A hardcover …
is a book with a solid cover made of three cardboard layers and a cover. The book block is completely cased into the cover. An additional book jacket is frequently used to protect the cover from wear.
Best possible uses of hardcovers?
Hardcovers are the preferred choice for titles with a large number of pages, high-quality projects with surface finishing, calendars, reference books and textbooks. They keep their solid structure and their presentation has a high quality feel. Hardcover binding is well suited to titles that will experience heavy-usage and for books that must last for a longer period of time. Publishers will frequently initially launch their top titles in a more expensive hardcover, followed by the less expensive paperback version with a soft-cover binding.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of this technique?
Hardcover binding allows for a wide number of cover materials to be used to create attractive haptic effects. Bookmarks and headbands can also be produced in different colours. Hardcovers are more durable and of a higher quality than soft covers. However, hardcover books are not as easy to handle and are heavier than paperbacks.
How does the technique work?
To make a hardcover, endleaves and a spine tape are glued to the book block. If required, bookmarks or headbands are also added before the book block is cased into the finished cover. Subsequently, the book block and the cover are joined with glue.
A hardcover book should be at least 3mm thick otherwise the ratio between the book block and the cover is not balanced.
How do you see the future of this method?
More and more new book formats are released that combine the advantages of soft-cover and hardcover binding. Moreover, there is a trend towards increasingly refined finishing for hardcover books.