like some other binding types.
To avoid damage from the binding process, we coat the exteriors of all covers for perfect bound books with either matte or gloss UV coating.
The best way to create a print file for the cover is to lay out the exterior and interior cover spreads, including the spine width, and save them together as a two-page PDF document. The cover should still include a 1/8 inch bleed around the outside of the entire spread. Keep in mind that there will be a score mark 1/4 inch from the spine, so important information should be kept out of that area. If you are not sure of the spine width, please ask and we will let you know!
If for any reason you are not able to set up full cover spreads and you send the covers over as pages, we can usually use the bleed from those pages to wrap around the spine. Any other setup done by us for the spine (adding text, etc.) might incur an additional fee.
Each page should include a 1/8 inch bleed on each side, just like any standard digital print.
All important information should be 1/8 inch in from the trim line. This is particularly important with perfect bound booklets, since the edges are trimmed again at the end of binding and any information too close to the edge could be cut off.
On perfect-bound booklets, the spine will be scored 1/4 inch from the edge when it is glued. This gutter area is created where the binding pulls the pages closer together, and will not be as visible as the rest of the page, so it should be clear of important text or images.
For best results, please send the cover spreads as one PDF, and the interior pages (laid out as single pages and NOT spreads) as one multi-page PDF. Alternately, you may send one multi-page PDF laid out as single pages including the interior and exterior covers, with the understanding that we will create the spine using the cover bleeds and that results may vary depending on the spine width.
We have templates available on our templates page.
We ask that you expect to proof perfect bound booklets by default, since adjustments usually need to be made to account for the spine and gutter. Proofs of perfect bound booklets will NOT receive UV coating, but WILL be bound. Proofing takes one business day. The time it takes for proofing is NOT included in the overall turn around time for the project, so please allow extra time for proofing. This is part of our process to ensure that the final product is created in line with your vision and expectations.