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Process of Hardcover Book Printing

Time: 2022-03-16 Hits: 186


As a professional in the printing industry, I have had the privilege of witnessing the intricate process of hardcover book printing. The artistry and craftsmanship that go into creating a high-quality hardcover book is truly remarkable. From the initial CTP plate making to the final assembly, each step is carefully executed to ensure a flawless end product. In this article, I will take you through the journey of hardcover book printing, highlighting the key steps involved and the attention to detail required at each stage.

Before start the process, the following will introduce some basic knowledge of hardcover book printing.

The role of binding: The binding process undertakes the final decorative processing task of printed books and periodicals, which is related to the use value, reading value and collection value of books and periodicals. Therefore, binding is a very important processing step in the packaging of printed matter.

Hardcover refers to a refined production method after a book is printed. Hardcover books are mainly made of various shapes on the cover of the book, the book block and the corner of the book. There are various processing methods and forms, such as book block processing, such as round back, square back, square corner and rounded corner, etc.; cover processing is divided into whole face, joint face, etc.

A Brief of Hardcover Process

The processing process of the hardcover book center is the same as the binding method of the paperback book center in terms of folding, matching and binding. In addition, the special processing of the hardcover book center must be carried out.

Book block processing: Folding → sticking ring lining, single page → book matching → sewing → flattening, bundling → brushing and drying → separate cutting → rounding and ridges → three sticking (sticking head cloth, gauze, book back paper)

Cover processing: Cover processing includes print cover sheet, add special finishes (e.g. spot uv, embossing, deboss, glossy /matte lamination, foil stamping, die cut, etc.), die cut in shape and size, glued, line pressing to form the cover.

The Steps of Hard Cover Book Making Process

CTP plate making

The first step in hardcover book printing is CTP plate making. CTP, which stands for Computer-to-Plate, is a method that directly transfers digital files onto printing plates. This process eliminates the need for film negatives, resulting in a more efficient and accurate production process. The digital files are exposed onto the plates using laser technology, ensuring sharp and precise images. Once the plates are ready, they are mounted onto the printing press for the next stage.

Printing parent sheets

With the CTP plates in place, the printing of the parent sheets can begin. Parent sheets are large sheets of paper that will later be cut and folded to create the pages of the book. The printing press applies ink to the plates, which then transfers the ink onto the parent sheets. The sheets pass through the press multiple times to print both sides and achieve the desired color saturation and image quality. Once the printing is complete, the parent sheets are ready for the next step in the process.

Making the book block

The book block refers to the pages of the book that are bound together. Creating a sturdy and durable book block requires several precise steps. The process of making the book block involves several stages to ensure the pages are properly aligned and secured.

1. Folding

The first step in making the book block is folding the parent sheets. This is done using specialized folding machines that accurately crease the sheets along predetermined lines. The folding process creates signatures, which are small groups of pages that will be bound together.

2. Collecting

Once the pages are folded, they are collected and arranged in the correct order. Usually, this is done with the help of automated machines. The collected signatures are then stacked together, forming the book block. This process requires attention to detail to ensure that the pages are in the proper sequence.

3. Smyth sewn

To ensure the durability of the book block, the signatures are sewn together using a technique called Smyth sewing. This process involves sewing the signatures together with strong thread, creating a sturdy binding that can withstand frequent use.

4. Trimming

After the book block is sewn, it is trimmed to achieve the desired size and shape. Trimming machines ensure that all the pages are evenly cut, resulting in a clean and professional finish.

5. Adding thin cloth to the spine

Adding cloth, also known as spine lining. To enhance the durability of the book block, a thin cloth strip is added to the spine. This reinforcement prevents the pages from tearing away from the binding and adds strength to the overall structure. After adding cloth, the book block is finished, then glued on a hard cover.

making book block

Making the hard cover

The hard cover of a book not only protects the pages but also adds an element of elegance. The process of making the hard cover involves several intricate steps.

1. Printing cover and cutting into shape

To create the cover, the front cover, back cover, and spine are printed on a single sheet of material. This sheet is then cut into the desired shape using specialized cutting machines. The cutting process ensures that the cover fits perfectly over the book block.

2. Cutting grey board

Then, to create a sturdy cover, front cover, spine and back cover of grey board is separated cut, to match the size of the front cover, spine and back cover. The grey board provides rigidity and strength to the hardcover.

3. Gluing cover

Once the cover and grey board are prepared, they are wrapped together. Adhesive is applied to the grey board, and the cover is carefully positioned and pressed onto it. This creates a solid and secure bond between the cover and the grey board.

making book case

The final stage of hardcover book printing is the assembly process. The book block is carefully glued into the hard cover, aligning the spine with the hard cover. The pages are secured to the cover, creating a cohesive and visually appealing finished product.

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the process of hard cover book printing, you can appreciate the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into creating each book. From CTP plate making to the assembly of the final product, every step is crucial in producing a high-quality hardcover book. So, the next time you hold a hardback book in your hands, take a moment to admire the expertise and dedication that went into its creation.

To learn more about hardbound book printing and create your own custom hard cover book, please visit hardcover binding or watch below video.

Feel free to contact us to start your hardcover book printing journey.


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