Concealed Cover Choices

The benefits of mechanical binding are numerous: The ability to lay flat; plenty of paper stock choices; availability of colored binding elements; economical to produce.... One advantage thatís often overlooked is the range of cover choices. If your project requires the functionality of mechanical binding but the convenience of spine printing, consider a semi- or fully-concealed cover.

Semi-concealed covers are comprised of a single-piece cover that’s attached to the Wire-O binding elements at the back cover, which is the only location where the wire will be visible. The result is an attractive cover style that includes a printable spine, which makes it ideal for books that will be displayed or sold on store shelves.

Fully-concealed cover designs offer additional panels that wrap back around the spine to completely hide the binding elements. Concealed covers can also be designed to wrap around the face of the book, allowing for printing on both the spine and face.

From a production standpoint, semi- and fully-concealed covers require some advance planning in order to look their best. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your books to include semi-concealed covers:

Use a bulking dummy - Concealed covers require carefully-placed scores that form the spine around the wire. For that reason, you’ll want to use a bulking dummy to determine the exact bulk of your text and cover sheets. That measurement will then be used to determine the proper wire diameter and, therefore, the location of the scores and punched holes on the cover. In addition, a bulking dummy ensures that any copy on the spine is centered properly between the scores.

Covers should be of sufficient stock weight - Your cover stock should be thick enough to avoid the "embossing" effect that can occur when covers are squeezed against the binding element. Covers should be a minimum of 10 pt., although 12 or 14 pt. covers are also popular.

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