Creating the artwork for a Hardback cover (case)

Creating the artwork for a Hardback cover (case)


This tutorial uses Scribus on an Apple Mac computer Scribus is a Desk Top Publishing program made available through an open source project It’s available for free on Windows, Mac OS and even some Linux versions Scribus gives you the ability to do advanced level page layout. As long as you have some basic computer skills, this is pretty easy and some people will find it fun. If that doesn’t sound like you remember that we do offer a basic, low cost, cover layout service at the time of creating this video, the cost for this service is the princely sum of £20. Have a chat with the helpdesk for the latest price. So if you don’t like creating stuff on your computer don’t moan that this is all too complicated just ask the nice people at Inky to do it for you! if the default unit is not millimetres, set it to be mm get rid of the margins we need to create the artwork for our case at the correct size this means setting the page size correctly to make this easier to follow I’m going to use the same book size and spine width as the example in the artwork preparation guide this is an A5 sized book with a 15mm spine so the page height is the height of my book block (210mm) + 24mm this gives me a total page height of 234mm and my page width is the width of my book block (148mm) TIMES 2, PLUS the width of the spine (15mm) PLUS 28mm this gives us a total page width of 339mm now we need to create some guides, so that we know where to position our content this is the tricky bit, where we need to do some calculations first we do the vertical guides the first guide is 8mm from the left this shows the edge of the rear cover all of the artwork to left of this guide is used to wrap around the cover and under the end sheet the second guide is for the left hand side of the spine the calculation for this is 14mm PLUS the width of my book block 148mm in this example this gives us a position of 162mm for our second guide the 3rd guide is for the right hand of the spine this is calculated as position of the SECOND guide PLUS the width of the spine (15mm) this gives us 177mm the third guide shows us the edge of the front cover all of the artwork to the right of this guide is used to wrap around the cover and under the end sheet the calculation is: position of the THIRD guide PLUS 6mm PLUS the width of the book block 148mm in this example this gives us 331mm next we do the horizontal guides the first guide is 8mm from the top this shows the top edge of the covers all of the artwork above this guide is used to wrap around the cover and under the end sheet the second guide is 16mm PLUS the height of my book block 210mm in this example this gives a position of 226mm for the second guide this shows the bottom edge of the covers all of the artwork below this guide is used to wrap around the cover and under the end sheet that’s the most difficult part of the job finished the next stage is to lay out our case artwork I’m going to show you a simple, but effective layout as all our work here at Inky is done using Adobe InDesign I don’t use Scribus myself, so I am not an expert however, there are plenty of online tutorials that help you learn how to use Scribus so that you can create far more complex cover layouts First I’m going to insert an image to use as the background to my front cover to crop an image, turn on free scaling make sure that you resize objects accurately to your guides it will help if you turn on “snap to guides” to add a title I create a text frame I’m centering my text and making it stand out a little more I’ll copy that frame to add my name because you have the guides, you can clearly see how your layout will work I want a background colour over the rear cover and spine I don’t like any of those colours, so let’s define a new one next, a title & name on the spine I’m copying & pasting the existing title rotate, resize and move to fit nicely on the spine it can help to hide the frame edges and the same with name, until I’m happy with it now for the back cover you may find it helpful to use a centre guide on the back cover back to manage guides… you can calculate the position of the back page centre guide like this: take the book block width and add 6mm to that divide the result of that by 2 and then add 8 to the result of that so for our example, that works out as 148 + 6 is 154 154 / 2=77 77 + 8=85mm if you find this difficult to follow, don’t worry, just use the numbers I’ve given you accurately and remember to substitute your own book block width I’m going to add my ISBN number and bar code next you can make the ISBN bar code a bit smaller than the standard size if you want but we don’t recommend going smaller than about 85% of the original size now for some blurb for the back cover that’s now a complete and perfectly sized hardback case the next step is to save it and then create a PDF I would always outline fonts to be safe and set the colour output to be Printer you don’t need to worry about anything else

Dereck Turner

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