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Cover hinge area

I have a cover layout question. This is for a casewrap cover for an Executive size book, about 550 pages, to be printed via Lulu xPress. I'm planning on using a one-piece (wraparound) cover, uploaded as a PDF file. I have the appropriate template from Lulu, showing the wrap area, safety margins, live areas, and spine. But what the template doesn't show is the "hinge area" (the area between the edge of the spine and the joint line where the cover bends).

The cover will be simple, just text (title and author) plus some decorative horizontal lines. This will look best if the elements are centered horizontally between the joint line and the right edge of the cover (not between the spine and the right edge of the cover). Other books this size have hinge areas about 3/8" wide. Can I assume the same width for the hinge area for the Lulu cover?

Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    One would hope that the centre of the spine is in the centre of the cover, it tells you the spine width here (you have to scroll down quite a way to find it) >>   https://xpress.lulu.com/faq  the rest has to be worked out from that I assume.
  • Thanks for the reply. I understand that. The Lulu-supplied template gives widths for the wrap areas (0.75"), safety margins (0.375"), and live area (6.375"). And for my project the spine is 1.5". With that info I can center the title between the spine and the edge of the cover. But I want to center it between the joint line and the edge of the cover, and the template doesn't show the joint line. Unless I hear otherwise, I'll assume the joint line is about 3/8" from the spine edge.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I am surprised there is a Lulu template for every page count. What Cover Designer Wizard are you using? Is there a different one on LuluXpress than there is here? If it is not the same perhaps you could try the one here (you will have to go through a Project (set it at Private)) use the one that opens by default. Colour the font cover one colour, the auto-sized spine another, and the back cover another. Then click Create, and that will make a one-piece PR PDF that you can down load and examine. Of course it will be best if you can print it out at home real-size and take a ruler to it.
  • There isn't a template for every page count, just for every page size. All the casewrap cover templates have a spine width of 0.25" (the minimum). The dimensions shown in the template have to be modified for the actual spine width, which for my project (currently 551 pages) is 1.5". And I'm not using any Cover Designer Wizard, just creating it myself in MS Publisher.

    Anyway, this is a little bit off track. All I'm asking for is confirmation that the hinge area (which isn't shown in the template) is about 3/8" wide, similar to what I see on other hardcover books I own.

  • Paul_LuluPaul_Lulu Admin
    edited January 28
    I personally don't know a lot about this, but I sent a request to our print team for some info. I'll post again later today when they get back with details.

    Edit: Got a response faster then I anticipated! Here's what our print team had to say:

    The combined safety margin/hinge for our xPress books is 0.375". The generated template incorrectly shows 0.25", but the downloaded template packs from https://xpress.lulu.com/our-products correctly show this margin.
    We have a bug fix in to address this inconsistency, but it has not been implemented yet. If people use 0.25" for their safety margin, then their cover will not turn out well-aligned. I would guide them towards the template bundles on the Products Page.

    So it appears 3/8" is the correct hinge width to allow for!

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Well, silly me, I could have simply measured one of mine, and it is indeed 3/8"!

    There isn't a template for every page count, just for every page size. All the casewrap cover templates have a spine width of 0.25" (the minimum). The dimensions shown in the template have to be modified for the actual spine width,

    Which makes one wonder why the need for a template, then.

     which for my project (currently 551 pages) is 1.5".


    I have just used Lulu's (here) Create area and it says spine width  for 551 pages is 1.266". Cover size is 15.04 x 10.75in and spine starts at 15.04 x 10.75in. The other settings change that, though. But here they are if you wish to have a play with them >>  http://www.lulu.com/create/books

    And I'm not using any Cover Designer Wizard, just creating it myself in MS Publisher.

    But you will be, when you enter a Project Wizard, they are part of the Create tools. At least here they are, and I assume it's the same at LuluXpress. Will Publisher save as a PDF? it's a long time since I used it.

    Anyway, this is a little bit off track.

    Not really it's not.

     All I'm asking for is confirmation that the hinge area (which isn't shown in the template) is about 3/8" wide, similar to what I see on other hardcover books I own.

  • But you will be, when you enter a Project Wizard, they are part of the Create tools. At least here they are, and I assume it's the same at LuluXpress. Will Publisher save as a PDF? it's a long time since I used it.
    If you check out the xPress creation process, you'll see that it is quite different from the current Lulu.com wizard. The cover builder is much simplified.
    And the cover step does indeed offer a fitted template (PDF) based on the book size and page count for those making their own cover.
  • Thanks Paul for the info about the hinge width. That helps, and I should be able to center things on the cover the way I'd like. One suggestion - in the cover template packs at https://xpress.lulu.com/our-products, you might consider labeling the region between the spine and the "live area" as "hinge area," instead of as part of the "safety margin" like it is now. That would have made things less confusing, for me anyway.

    To respond to a couple points Kevin asked ...

    - About the need for the cover template packs, at https://xpress.lulu.com/our-products, since the dimensions have to be modified for the actual spine width. I think they're very useful in showing the layout and sizes of the various elements that an author needs to be aware of when creating their own cover, and not using one of the pre-formatted Lulu designs.

    - About the spine width. The value of 1.5" I've been using comes from the spine width table for casewrap covers at the web site. As an exercise, I uploaded to Lulu xPress the current version of the interior for the book I'm working on, then in the "Design your Cover" step selected the "Upload a Cover" button and downloaded the template Lulu generates on the fly for that number of pages. It shows a spine width of 1.5". (It also erroneously shows a hinge region 0.25" wide, as Paul noted.)

    - Kevin pointed me to the spine width calculator at http://www.lulu.com/create/books. Like him, for a casewrap 551-page book I get a spine width of 1.286" (he actually said 1.266" in his post, I assume a typo). This is for a different paper size, but I don't see why that would make a difference. Is the casewrap binding used at Lulu.com somehow different from that at Lulu xPress?

    - For fun, I checked the spine widths for a Perfect Bound 551-page book. Using the spine width calculator as above, I get 1.241", but using the formula from the Lulu web site I get 1.301".

    - Yes, MS Publisher can save as a PDF file. (I'm using Publisher 2007, and it requires a Microsoft Add-In to do that. I think more recent versions have that capability built in.)

    Finally, after going through the exercise of uploading the interior for the book, I've got another question, about the margins and gutter width. That's unrelated to the cover though, so I'll start a new topic.
  • cetowne said:
    - Kevin pointed me to the spine width calculator at http://www.lulu.com/create/books. Like him, for a casewrap 551-page book I get a spine width of 1.286" (he actually said 1.266" in his post, I assume a typo). This is for a different paper size, but I don't see why that would make a difference. Is the casewrap binding used at Lulu.com somehow different from that at Lulu xPress?
    It's due to the paper weight. Lulu xPress uses our newer print packages (Lulu.com will be updated to these later this year), so there is some variance in the paper weight, which leads to some variance in the spine width. 
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Like him, for a casewrap 551-page book I get a spine width of 1.286" (he actually said 1.266" in his post, I assume a typo).

    It changes depending on the exact hardback book kind you pick at the start. I gave just one example.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    - Yes, MS Publisher can save as a PDF file. (I'm using Publisher 2007, and it requires a Microsoft Add-In to do that. I think more recent versions have that capability built in.)

    I think I stopped using it around 2002 because it would not Save As a doc, (just .pub I think) but it was an old version of Publisher.
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