The Case for Hardcover Binding

The Case for Hardcover Binding

Case binding introduces some new materials that don't come into play with saddlewire or perfect bind publications. Publishers and designers will need to consider some additional material decisions outlined in this article.

Board stocks comprising the covers are fairly standard and stocked by the book companies in adequate supply. There is thankfully not much to choose as it's fairly common to use the 88 point thickness as a base to which the following elements are mounted during the book's manufacturing process:

Outer cover

The outer cover treatment in case binding can be in one of three categories in order from least to most expensive.

  • SQL-HC-ClothCloth material
  • Litho wrap - 4 color cover with top laminate.
  • Combination of the two, Cloth/Litho wrap.

Generally if you are doing a cloth outer cover you will also be doing a foil stamp on the spine and front cover, with the title, author, publisher, etc. You will want to decide on a brand and color of cloth and a specific foil color. Ask us for samples/swatch books.

Dust Jacket

When the wrap used on the cover is 100% cloth a dust jacket is often printed and assembled upon completion of the books. These are typically printed on 100# gloss or silk text paper and sealed with aqueous coating or UV lamination. Dust jackets are sometimes used on Litho wrap books but generally not used on the Combination Cloth + Litho covers.

SQL-HC-DustJacketEnd leaves

On the inside covers to hide the turned edges of the outer wrap a sheets called an end leaf is applied is usually done as 80# uncoated text weight paper. End leaves can be put into three categories in order from least to most expensive. Ask us for samples/swatch books.

  • Blank white, cream or generic solid color stock
  • Custom paper - large variety of colors, patterns, much to choose, but check availability schedule and additional cost with us. These can get very pricey and we can suggest alternatives depending on timing and budget.
  • Custom printed - choose your own stock and design, we print them and supply to the bindery.

Head/Foot bands

Decide whether you prefer a small cloth block at the top and bottom of the book's spine that will obscure the view down into the space between the cover spine and the block of text pages glued or stitched together. These bands come in many colors, combinations of colors and are a further design consideration. Ask us for samples/swatch books.


Hard cover books can be Smythe sewn or perfect bound with PUR glue. Smythe sewing is a more costly method, but strongly recommended on some projects depending on the size, page count and projected frequency of use. PUR Glue is an exceptional cement that also holds most publications together fairly indefinitely. This is a decision consideration we will bring to your attention in establishing the best fit for your publication's budget and intended use.