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Hardcover for
precious books

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Hardcover binding is our ‘core business’: it certainly is the product for which Novagrafica is best known on the market. 

Hardcover binding is a complex technique that, in its fundamentals, consists in glueing the sewn signatures of the book onto a rigid cover. This type of binding is extremely versatile, and can be used to realise the most different ideas.

When to go hardcover?

Hardcover is your most appropriate choice when producing valuable volumes, sturdy, practical and aesthetically pleasing.

This type of binding enhances the prestige and visual impact of your product, adding artistic value to its presentation.

How does hardcover binding work?

The first step is to cut and fold the printed parent pages. These are then organised and smyth sewn together to obtain book blocks called ‘signatures’. 

The spine area is then reinforced through the application of gauze or cardboard. At this point it is the turn of the book cover, which will be glued to the sewn book block after the insertion of two end-papers (double-side sheets that secure together book block and cover).

The cover itself is composed of four elements: a single printed sheet of your front, spine and back design, and three pieces of board making for your front, back, and spine cover. 

How is the cover assembled?

The rigid cover is composed of four elements:

  • a printed sheet, 
  • three boards (front, back and spine)

This type of cover offers endless possibilities for variations. This is why it is important to choose the right cover for your project and individual taste.

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How to choose the right cover?

With its wide variety of combinations, hardcover binding is the perfect technique to develop your creative ideas. Choosing the right cover can be hard, though. 

Here are some pointers to help you find the best solution for you.

  • Classic hardcover. The choice is ample even if you opt for a classic hardcover. Some examples? You could choose to use a classic printed sheet, but you could also opt for different materials: foil-laminated, synthetics, cloth, green materials, and so much more.
  • Dutch binding (Flexicover). Ideal for a flexible and easy-to-handle final product.
  • Padded hardcover. For diaries, journals, or children’s books.
  • Swiss binding. This type of cover allows you to open the book fully, without resistance, as the book block is glued to the rear hinge, rather than to the end-papers. 

And this is not everything.

Let us now talk about accessories! Rounded or pointed corners, rubber band closures, engravings, dust jackets, slipcases… and so much more.
The accessories you choose should reflect the value and destination of your final product.
Hardcover binding is, in short, a complex practice that encompasses a world of possibilities. 

To have to choose among so many options can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially if your initial idea is not fully formed.
It is then important to seek the advice of professionals such as ourselves. We will be able to listen to your ideas and to offer our expertise to find the best solution to realise your project to the highest standards.

The future of hardcover binding

BF 513 Bookline

Thanks to our new BF513 Bookline, we can now produce large print runs, with conventional printing methods but reduced production time. This state-of-the-art machine also allows us to manage individual products or small print runs with size changeovers from digitally printed products.

The formats are automatically memorised and regulated by the machine, significantly reducing starting times. The width of the book block is also automatically regulated, allowing for micro-adjustments during the production process. Moreover, the machine eliminates the problem of scrap-copies and start-copies, offering an important economic advantage on the price per-copy.

The high-precision drive technology of this powerful and accurate new generation of machines is reflected in the impeccable quality of the product achieved in industrial book production, in all of its details and stages: cutting, pressing and casing of book blocks in rigid or flexi covers; pressing and final shaping of the hinge section; gauze application; spine and head square designing. 


Range of book block formats:

  • max 280 x 375 x 80 mm
  • max 305 x 375 x 30 mm
  • min 100 x 70 x 20 mm

production 4.0


What is the best paper to use for endpapers?

Ideally, for endpapers you would use moldmade paper (140/170 gms) or, alternatively, matte-coated paper (150/170 gms). Whichever you choose, the fiber needs to be parallel to the spine.

I need to produce a hardcover volume. How do I calculate the measure of the spine and development of the cover material?

Here at Novagrafica we work for and with you: we will be able to advise you on all the necessary steps and measures to apply the perfect cover sheet to your boards.
All you need to do is tell us what kind of paper you want to use. In a very short time, we will be able to provide a PDF version of the cover material, on a 1:1 scale, with which you will then be able to assemble your cover easily and precisely.

What do you mean by ‘paper density’?

The measure of paper density is calculated by dividing the grammage (weight), expressed in Kg, over the caliper (thickness).

For example, a 100gms (0.1 Kg) sheet of paper, whose density is equal to 1, will be 0.1 mm thick. A sheet of the same size and weight but different density will also have a different caliper. E. g. a sheet of moldmade paper measuring 100 gms, whose density if equal to 1.2, will be 0.12 mm thick.

As a customer, you want to realise an unusual and unique product. What steps can you take in order to avoid problems during its production?

The first step is yours: to involve the bindery from the very start can be the best solution.

With our expertise on your side, you will save a significant amount of time and money, as we will be able to avoid any incident or delay by advising you from the start on the appropriate choice for paper, endpaper, cover sheet, and so on.

I want to laminate the cover sheet. Can I choose whichever kind of lamination?

No, different types of lamination will work with different kinds of paper.
The first thing to consider is that the grammage of the paper used for cover sheets is 130/150 gsm (for coated paper), and 115/120 gsm for other papers.

Choosing the right plastic and type of lamination is essential for a good outcome. For example…

If your sheet is brightly coloured, you want to make sure that the ink is perfectly dry before proceeding with the lamination. Moreover, it is good practice to protect it with an anti-scratch treatment. 

If you are thinking of hot stamping on the cover sheet, the plastic will need to be treated twice. 
Sometimes, dry plastic won’t stick to a cover: you could try wet lamination.

Are you thinking of a soft touch lamination?
Yes, but not on dark covers, as its strong electrostatic component will turn your book into a veritable magnet for dust.
We also advise against soft touch lamination for paperback covers, as they might result in unsightly marks and problems on the tail.

Get in touch now!

We are specialists in responding promptly and proposing solutions tailored to your needs. Try us!

We always reply to queries within shortest time.

logo novagrafica bianco

VIA J.F. Kennedy S.N.
24020 Villa di Serio – BG

C.F. P. IVA: IT02745260162

TEL 035 663398
FAX 035 655385

Michelangelo Giovanni Tonolini : president – giovanni@novagraficasrl.it
Lara Tonolini : admin – info@novagraficasrl.it
Stefano Tonolini: quotes –stefano@novagraficasrl.it
Fabrizio Tonolini: production –fabrizio@novagraficasrl.it


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