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There was a time when books were the primary source of information and entertainment. Even in this digital age, books still hold a certain allure. They are tangible objects that can be touched and felt, providing a different reading experience than electronic devices. If you are planning to publish a book, you want to ensure that it will withstand the test of time- both in terms of its content and physical appearance.
One way to do this is through book lamination. Lamination protects your book cover from scuffs, spills, and stains. It also gives your book a polished look, which can help it stand out on shelves. Best of all, book lamination is relatively inexpensive and easy to do. This blog will discuss the benefits of laminating your book covers and show you how to do it.
Things You Should Know About Book Lamination
Imagine the inside of your house. Numerous delicate pieces have been laminated for protection and strength to ensure you never need to be replaced or repaired. In the printing industry, we call the pieces “prints” – prints made with ink onto paper, book covers, etc.
They are laid down flat and enclosed in plastic film before getting baked at high temperatures for hours until all moisture evaporates. This process not only protects against stains & wrinkles; anything from smudge marks to tears will also stay hidden under these protective layers because no water molecules whatsoever touched their surface during production.
How Can Lamination for Book Covers Benefit You?
Lamination is an affordable and straightforward technique that can help improve the handling of books. It’s often used for the covers of books to protect their design and durability, making it an ideal choice in any library book. More benefits of lamination are as follows:
- It protects your book cover from damage like scuffs, spills, and stains.
- Lamination gives your book a polished look, which can help it stand out on shelves.
- A laminated cover not only protects your book but also saves you money in comparison to hardcover bound volumes.
- It gives your book a professional appearance.
- It makes your book more durable.
- You’ll enjoy longer life spans due to its protection and vibrant ink colors because of the glossy finish.
What are the Different Types of Lamination for Book Covers?
There are several types of laminations, and choosing the perfect book lamination sheet could be a hassle. Below-mentioned are some options that you can consider to help you make up your mind.
The glossy, reflective finish of a gloss laminate is stunning. Gloss lamination produces deeper and cleaner lines and colors that give off vibrancy to cover photos in your book. The durable material keeps dirt at bay even when it comes into contact with surfaces such as those found on trade paperbacks. This helps maintain their pristine appearance longer than other types like silk screens which often get cluttered easily due to higher absorbency.
Consider how your cover will be seen when choosing between a gloss finish and one with less flashy colors. The vibrancy or shine may draw attention away from the subtlety in design that was present beforehand. However, this can also make for an unforgettable aesthetic experience if done correctly.
While not as reflective, matte book laminate still gives off a smooth and sleek look. The non-glare feature is perfect for those who want to avoid light reflection when reading in well-lit areas such as outdoors or near windows. In addition, the muted tones are often favored in more sophisticated book covers where a more subdued look is desired.
For those who love the soft feel of matte lamination, here are some limitations to consider. This finish more readily absorbs scratches and scuffs than others. And while most people don’t mind its unusual texture, its less reflective qualities can lessen cover colors’ intensity resulting in a washed-out palette or punchier tones.
How to choose between Matte and Gloss finish?
Matte lamination is advised to be opted for when:
- The printed artwork will be placed in front of a light source. The matte surface reduces glare and makes the item easier to see from all angles.
- The printed piece isn’t handled all that often. Excessive use can quickly scratch or scuff matte laminates.
- You want a stylish, modern look. Matte is a great first impression material.
- Color tones are muted in the printed piece.
Gloss lamination is advised to be opted for when:
- The printed component is an object that is touched frequently daily. The gloss has a higher level of protection and is easier to clean than matte.
- The item should have a fantastic visual impact. The colors appear to pop off the page when gloss lamination is used.
- It’s not difficult to avoid glare.
- If cost is a concern. Gloss laminate is less expensive than matte laminate.
The distinctive texture of a soft-touch finish is hard to describe with words. But many people say it feels like short napped velvet, smooth suede, or chamois leather. This book lamination is achieved by adding a clear powder coating to the laminate film before it’s applied to your book cover. The result is an ultra-soft, velvety surface that’s not only incredibly pleasant to the touch but also gives off a luxurious look and feel. If you want that the cover of your book stands out from the rest, go for a soft-touch laminate.
One downside of soft-touch book lamination is that it’s not as durable as other types. So if you’re looking for a book laminate that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, soft-touch probably isn’t the right choice for you.
Scuff free lamination
Scuff-free book lamination is a must if you’re looking for a book laminate to keep your book cover looking new. This type of book laminate is made with a transparent film that’s been treated to resist scuffs and scratches. So if you accidentally drop your book or brush up against a rough surface, your book cover will look pristine.
If you’re looking for a book laminate that will keep your book cover looking like new, scuff-free lamination is the way to go.
