Art Book Printing Size – What is the best size for an art book?

At 3’ tall and 2.5’ (915mm x 762mm) wide, the Kiss Monster book owns up to its title! You literally can fit an electric guitar between the covers! In contrast, visit and you can find miniature art books as small as .5” (12mm x 12mm) square. Art books are produced in a large variety of sizes.

What is the best art book printing size for your coffee table book?

Defining “size”, “dimension”, “format” and “extent”

In printer lingo, the horizontal dimension of a page is always listed first, followed by the vertical dimension, as you would hold the book to read the text. For example, a 6” x 9” book has a page size of 6” wide by 9” tall.

“Size” or “dimension” is always expressed by the dimensions of the text pages, not the dimensions of the cover.  If the book has a hard cover, the physical size of the book will be larger due to the cover overhang.

Orientation or format for an art book can be portrait, landscape or square. Square seems to be a more and more popular format. Following the above logic, a 6” x 9” book would be “portrait” and a 9″ x 6″ book would be “landscape”

Art Book Printing Page Size

The decision to make your book portrait or landscape is best determined by the orientation of the art that you are featuring. This is a good first step when you make your decision. The cost difference between portrait or landscape is minimal, so this should not be a determining factor (unless the book is over 14” wide)

If economy is important (and when is it not?), you may think a standard commercial printing size for books, such as 8.5 x 11, 9 x 12, 11 x 11 or 12 x 12 is best. In Asia, however, paper is custom cut for each art book, giving us a larger range of options. A ½” larger or smaller is easy to do. To do a size that is “different” may be one way to set your book apart.

While we can get paper in many size, In our calculations, we will consider that most printing presses for full color book printing allow for maximum overall sheet size of 28” x 40”, with a “live” area of 26” x 39”. Using these expensive printing plates efficiently, we try to fit as many pages as possible on the sheet. This way we will help you get the highest quality look as affordable as possible.

Art Book Printing Size – Extent

Without getting too technical, the preferred page count in a book is either a multiple of 8 (for landscape and portrait) and a multiple of 12 (for a square book). The extent of a book summarizes the main components, as follows: “Page count + endsheets + cover + jacket” is a typical way to summarize a hard cover book.

 Art Book Printing Size – Thickness

Your Art book is a three-dimensional object. Thickness is the third step in determining your Art book printing size dimensions. Naturally, the number of pages is the most important determining factor here, but the caliper of the paper makes a large impact as well. 157gsm (100#) paper is the most commonly used paper for art books, but stepping up to 180gsm or 200gsm can give a book with lower page count a boost in perceived value at a relatively small extra investment.

Unlike most other book printers, we use heavy-duty binder boards that are at least 3mm thick.

Art Book Printing Size – The Quote

We are happy to explore several sizes and formats to determine the art book printing size for your book during a quote process. You will be able to make an intelligent decision as you consider these options. Then, when your preference is revealed, we provide you with a complete paper dummy to those specs so you can touch and feel the exact book before you commit to production.

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We do whatever we can to offer the absolutely finest quality printing and binding at the most economical cost. One of the most effective tools towards that objective is found in limiting the options we offer for the various  “ingredients” of a book. For example, we offer five high quality interior paper choices and hard cover board in just three calipers. 99% of our professional clients have found our options more than satisfactory.

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