Half-binding – what you should know about it

Half-binding – what you should know about it

Half-binding is not a new invention but it can still puzzle some less seasoned professionals in the printing industry. So, what is it really and what about the other half?

For this type of binding the book block can be either sewn or glued. It’s a matter of your preferences or needs and it really doesn’t matter that much. But things get a bit complicated when it comes to the cover.

Before we explain what half-binding is, let us refresh your knowledge of the anatomy of a hardcover. As you can see in the picture, it isn’t that hard. A hardcover (produced using a hard-cased binding method) consists of reinforcing material in the form of two case boards made of cardboard with a cardboard spine board in between.

hard cover

A half-bound book is essentially the same in this respect, but then there is the casewrap. In conventional hardcover books the case is homogeneous – it is made from a single sheet of paper or cloth. On the other hand, half-binding involves the use of as many as 3 sheets. What’s the advantage? Unlimited possibilities! If the choice of cover materials already makes your head spin – hold on tight! Depending on your requirements or imagination, the cover can be made from 3 different materials combined. For aesthetic reasons the case boards are usually covered with the same material while a different one is used on the spine. But if you want to go extravagant, why not use three different cover materials?

half binding cover

So, what materials can be used to cover the boards? Basically any. This could be cardboard, cloth, synthetic leather, mass-dyed paper or printed linen. You can choose any materials that suit you and combine them.

Remarkably half-bound

If everything has been designed correctly, the final result is exceptional. Different textures and structures make your published work look exclusive and classic. Whether we accept it or not, books are judged by the cover and an outstanding cover that required effort to make will definitely suggest valuable content. Holding the book in their hands, the readers will feel it’s got value.

Sometimes designers of conventional, homogeneous covers, try to imitate this by using a different colour for the spine or printing textured patterns. However, even the best imitation cannot match the genuine effect of a half-bound book. You can fool your eyes to some extent but the illusion quickly fades once you take the book in your hands.

Half-binding is a type of binding we offer. If you want to find out whether it is the bespoke solution to your needs you are welcome to contact our sales representatives.

lidia piasecka

Lidia Piasecka

Graphic designer at Totem.com.pl. She writes because she enjoys it, but only when she isn’t busy drawing. Enthusiast of vintage furniture, she restores them to their original glory. Lover of cats, moths and the Moomins.

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