Sugarcoating It: Book Cover Finishes and Coatings

Book Cover Finishes



Choosing from a list of book cover finishes can be a daunting task. After all, it’s hardly the first thing authors think of when designing their book, if they think of it at all. Sure, it’s not uncommon to fantasize about a nice clothbound hardcover, perhaps, with an embossed title and your name in gold leaf. Or maybe a deckled edge along the text block’s face to lend a touch of wizened antiquity. But lamination? UV coatings? Those tend not to stir the imagination quite as much.

As authors and publishers, however, you know that a book’s cover is its first impression, and how it feels in a reader’s hands can make a world of difference. So, let’s talk about the various book cover finishes and coatings available at Presto Page, and how they can impact the look, feel, and durability of your books.

Gloss Lamination

Gloss lamination is like a spotlight for your book. It gives the cover a high-gloss finish that not only catches the eye but also offers excellent protection. With gloss lamination, your book cover will shine and stand out on the shelf. It’s a perfect choice if you want your cover to scream, “Pick me up!”

Matte Lamination

Matte lamination, on the other hand, offers a more subdued and understated look. It’s perfect for those who appreciate a more classic or minimalist aesthetic. While matte lamination doesn’t shine like its gloss counterpart, it still offers reasonable protection for your book cover, though it is slightly more vulnerable to scratches.

Soft Touch Lamination

This finish gives your book cover a velvety feel. While similar in appearance to a standard matte finish, soft touch lamination adds an extra depth that is, quite literally, touchable. In addition to its added elegance and professionalism, it also provides an extra layer of durability to your cover.

No Coating or Laminating

Not all books require the armor of lamination or coating. Choosing no coating or lamination allows your cover to exist in its most natural state. However, it’s essential to note that this leaves the cover more vulnerable to the elements, wear, and possible cracking. That said, this can be quite a handsome option for certain artistic and vintage-style projects.

Gloss UV Coating

Gloss UV coating takes the shine of gloss lamination to another level. It offers a glossy, wet look that simply exudes high-end luxury. If you want your book to radiate sophistication and dazzle potential readers, gloss UV coating is the way to go. However, please be aware that it may not be the best choice if you’re planning to incorporate foil stamping, certain metallic inks, or writable surfaces into your design.

Matte UV Coating

Matte UV coating, as the name suggests, provides a matte finish that’s both protective and elegant. It’s perfect for those who appreciate a subdued look while ensuring that their book remains well-guarded. Like gloss UV coating, it may not work well with foil stamping due to its non-reflective nature. Matte UV coating is a more cost-effective alternative to matte lamination, though at the expense of durability.

Book Cover Finishes: What Matters Most?

Now that we’ve introduced the available options, how do you decide which finish or coating is the best fit for your book? Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Visual Appeal: Think about the image you want to project. Do you want your book to be a dazzling jewel on the shelf (gloss), a timeless classic (matte), or something unique to touch (soft touch)?
  2. Genre and Audience: Consider your genre and target audience. Which finish aligns with your readers’ expectations? A glossy romance novel may have a different appeal compared to a matte-coated historical epic.
  3. Durability: Think about how your book will be used. Will it be carried around in bags and backpacks or displayed on coffee tables? Durability matters, and the right finish can help protect your cover.
  4. Special Design Elements: If you plan to incorporate foil stamping or specific design elements, make sure your chosen finish is compatible with these features.
  5. Brand and Author Image: Consider how your book cover fits into your brand or author image. Does it align with your identity as a writer or publisher?
  6. Cost: Keep in mind that certain finishes may add to the production cost. Balance the visual appeal with your budget.

In the end, it’s all about striking a balance between visual appeal, durability, and budget. No matter which finish you choose, we’re here to guide you through the selection process, ensuring that your cover not only looks exceptional but also aligns with your vision and needs. Contact our team of experts to discuss your project and get started today!

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