One of the first clues about how well a book is made is its cover. You don’t have to be an expert to know the cover of a book is often more durable than the pages within.
This is so because a cover protects the printed pages contained in the book while also being an indicator of its content. A variety of special equipment and processes are employed in order to make the covers of book look the way that they do.
Basic Types of Coatings
Lay-flat film lamination, both gloss and matte finish, as well as U.V. coating are the basic types of coatings applied to book covers.
There are also multiple variations when applying these coatings depending on what a customer wants their book to look like as well as the type of protection they require.
Film lamination is incredibly durable and is applied to books using heated laminate. Thickness varies and the Edwards Brothers Malloy standard is nylon-based, 1.2 mil lay-flat film lamination.
The coating with a matte finish offering the best scuff resistance is lay-flat film lamination with a matte scuff-resistant treatment.
This process is achieved by applying lamination to the cover or jacket and then a matte over coating is applied on press to the entire cover which results in a durable, scuff-resistant, matte finish.
This is also the process that we use with Precision Spot Gloss where certain design elements show a gloss finish with the rest of the cover having a matte finish.
Single applications of scuff resistant coatings are not one-hundred percent scuff proof. All covers are prone to scuffing of some degree and these imperfections become most apparent on covers with darker colors.
Customers can save money by having a gloss or matte U.V. coating applied. This coating is not as durable as film lamination; however it will prevent fading of the cover.
Other Cover Enhancements
There are also other enhancements that can be added to the cover of a book. For instance, embossing or de-bossing is a process which utilizes a metal die in the shape of the font and/or graphic to create a raised impression (embossing) or depression (de-bossing).
A die is necessary to accomplish this look. Embossing and de-bossing can add an interesting and enticing look to your finished book covers.
Foil stamping is another common practice used to enhance a cover. Foil can be applied in a variety of colors and font styles. Text and/or graphics can be stamped onto the spine or cover of a book.
Edwards Brothers Malloy provides all of these services. Most elements such as film lamination, U.V. coating, embossing, and foil stamping can be performed right in our factory.
Using one or more of these services not only enhances the look and feel of your books but ensures your readers will get a quality and long lasting product.
Here’s a rundown of cover finishing options that can be available at many printers (including Edwards Brothers Malloy).
Gloss or matte layflat film lamination: The Edwards Brothers Malloy standard is nylon-based, 1.2 mil layflat film lamination.
Precision Spot Gloss: Layflat gloss film lamination is applied to the cover or jacket and then a matte overcoating is applied on press to the areas of the cover that are intended to have a matte finish. It is called “Precision” because we are applying the matte over-coating on a press rather than a coater or a screen printing process and we have the ability to achieve very tight registration.
Layflat film lamination with matte scuff-resistant treatment: Layflat gloss film lamination is applied to the cover or jacket and then a matte overcoating is applied on press to the entire cover which results in a durable, scuff-resistant, layflat matte finish. This offers the best scuff-resistance of all the matte finishes.
Gloss or matte U.V. coating: Costs less than film lamination but is not as durable.
Matte polypropylene film lamination: This special order film is best suited for dust jackets as it is not layflat.
Post linen embossing: Layflat gloss or matte film lamination is applied and immediately embossed with a linen finish using a special roller.
Foil stamping: With a full range of colors to choose from, this can be used on cloth or in combination with film lamination on hard cover and soft cover books. A stamping die is necessary.
Embossing or de-bossing: A process which utilizes a metal die in the shape of the type and / or graphic to create a raised impression (embossing) or depression (debossing). A die is necessary.
Film lamination: Film is laminated to the cover or jacket by passing under pressure between two rollers while heat is applied to activate the adhesive on one side of the film. Film lamination is our highest quality and most durable coating.
UV coating: The process of applying a liquid chemical coating and immediately exposing the coated sheet under ultraviolet light to cure the coating.
Gloss: A surface that is smooth and shiny.
Matte/dull/delustered: A low-gloss finish with little or no reflective quality.
Layflat: Resistant to curling.
Scuff-resistance: The ability of film lamination to resist scuffing on the surface of the film. All films will scuff to some degree. The scuffing will be more apparent and noticeable on covers that are dark colors.