A Perfect Bound Cover requires special attention to the following areas:

  • The spine bulking value needs to be calculated based on the total number of text pages and the type of stock being used.
  • A Hinge Score, both front and back at a distance of 0.1875” from the spine edge needs to be compensated for in the design.
  • Crossover designs, between inside covers and first or last text pages should be overall 0.375″ narrower than other spreads.


Use our Spine Calculator here and enter the total number of text pages in your project. This value will be used when creating the spine as the left bleed margin of cover 1 following the guidelines here.


A hinge score of 0.1875″ (3/16″) on the front and back cover can create a small impression on the surface of the outside covers depending on the stock being used. It is a good idea to keep type and other live matter away from the spine edge by this amount. For inside covers, this same margin applies and results in a page that is 0.1875″ smaller than the other pages. Keep this in mind during the design phase to ensure live matter does not fall within this area.


For double page ads that span inside front cover to first text page, or last text page to inside back cover, a 0.375″ narrow spread should be utilized. To accomplish this, proper Ad Specifications should be provided to advertisers when designing for inside covers. If no compensation has been made at the advertiser level for the narrower ad, the oversized spread can be manipulated to some degree when placing it into your single facing pages layout using one of the following methods:

  • Scale width only dimension to reduce the ad by 0.375″, place on left facing page with the intended margin, duplicate and shift to the right by trim width plus 0.375″.
  • Place on left facing page and reduce left margin, duplicate and shift to the right by trim width plus 0.375″.