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How To Design And Printing Board Books For Babies?

Time: 2024-03-08 Hits: 267

Design and printing are two major parts of create a custom board book, a well design printed board book that leave a lasting impress on your readers. In this post, we are talking about how to design and print a stunning board book with some helpful tips.

baby board book


Part 1: Baby Board Book Design Tips

An unforgettable baby board book must be inseparable from good design. When design a board book for babies, we must be clear about what we need to convey and the ultimate purpose. As a younger mother, combine with my parenting experience, I think a good baby board book which includes below 5 parts:

1. With simple words and graphic to design baby board book

A good design of board book can grasp the psychology of children and attract babies’ attention. The babies often refer to 0-3 years old of toddler, the hand-brain coordination of babies in this age group is still developing. Their cognitive level is limited and hard to understand the complex and long content. So for these age groups of board book design, usually only have simple & short words and story, the story is often very interesting. Then matches with simple graphic and animal and plant image, etc illustration to help babies to deepen impression.

Babies board book design is close contract with its design object: baby. Considering the cognitive situation of babies. When designing board book must be in line with children’s behavioral psychology. To make a good healthy psychological guidance for babies and cultivate babies’ creative ability.

2. Board book illustration design match with story

Illustration design much be matched with story. The design of illustration and story must be creativity. Especially for the illustration part of the board book, which can bring the intuitive feeling for children’s vision. So the illustration design not only needs to transfer story message, also needs to convey beauty through colors and images. The processing of graphic-text relationship runs through the design of baby board books. Board book illustrations can give us more space for imagination and provide babies with important reading clues. The text can show the context of the story. Making good use of the graphic-text relationship between text and illustrations is one of the key factors in the design of babies’ board books.

3. Build overall thinking

First, starting from the overall layout, select suitable story content to design a board book. And through various of illustrations to performance story, to leave a deep impression on babies. Then, take more attention to the cover design. The illustration design of the board cover should not only be representative of the board book content. But also conform to children’s reading habits and be able to attract children’s attention and points of interest. If the baby just start read the cover can catch their attention, that’s means your cover design is very successful.

4. Design special function on board book

Some kind of board book design, can design some special functions according to needs of content plot. Such as adding flip, pop-up, jigsaw puzzle, etc. functions in the baby board books, which can increase the interesting of the board book. The board book with special functions, which enrich the board book content and are more popular among babies. Such of baby board books are easier to attract children’s attention and stimulate their curiosity, to meet them study in playing game.

5. With bright color to design baby board book

During 0-3 years old of babies, whose eye is in the developing stage. They are through the eye to know the world and their eyes are sensitive to bright color things. According to the survey, the bright colors are easier to attract babies’ attention. The bright color like red, green, cyan, blue, etc. So when design a board book for such age groups of babies. Please with bright color as possible as, to attract them reading.


bright color board book


Part2: Baby Board Book Printing Tips

A good design of board book, if without high-quality printing, also can’t perfect copy your artwork. So the printing is also very important. To print a high-quality board book, I sum up some factors.

1. Board book printing way

Compared to digital printing, offset printing can promise 100% high-quality printing, as well as lower the per unit cost when order bulk quantity. Especially printing on coated paper, with offset printing, can ensure perfect copy the colors from your artwork, to help you achieve the dream of create a more high quality board book for your readers. Besides, because the board books usually with bulk of images. So when we do color board book printing, often recommend with CMYK printing, is not black and white printing.

2. Board book printing size

Convenient for babies to read and hold on hand, board book printing size is not suitable too large. The printing size usually depends on your board book content. The most popular board book printing size: for example square size 6 x 6 inches, 7 x 7 inches and 8 x 8 inches, portrait size: 5 x 7 inches, 6 x 9 inches, landscape size: 7 x 5 inches, 9 x 6 inches.

3. Board book printing paper choice

The babies board book often with bulk images inside the book. To perfect restore the colors and make them look more bright and lifelike. Most publishers often selecting coated paper to print the inner page with large area of images. Because the coated paper with the advantage of smooth, high brightness and good ink absorption.

Compared to C2S (coated both sides) paper, the same gram weight of C1S (coated one side) paper is thicker than C2S paper, and the hardness is good than C2S paper. To make the board book look more thick and hardness, usually recommend C1S paper to print the board books. Also, the same thickness of C1S paper is cheaper than C2S paper, due to C1S paper has a side is uncoated. The popular paper weight for custom babies board book is 250-350gsm C1S paper.

About the board book paper types, there have other options, for example, someone may be want a thikcer feel, then will choose two sheet of C1S paper wrapped on a grey board, even 3, 4 , 5 sheet of cardboard mounted together. But the most common in board book printing industry is two sheet of 350gsm C1S paper mounted together.

4. Board book surface finishing 

The common finishing options for custom board books, like lamination, spot UV, die cut, foil stamping, etc.

Among them, lamination is used most in baby board book printing. The board book with lamination, which makes its surface with the function of waterproof, dustproof, brightness, tear-resistance, etc. The baby board book with lamination not only makes it withstand for babies frequently read and chew on it, also easier to clean surface. Lamination includes glossy lamination and matt lamination. Glossy lamination on board book surface, make the colors more bright and attractive. While matte lamination, make the colors look soft and elegant. Lamination is the cheapest way in board book post-processes.

Besides, when custom some kind of special board book or make the cover surface with a 3D effect. We will use die cutting finishing to achieve such of printing effect. Such as shaped board book, flip board book, pop-up board book, etc.


die cut board book


Different finishing, which printing effect is different and brings the reading experience for readers also different. You can select the finishing based on the design of your board book content. If want to learn more about the post-process knowledge, please click here.

5. Board book binding options

Generally, there are two popular binding ways recommend for custom board books, include self-cover board book binding and hardcover board book binding.

Self-cover board book binding, the cover paper is use the same paper type and thickness as interior paper. The binding process is all inter pages are made by two sheets of C1S paper mounted together, then glued on the cover to be a board book. Generally, when using self-covering board book binding, we recommend cutting rounded corners to prevent right angles from hurning the baby’s tender hands.

While hardcover board book binding, which cover is the same as normal hardcover, often made by paperboard(e.g. 157gsm coated cover paper wrapped 3mm grey board. Sometimes, to make the cover with special touching, we will fill a layer of foam in the middle of the printed paper and gray board. For hardcover binding, the binding process is all inter pages are made by two sheets of C1S paper mounted together, then glued on the hardcover.

Besides, hardcover board book binding can have other options, for example, add a thin cloth on the bookblock to improve the durability of the book, or custom silk bookmarks to promote reading experience. For the hardcover board book, rounded corner or not is depends on target audience, content and personal needs. But the cover and inner pages are cut separately due to the hard cover size is larger than inner size. That means they are cut separately will increase the extra cost.

self-cover board book vs hardcover board book

Both self-cover board book binding and hardcover board book binding are durable and can withstand frequently read, as well as can apply special finishes on the cover surface. But self-cover board book binding is a more economical choice, due to the production process and time is relatively simple & shorter, that make it cost cheaper than hardcover board book binding.

To sum up above, whether design or printing board books, we need to take the babies in the first position. Only for that, we can create an excellent board book for the babies and your board books can sell better.

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