Hardcover Square Back vs. Round Back

Despite their higher cost, avid readers everywhere continue to purchase hardcover books. Hardback books show reviewers and booksellers that a book is high-quality and worth paying attention to. They’re also easier to display on a shelf and are more eye-catching.

The spines of offset printed books come in two different styles: hardcover square back vs round back. If you’re new to the book publishing industry, telling the difference between the two might be confusing.

This guide will discuss everything you need to know about the two backing options.

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What Is a Square Back?

A Square back is a binding option that gives books a rigid spine and a flat appearance when it’s closed. The cover has a spine strip made from the same weight board as the rest of the case boards, but the spine is a bit wider than the text. This creates the “square” look this binding option is known for.

Generally, slimmer books are ideal for square backing. You typically see square back books with trade editions, children’s books, and side sewn books that don’t have dust jackets.

What is a Round Back?

Rounded back books are made with a soft spine. The rounding machine produces a small curvature in the book’s spine edge, enabling thicker books to open easier. Thinner spines might not be suitable for round back book printing.

With a rounded back book, your book will have a classic shape. It’s an older style of bookbinding that could allow room for hand-sewn signatures. Modern round back books are used more for aesthetic purposes.

Hardcover Square Back vs Round Back: Which is Better?

Whether you go with square back or round back book binding depends upon the type of book you’re having printed. The size of the book also plays a part in whether square back or round back is the better choice.

What Do Tight-Back and Loose-Back Mean?

Some other terms you might see in your bookbinding research are tight-back and loose-back. If you look at a book’s spine as it’s laying on a table, you can see a small space between the signatures and the cover. The term for this is “loose-back.”

With a “tight-back” book, the text block has been flued to the interior part of the cover where the spine is. This type of book is more durable than a loose-back book, but won’t lie flat on a table.

Round-back books typically have are loose-back. Tight-back books have a flat spine, making them pair well with square back bindings.

Request a Quote From PRC Book Printing

Whether you go with hardcover square back vs round back for your book, you should partner with a qualified book printing company for all of your needs. Reach out to PRC Book Printing today to hear more about what services we have to offer.

Contact us today to receive a free quote for our offset book printing services.

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