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How to Print a Coloring Book: Step-By-Step Guide

Time: 2024-03-25 Hits: 89

Creating a coloring book can be an exciting journey, whether you’re a budding artist looking to showcase your work or a brand seeking to engage with your audience on a more interactive level. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll walk you through the intricacies of printing a custom coloring book, sharing insights on how to make this creative venture both successful and satisfying.

custom coloring book

A coloring book isn’t just a set of drawings—it’s a portal to creativity and relaxation. It’s important to recognize that the process of printing a coloring book is as much an art as the illustrations within it. Every decision, from the paper type to the binding style, affects the final product. As someone who’s been through this process, I’m here to guide you through each step, ensuring that your custom coloring book stands out in quality and appeal.

Select a Trim Size before print a coloring book

Choosing the right trim size for your coloring book is crucial, as it sets the stage for the entire project. The trim size refers to the dimensions of the book after the pages have been cut to their finished size.

Children’s coloring book-For a children’s coloring book, larger sizes are often more appropriate. Not only do they offer more space for the artwork, but they also accommodate the less precise hand movements of younger artists. A standard trim size for children’s coloring books is 8.5″ x 11″, which is large enough to provide a satisfying canvas for coloring, yet still easy for small hands to handle.

Adult coloring book-On the other hand, an adult coloring book might feature more intricate designs and could be suited to a variety of sizes. Except for the standard size: 8.5″ x 11″, a large size, like 9″ x 12″ or 11″ x 14″ , providing ample space for detailed artwork while still being convenient for adults to manage and transport. However, you can choose a smaller size if portability is a key concern, or a larger one if you’re aiming to make an impact with bold, complex patterns.

Design the Coloring Book Cover

coloring book customThe cover of your coloring book is the first thing potential customers will see, so it needs to be eye-catching and reflective of the content inside.

Creating a stunning cover involves considering both the design elements and the materials used. The design should hint at the theme of your book, whether it’s nature scenes, abstract patterns, or something else entirely. Make sure the title is clear and legible, and consider including a colored-in example to inspire and entice buyers.

When it comes to materials, you’ll have to decide between a glossy or matte finish. Glossy covers are shiny and vibrant, which can make colors pop and attract attention on shelves. Matte covers, on the other hand, offer a more subtle, sophisticated look that many adults prefer.

Typesetting the Interior Pages

Once the cover is designed, it’s time to focus on the interior pages of your coloring book. The layout and typesetting of these pages are just as important as the cover design.

Good typesetting ensures that your coloring book is user-friendly. The margins should be wide enough to allow for coloring near the spine without difficulty, and the images should be positioned thoughtfully to maximize space and aesthetic appeal.

Remember to leave ample blank space around each drawing to prevent bleed-through and to allow for easier removal or framing of individual pages if desired. The font chosen for any text should be legible and complement the overall design of the book.

Consider the Paper Type to print coloring book

cheap coloring book printing

The type of paper you choose for your coloring book can greatly impact the final result. For the cover, you have the option of using glossy or matte art paper. Glossy art paper provides a shiny and vibrant finish, while matte art paper offers a more subdued and elegant look.

Consider the theme and style of your coloring book when deciding which paper type to use. We recommend 250gsm, 300gsm and 350gsm coated cover paper to print the cover, then with glossy or matte laminate coating, to make sure the cover is enough durable to withstand frequestly use.

For the interior pages, offset paper is a popular choice. As offset paper has small stretchability, uniform ink absorption, good smoothness, tight and opaque texture, good whiteness, and strong water resistance. The common paper for interior is 80gsm, 100gsm and 120gsm offset paper. These paper weights are thicker and more durable, allowing for better coloring and preventing any bleed-through from markers or pens.

Choosing the Binding Style

The binding style you choose for your coloring book will determine how the pages are held together. There are several options to consider, including saddle stitch, perfect binding, spiral bound, and hardcover.

Saddle stitch-Saddle stitching is a popular and cost-effective binding method for thinner coloring books. It involves folding the pages together and stapling through the fold line. This style works well for books with fewer pages and provides a flat surface for coloring.

