Swiss Binding – Hard Cover

This is a term used to describe books where the front cover lays flat when opened. The pages inside are only attached to the back cover. It is useful for designers as they can show the binding of a book but still encase it in a protective cover.

The Swiss binding will work with soft covers or hard covers and can be used to encase most types of binding structures including Japanese stab sewing and Coptic sewing.

The Swiss cover is constructed after the pages have been bound as it is carefully measured to fit.  (Index of book structures)

NB. Before you start you should check the grain direction of all the materials and this should run head to tail of the book or parallel to the spine.

Measure your bound pages - width, height and depth (or thickness of all the pages) in millimetres.
1. Cut two boards and one spine piece from 2mm grey board. The width of the boards are the width of the pages +3mm and the height of the boards are the pages +6mm. The spine piece is the same height as the boards and the width is the thickness of all the pages +2mm.
2. Mind the gap! On this structure we have two narrow gaps between the spine and the front and back boards. For most materials we can make this 3mm but if you are using something a bit thicker than normal to cover the boards then you will have to make the gap a little bigger.
3. In this demo I am using paper to cover the boards.
4. Trimming out the cover paper edges and corners.
5. Glueing down the borders and corners
6. Covering the inside of the boards
Here, I am using envelope paper to line the inside of the cover board and the spine area. I have checked the grain direction of the paper and cut a strip the same height as my pages.
The paper lining does not have to cover the whole of the back board so I snip it at about 2cms on to the back board. Notice the 3mm border at top, bottom and left side edge.

7. Glueing in the pages
Print Friendly, PDF & Email