Calculating spine width

Calculating spine width
May 29, 2011 Calverts_123

Book Spine

When you're artworking a one-piece cover for a book with a flat spine and soft cover (perfectbound, PUR bound or sewn), you'll need to include the right width for the spine. Unless you have a dummy and can measure it with a ruler, or can trust your printer to calculate it for you, this is how to go about it:

If the inner pages are all of the same grade and weight of paper, find out the caliper (thickness) of the paper in microns (thousandths of a millmetre) from the merchant or manufacturer, or measure a sheet with a micrometer. You can't rely on grammage (gsm) because different types of paper bulk up very differently – for instance, a 150gsm 'Volume 15' book paper is 225 microns, but a 150gsm gloss art may be 130 microns. Multiply the caliper by the number of leaves in the book (not the number of pages!) Add up to 1mm to take account of the thickness and foldaround of the cover stock.

If the book contains more than one grade or weight of paper, you'll need to do the calculation for each paper, then add them together.

An example:

48 pages (24 leaves) + 4 page cover perfectbound book with text page caliper of 160 micons = 24 x .16 + 1mm

= 4.84mm spine width.

Do get in touch if you have any questions about calculating the spine width of your own book.

  • Self-publishers are passionate about their work and have the initiative and drive to get it into print without going through traditional publishing…

    Together Ness: The tale of the forest

  • Authors and publishers Marina Chang and Lukas Meusburger have reserved a small number of copies of The Food Junctions Cookbook to distribute…

    Food Junctions – Sale On!

  • Hidden away in the depths of Charing Cross Station is Davenport's, the oldest family run magic business in the world.…

    The Complete Walton

  • After the success of Petrie 65, we were delighted to work again with fashion leader and NYC exile Zadrian. The…

    Zadrian Smith: Petrie 66

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
ErrorHere