Hardcover Design Guidelines & Templates


  • Use 300 DPI or High Resolution images
  • Edit and save in CMYK
  • Use Vector graphics
  • Convert all text into Graphic Form/Outlines
    • Illustrator & Indesign: Type>Create Outlines


  • Use graphics taken from websites
  • Add print or crop marks
  • Save as multi-page PDF
  • Flatten layers before saving – it’ll reduce your print quality

Bleed Area

Extend all colors and graphics to the full edge of the bleed area – it will make sure you don’t end up with white edges on your book cover when it is wrapped.

Cover Edge

This is the edge of the hardcover, where we aim to wrap the design. Your background still needs to run to the edges of the bleed area.

Safe Area

Keep all the key elements of your design, including text, logos, and iconography within the this area to insure it is not wrapped around the edge of your hardcover.

Flex Area

This is the edge of the hardcover, where we aim to wrap the design. Your background still needs to run to the edges of the bleed area.

Hardcover dimensions—8.5″x11″

Total size in Inches Total size in Pixels Total size in Centimeters
A spine 19.25″ x 12.25″ 5575px x 3675px 48.9cm x 31.12cm
B spine 19.4″ x 12.25″ 5820px x 3675px 49.28cm x 31.12cm
C spine 19.65″ x 12.25″ 5895px x 3675px 49.91cm x 31.12cm
D spine 19.9″ x 12.25″ 5970px x 3675px 50.55cm x 31.12cm
E spine 20.15″ x 12.25″ 6045px x 3675px 51.18cm x 31.12cm

Hardcover Page Count

# of Pages # of Sheets Width in Inches Width in mm
A spine 10—120 pages 5—60 sheets 0.25″ 6.4mm
B spine 120—220 pages 60—110 sheets 0.5″ 12.7mm
C spine 220—360 pages 110—180 sheets 0.75″ 19.7mm
D spine 360—470 pages 180—235 sheets 1″ 25.4mm
E spine 470—610 pages 235—305 sheets 1.25″ 31.8mm

Why file types do you recommend?

To help make your job easier, Powis accepts a wide range of file formats. These are: PDF, TIFF, PNG, JPEG.

For the best results, we recommend:
  • PDF: This file format protects your graphics and enables us to get the best results whether your design includes, text, graphics and/or photography
  • TIFF: This file format is known for its extremely high quality, and is primarily used in photography and desktop publishing. If you are working in Photoshop, you can Save-As into TIFF while maintaining your file’s layers.

Why 300 DPI?

Files such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF etc., are made up of a thousands of tiny ‘dots’ or ‘pixels’. These pixels are all the same size, but can be different colors. The amount of pixels or dots in an image is called ‘resolution’. When there are lots of pixels and an image looks smooth or photographic, that’s ‘high resolution’. When there are less pixels an image often looks blocky and bad.

For this reason, we ask for 300 DPI or ‘High Resolution’ graphics – these have a large number of pixels available and will look smooth & precise when printed.