Perfect binding-Perfect binding is a method where the pages and cover are glued together at the spine with a strong yet flexible thermal glue. Perfect binding gives coloring books a professional finish and is suitable for thicker books.

Spiral bound-Spiral binding offers the ultimate ease of use for a coloring book. It allows the book to lay flat or fold over, making it easy to color every part of the page. This is a great option for both children and adults, as it enhances the coloring experience.

Hardcover-For a premium custom adult coloring book, you might opt for a hardcover binding. This sturdy option increases the book’s longevity and enhances its value as a keepsake or gift. Hardcover coloring books can be either perfect bound or spiral bound within the hard casing.

Prepare the Artwork/File

Preparing the artwork for your coloring book is a meticulous process that requires attention to detail. Ensure that each image is clean, sharp, and sized correctly for the trim size you’ve chosen. The resolution should be high (at least 300 DPI) to avoid any blurriness or pixelation when printed.

The file format is also important. Typically, printers prefer PDF files as they lock in formatting and ensure that the files can be opened consistently across different computers and software.

Make sure to include all fonts, images, and any special instructions within the file. If you’re not confident about preparing the file yourself, it might be worth hiring a professional graphic designer or utilizing the services of your chosen printer if they offer design assistance.


Proofing is an essential step that should not be overlooked. It’s your opportunity to catch any mistakes or issues before the final print run.

We usually provide digital proof, which shows how the coloring book will look once printed. Review this proof carefully, checking for any errors in the text, image quality, and overall layout. If possible, request a printed proof, as it will give you a better idea of the final product, including the paper quality and color accuracy.

This is the last chance to make changes without incurring additional costs, so take your time and review everything thoroughly.

Pick a Coloring Book Printer

coloring book printing companies

Choosing the right printer is the final and perhaps most critical step in the printing process. Look for coloring book printing companies that have experience with custom coloring book projects. They should be able to offer you a reasonable coloring book printing service, with options for different paper types, binding styles, and cover finishes.

Don’t just settle for cheap coloring book printing; the quality of your book is paramount. Ask for samples of their work, check their turnaround times, and read reviews from other customers. Make sure they understand your vision and can deliver a product that meets your expectations.

It’s also important to consider their customer service. You want a printer who is responsive and willing to guide you through the process, especially if this is your first time printing a coloring book.

FAQ about Coloring Book Printing

What is the best paper type for a custom coloring book?

Offset paper is generally the best choice for the interior pages of a coloring book. It’s thick enough to prevent bleed-through and has a good texture for coloring.

How many pages should a coloring book have?

The number of pages in a coloring book can vary, but typically, they range from 20 to 60 pages. It depends on the complexity of the designs and the target audience.

What file format should I use for my coloring book artwork?

PDF is the preferred file format for most printers because it preserves the layout and formatting of your artwork across different platforms.

How do I choose a binding style for my coloring book?

Consider the user experience and the page count of your coloring book. Saddle stitch is suitable for thinner books, perfect binding for a more polished look, spiral binding for ease of use, and hardcover for a premium product.

How much does cost to print a coloring book? 

The cost of coloring book printing will vary depending on factors such as the trim size, paper type, page count, binding style, and quantity. It’s best to request quotes from different printers to get an accurate estimate.

What is the turnaround time for coloring book printing? 

Turnaround times can vary depending on the printing company and the complexity of the project. It’s important to discuss your timeline and deadline with the printer beforehand to ensure that they can meet your needs.

Can I print a small quantity of coloring books? 

Yes, many printing companies offer small print runs for coloring books, allowing you to test the market or print a limited edition.

coloring book printing and binding

Printing a coloring book requires careful consideration of various factors, from selecting the trim size to choosing the paper type and binding style. Through following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your coloring book is printed to the highest standards and will provide hours of enjoyment for coloring enthusiasts of all ages. So get creative, unleash your imagination, and start bringing your coloring book to life!

Ready to print your own custom coloring book? Contact us today for a quote and let us bring your vision to life!

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