How to Laminate the Book Cover?
There are two ways of laminating book covers: self-laminating and professional laminating.
Self-laminating book covers come with a thin layer of plastic that you peel off and adhere to the book cover yourself.
To self-laminate your book cover, you can purchase a self-laminating kit online from a craft store. These kits have everything you need to laminate your book cover, including the plastic sheet and adhesive. However, if you publish your book for a wider audience, this may not be the best way.
Professional laminating is done by a printing company or bindery with the help of a book cover lamination machine generally that gives a higher-quality finish.
To professionally laminate your book cover, you must take it to a printing company or bindery. They will have the necessary equipment to laminate your book cover, i.e., a book lamination machine.
Things to Keep in Mind
Here is your checklist of all the things you should not forget to consider while getting the final round of book lamination.
As with any other industrial mass-production activity, printing is to produce vast quantities of identical-quality products in a timely and cost-effective manner. This means that you go to a printing provider hoping to get a good deal on a print run that efficiently produces the requisite quantities.
Color variations are one of the most frustrating aspects of printing, and for a good reason. When you order many books, cards, pamphlets, or packaging from a printer, you want consistency. The final product to leave the printing press must be identical to the first and all the others in between.
Color matching before or after lamination
If your book cover has been color-matched to your brand before lamination, the process may change the colors slightly. If you have your book cover professionally laminated, ask the printer or bindery to color match after lamination. This way, you can ensure to rest assured that the colors on your book cover will match your brand.
Some book cover materials, such as fabric or leather, are not compatible with lamination. If you are unsure if your book cover material is compatible with lamination, ask your printer or bindery for guidance.
For example, foiling and stamping may not be perfectly compatible with each other on book covers. Lamination can also affect the texture of your book cover. If you are planning to have an embossed stamp on your book cover, ask your printer how lamination will affect the appearance of these treatments.
Book lamination generally adds a day or two to the printing and binding process. In case you are working with a tight deadline, be sure to factor in the additional time needed for lamination.
Covering your book in an extra layer, i.e., laminating your book cover, will add to the overall cost of printing your book. Certain types of lamination, for example, scuff free lamination or soft touch lamination, is exponentially more expensive than regular gloss/matte lamination, especially if you are just laminating very small amount of copies. Be sure to factor this into your budget when planning your print run.
Evidently, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to laminate your book cover. But if you want a book cover that will last longer and look great, lamination is the way to go.
Some Commonly Faced Issues While Book Lamination
Since lamination is a tender process, it has to be handled delicately. If not, the cost can rise significantly as every printing procedure would have to be started from scratch. Some of the common issues faced are:
Post lamination wrinkles
Wrinkles can occur during the book lamination process if the book cover is not flat or smooth. The tension in the film will affect how well it wrinkles. Laminated materials require a certain amount of resistance, as you might expect. Still, if there isn’t enough roll-tensioning, your prints may wrinkle because they were not appropriately handled during processing or storing time after rinsing off stage. Especially with thicker films, you should stretch them flat against their drying rack before being passed out of a book lamination machine.
To avoid wrinkles during the laminating process, make sure you have enough tension on your supply rolls and that they are not too moist. If material is going into this machine at 40°C or less, it should remain flat without any creases because excessive moisture will cause them to bunch up together like old cheese.
Lamination bubbles can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Incorrect film tension
- Too fast feeding of the printing sheets into the nip
- Over-heat to create the “hot spots” on the prints
- Too low of the operating temperature which causes the “silvering” reflective area.
- Air pockets in the book cover or laminating film
To avoid bubbles during the lamination process, ensure you have the correct film tension and that your book cover is adequately prepared. If you are using a self-laminating book cover, ensure the adhesive is free of moisture. If you have your book cover professionally laminated, ask the printer or bindery to check for moisture in the book cover or laminating film before beginning the process.
To Sum Up
If you are looking for a way to protect your book and give it an attractive appearance, consider laminating it. Lamination is a simple process that can seal your book and keep the pages from being damaged. It also gives your book a polished look that will make it stand out among other books on the shelf.
Now that you know all about book lamination, you can choose the best type of lamination for your book cover. Be sure to keep in mind the color, material, and compatibility of your book cover when making your decision. With the correct type of lamination, you can protect your book cover and give it an aesthetic appeal that will make it stand out from the rest. Thanks for reading. If you liked reading the article or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Till then, we wish you a happy book covering!
About Huaxin Printing
Huaxin Printing, with 34 years of experience in book printing, provides authors and publishers globally the professional advice and manufacturing service of paper selection, layout design, color printing, and bookbinding service. Our clients include Trusted Media Brands, Lonely Planet, Les Edition de Saxe, and most major art book publishers in China.