Hard Cover Layout

Cover Dimensions and Spine Size Calculator can be found HERE.


A few things to keep in mind when building your hard cover:

    • The cover bleed is .625" (5/8), much bigger than the interior pages
    • The recommended margin is .5" (1/2) between the safe area and the bleed area and also marks the hinge.
    • The front and back covers will be .25" (1/4) bigger than your page size (If the book is 8.5x11, the cover will be 8.75x11.25). This area includes the Safe and Unsafe Areas
    • The safe zone for the cover is .75" (3/4) smaller than the page size (If the book is 8.5x11, the safe area of the cover is 7.75x10.25)
    • Feel free to place anything on the spine you wish, it will print just fine
    • There is a hinge. It allows the hard cover to open and close without ripping the casewrap (printed cover) and it is part of the front & back covers on each side of the spine.


Basic Layout for Hard Covers:



Centering the Front and Back Covers

Bleed the background across the

entire cover including the .625"

bleed and .5" unsafe area.

Center all the text and other objects from

the inside of the unsafe area

The Finished Hard Cover

Its very easy to get "lost" in all this design jargon about bleeds and safe zones so let's take a minute to visualize what your file will look like when it's a finished cover.


Cover file with bleeds, unsafe area, and the spine
The finished book. Notice the bleed is wrapped around to the inside of the cover and the hinge is part of the cover