What Is the Best Size for an Art Book?

What Is the Best Size for an Art Book?

ArtBook Printing finds great economy by limiting the options for the various “ingredients” of a book. For example, we offer five high quality interior paper choices and three hard cover board calipers. We do not offer a standard size for a coffee table book. We can make any size!

“Size” is expressed first by the dimensions of the text pages, not the dimensions of the cover. For example, a 6” x 9” book has a page size of 6” wide by 9” tall. If the book has a hard cover, the physical size of the book will be larger due to the cover overhang.
Orientation can be portrait, landscape or square. The decision to make a book portrait or landscape is usually determined by the orientation of the art that is featured.
In printer lingo, the horizontal dimension is always listed first, followed by the vertical dimension, as you would hold the book to read the text. A 10” x 8” indicates a landscape format and 8” x 10” a portrait format. If economy is an issue, it is best to use a standard size, such as 8.5” x 11”, 9” x 12”, 11” x 11” or 12” x 12”.

In Asia, paper is custom cut for each book, giving us a larger range of options. A half-inch larger or smaller is easy to do. However, most printing presses for full color book printing allow for maximum size of 28” x 40”, with a “live” area of 26” x 39”. This is why 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).

A book is a three-dimensional object. Thickness, the third dimension, is a very important consideration. Naturally, the number of pages is the most important determining factor, but the caliper of the paper makes a large impact. 157gsm (100#) paper is our standard, but stepping up to 180 gsm or 200 gsm can give a book with lower page count a boost in perceived value at a relatively small extra investment.

We are happy to explore several sizes and formats to determine the best size for your book during the quote process. Then, when your preference is locked in, 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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