Perfect Binding Set Up Checklist

Ready to print

  1. We need two files: a spread for the inside and outside over + a second file for the text pages.
  2. Text file as single pages NOT spreads. Page 1 of this file is the 1st right hand inside page when you open the book’s cover. The rest follow in reading order.
  3. Cover artwork needs the correct size spine through the centre (read our cover guide here)
  4. Artwork should be supplied at the same size your book will be printed
  5. You lose 3-4mm in the spine gutter on every page – keep content clear
  6. There is a hinge on the 1st & last text pages where the cover is glued. This can hide content so keep anything important at least 10mm away from the spine edge.
  7. Finally, export artwork as Hi Res PDF with crop marks and 3mm bleed on each edge. Choose ‘PDF x/1a 2001’ from the top drop down menu when you export to pdf.

Learn how to prepare print ready artwork for a perfect bound book

For perfect bound books we need two files: A cover file and a text page file.

1. A hires pdf file for the cover and inner cover.

You will need to add a spine on this cover file. The width of the spine depends on how many pages your book has – it’s simple but the more pages, the thicker the spine needs to be to wrap round them all.

Please ask us for the spine size once your spec is confirmed or check the list here to see if your number of pages is shown. Best not to ask before you have finished your artwork because if the number of pages changes the spine will get bigger or smaller.

2. A file for the text pages supplied as single pages rather than spreads and in correct reading order with crop marks and 3mm bleed on each edge.

 

perfectBindingSetUpPreparing your cover artwork

Create a new file

File > New > Document

 

Our example here on the right is for a cover of an A5 Portrait Zine with 60 inside pages onto 120gsm Uncoated.

‘Intent’

Print

‘Number of Pages’

For our quick, easy method of setting up a cover file choose ‘2’ here.

‘Facing Pages’

Leave unticked

‘Primary Text Frame’

Leave unticked

‘Page Size’

This is easy to work out…The height number is the height of your Zine.  The width is the width of the back cover + the spine size through the centre + the width of the front cover. So for an A4 book with a 5mm spine the height will be 297mm and the width 210+5+210=425mm. For an A5 book with a 3mm spine the height will be 210mm and the width 148+3+148=299mm.

Click here for paper size dimensions.

‘Orientation’

If your height and width numbers are correct then this will correct itself to the right choice so you dont have to worry about picking an option here.

‘Columns’

Type ‘2’ here.

‘Gutter’

This is a clever little cheat that will save you loads of time and makes it easy to see where your spine is. Ask Ex Why Zed what size your spine needs to be and then input that number here.  There are a selection of the most common spine sizes here. When the file opens you’ll see two guides through the centre to show you the spine – amazing hey!?

bleedAndMargins‘Margins’

If you like, then you can add a margin gide around the page edge to make sure none of your content gets too near the edge. For example you can set the four margins to 5mm which will help you avoid placing important information within 5mm of the cover’s edge. InDesign shows your margins as pink lines on your page. On the image (right) the 3mm bleed is the outer line, then the black page edge and then the pink 5mm margin indicator.

‘Bleed and Slug’

Adding ‘3mm’ in the top, bottom, left and right boxes here will add a red border on your InDesign artwork 3mm outside of the blank page edge to show where the bleed needs to extend to. For further info see the Bleed set up section above.

 

perfectBoundCoverClick ‘OK’ and your new file will open.

You will now see a page identical to the one on the right. Brilliantly you can now see your back cover on the left, your spine through the centre and your front cover on the right. Easy!

 

perfectBoundCoverPage2Page two of your new cover file is shown to the right. This is the reverse of the outer cover- your inside cover is on the left, spine through the centre (this will be glued so don’t put any information within 8mm of the spine) and inside back cover on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

perfectBoundCover-2COVER DESIGN TIP

Keep your spine text small so it doesn’t slide off the spine. If your spine is less than 5mm we recommend not putting any text on it to avoid any risk of it sliding round to the front or back cover when your zines are bound.

When your artwork is designed and printed it will look like the image to the right. You can see the back cover on the left, spine in the centre and front cover on the right – exactly the same as you designed it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepare your text page artwork

perfectBindingTextSetUpFirstly, create a new file

File > New > Document

 

Our example here on the right is for an A5 Perfect Bound Zine with 60 inside pages

‘Number of Pages’

This is the number of INSIDE pages you have. Page 1 of your text file is the first right hand page of your zine when you open the cover. Remember this has to be a multiple of two (a sheet of paper has a front AND a back) and you need an absolute minimum of 36 inside pages to be thick enough to glue and perfect bind.

