Book Spine

What is the Spine of a Book?

The Spine of a book refers to the outside edge of the book where the pages are gathered and bound.

In addition to providing an anchor point for the pages, the spine provides the hinge action that allows the book's cover and pages to open and close.

It is recommended that your page count is more than 48 pages to ensure a better-looking book spine. However, if your page count is limited to 28 or 32 pages, you can improve the book spine by choosing 200gsm matte or gloss art paper for your interior pages. Ideally, the book spine must have a thickness of about 3mm in order to be visually appealing.

The book spine normally includes the book’s title, author’s name, and publisher’s name. This is important for when readers are looking for a particular title in a row of books. If the book spine is too small it is better to leave in the blank with no information.

The book spine for perfect binding and hardcover binding will have certain differences. The thickness of a perfect-bound book spine just depends on the book’s interior. The thickness of a hardcover bound book spine will also depend on the two sheets of boards as well as the book’s interior.

In most cases, the spines of hard cover books and perfect bound books are wide enough to be printed upon. However, the number of pages and the thickness of the pages is what determines the width of a book's spine. The wider the spine, the more surface area it provides for printed information. Printing the title and other features on a book's spine allows the book to be identified while it stands vertically on a shelf or lies horizontally in a stack.

Some books are unable to have printing on the spine. For example, the spine of a saddle-stitched book is formed by creasing the book's cover. Therefore, the spinal edge is quite narrow. As such, the spine of a saddle-stitched book is not wide enough to print on. The spine of a coil bound book consists of a plastic or metal spiral coil, so it too is unable to receive printing.

Parts of a book
Prats of a book

How to Calculate Soft Cover Book Spine Thickness?

The softcover book thickness:

Interior paper thickness x interior total count / 2 + cover paper thickness

Paper Thickness List

offset paper

TypePaper Thickness

TypePaper Thickness
80gsm0.095mm
100gsm0.123mm
120gsm0.14mm
140gsm0.16mm
190gsm0.26mm
250gsm0.335mm

Gloss art paper

TypePaper Thickness
80gsm0.062mm
105gsm0.095mm
128gsm0.11mm
157gsm0.15mm
200gsm0.18mm
250gsm0.234mm
300gsm0.275mm
350gsm0.41mm

Matte art paper

TypePaper Thickness
80gsm0.07mm
105gsm0.1mm
128gsm0.125mm
157gsm0.16mm
200gsm0.195mm
250gsm0.24mm
300gsm0.32mm

How to Calculate Hardcover Book Thickness?

The hardcover book thickness:Interior paper thickness x interior total count / 2 + cover board thickness x 2 +1mm

What Information Is Included on the Book Spine?

The spine of a book is often the first part a reader will see when it is displayed on a shelf. Even though it is only a small part of the book, the design is very important for this reason. Normally rows of books are displayed together so yours needs to stand out.

Therefore it is crucial that any information on the book spine is clear and legible. The bolder the design and type, the better. The subject of the book is also a factor in book spine design. An academic or reference book would normally have a different style than a novel for example.

The book spine will normally contain the name of the author and the title of the book. If there is room, the name of the publisher’s name or their logo can be included. Some book spines may use an image or design from the front and back covers. This is easier when the spine is a reasonable width.