‘Facing Pages’

If you find it easier to design as double page spreads then leave this option ticked. If you are comfortable working in single pages then untick this box. Maybe try both ways before starting to see which you prefer.

‘Master Text Frame’

Leave unticked

‘Page Size’

Make sure the page size you specify is the same size as you intend your perfect bound Books to be printed. Use the presets on the drop down menu if you’re going for a regular page size.

Click here for paper size dimensions.

‘Orientation’

The left hand icon is portrait and the right hand one is landscape.

‘Columns’

If you leave this on ‘1’ you will just be given an artwork page. If you are more comfortable with a column structure then experiment with this option to give your pages a consistent structure.

‘Gutter’

This relates to this distance between your columns. If you only have one column then there is no gutter and you can skip this box.

‘Margins’

It can be useful to add a 5mm border round the page edge to prevent you adding content too near the edge.

‘Bleed and Slug’

Add ‘3mm’ in the top, bottom, left and right boxes here to add a border on your InDesign artwork 3mm outside the page edge to guide you where the bleed needs to extend to. For further information on bleed see the Bleed set up section.

 

perfectBoundTextClick ‘OK’ and your new file will open.

Your file will be identical to the one here on the right. You now have 60 pages of content to fill – Good luck!

 

TEXT PAGE DESIGN TIPS

Your cover is glued onto the first and last page of your text block. Therefore any content within 8mm of the spine on the first and last text page will be lost so keep important information (page numbers, headings etc) out of this area.

If you have an image that crosses over the spine (a spread) around 3-5mm will be obscured within the spine gutter. You can overcompensate for this by sliding a left hand page’s image a few mm left and a right hand image a few mm right so they appear to match up.

IT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE SMALL TEXT ACROSS A SPREAD because some of it WILL BE LOST in the spine and your sentences won’t make sense with missing characters and words.

For more design tips and considerations check our perfect binding section here

 

perfectBound_tenASpine Sizes

We have listed a few of the common spine sizes here to give you an idea of your book’s thickness.

If your number of pages or stock isn’t listed then drop us an email at hello@exwhyzed.co.uk and we will be happy to advise on the correct size.

You can also see how thick your Book will be on the Portfolio page of our Zine Printing Mini Site www.zineprinter.com
(scroll over each image on that page to display the spec).

 

Text pages onto 120gsm Uncoated

36pp to 44pp Text = 3mm spine
48pp to 60pp Text = 4mm spine
64pp to 72pp Text = 5mm spine
76pp to 88pp Text = 6mm spine
92pp to 100pp Text = 7mm spine
104pp to 116pp Text = 8mm spine
120pp to 132pp Text = 9mm spine
136pp to 150pp Text = 10mm spine
200pp Text = 14mm spine

 

Text pages onto 130gsm Silk

36pp to 40pp Text = 2mm spine
44pp to 56pp Text = 3mm spine
60pp to 76pp Text = 4mm spine
80pp to 92pp Text = 5mm spine
96pp to 112pp Text = 6mm spine
116pp to 128pp Text = 7mm spine
132pp to 148pp Text = 9mm spine
200pp Text = 11mm spine

 

Text pages onto 120gsm Evolution Uncoated

36pp to 44pp Text = 3mm spine
48pp to 60pp Text = 4mm spine
64pp to 76pp Text = 5mm spine
80pp to 88pp Text = 6mm spine
92pp to 100pp Text = 7mm spine
104pp to 116pp Text = 8mm spine
120pp to 132pp Text = 9mm spine
136pp to 150pp Text = 10mm spine
200pp Text = 14mm spine

Perfect Binding Set Up Checklist

  1. We need two files: a spread for the inside and outside over + a second file for the text pages.
  2. Text file as single pages NOT spreads. Page 1 of this file is the 1st right hand inside page when you open the book’s cover. The rest follow in reading order.
  3. Cover artwork needs the correct size spine through the centre (read our cover guide here)
  4. Artwork should be supplied at the same size your book will be printed
  5. You lose 3-4mm in the spine gutter on every page – keep content clear
  6. There is a hinge on the 1st & last text pages where the cover is glued. This can hide content so keep anything important at least 10mm away from the spine edge.
  7. Finally, export artwork as Hi Res PDF with crop marks and 3mm bleed on each edge. Choose ‘PDF x/1a 2001’ from the top drop down menu when you export to pdf.