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book printing

Basics You Need To Know Board Book Printing 

Your infant may not use your smartphone! They’ll probably grab their first baby board book. Pictograms on rocks and cave walls were our initial communication devices.

According to Publishers’ Weekly, children’s board book sales are rising like smartphones. We excel at board books printing as well as t shirt and cap printing. For more information, visit our website. 

Basic Principles:

Self-publishing a board book? Here are some basic principles for setting up and printing children’s board books, which differ from picture books.

Boardbook Length: Think Spreads, Not Pages:

Board books open as 2-page spreads. Left-hand page 1. (on the reverse of the front cover). Right-hand Page 2 faces Page 1. Right-hand pages end board books (on the reverse of the back cover).

Choose facing pages in your board book layout software. Select “Spreads” to create the final printing PDF.

Board books for kids typically have 8–12 spreads (16–24 pages) with color illustrations and no or 300 words of text.

Board Book Size: Think Small:

Self-publishing board books target 1–4-year-olds. Small board books are easier for toddlers to hold and manipulate. A reduced page size helps kids focus on one image/concept on each page.

Board Book Stock: Paperboard Not Paper

Instead of paper, board books are made of paperboard to withstand babies’ and toddlers’ rough handling.

Children’s board book printing uses two types of paperboard:

  • The gray board is white-laminated pressed cardboard made of gray fibers.
  • Whiteboard is pressed cardboard with a white laminated surface. The gray board is cheaper and of lower quality.

From the top or side of the board book, the cardboard edges are different. Whiteboard edges are white, while gray board edges are gray!

Board Book Printing on White and Gray Boards:

Paperboard is measured in gsm (grams per square meter). Higher numbers mean thicker cardboard. 350–400 gsm paper can withstand bending, gnawing, and throwing. (That youngster will be a discus thrower!).

Board Book Cover: Think Self-Cover, Not Separate Cover:

  • Self-cover board books are made of the same artboard as the text.
  • Board book spread counts don’t include the cover.
  • The back, spine, and cover are laid out in a distinct file.

After you choose the paperboard type and amount of spreads for your board book, we provide a cover template to set up your artwork with the correct spine width and bleed (for pictures that extend past the page edge).

Board books open flat with a hinge near the spine on the rear cover. The hinge is 9mm from the spine. Avoid writing, photos, and the ISBN barcode at this hinge.

If you like hardcovers, you can make a hybrid board book-picture book with a hardcover and case binding. Instead of matching the spreads, the hardcover will be larger.

Board Book Printer: Experience Matters:

Printing and binding toddler books are specialized. An expert board book printer with the correct equipment and paperboard is optimal.

Board book covers and interiors are usually printed in four process colors (aka CMYK, 4 colors, full color). Cover and inner spreads must be CMYK, not RGB (which only applies to screen colors and is usually not used for offset commercial printing).

CMYK can blend 16,000 colors:

  • Cyan
  • Magenta
  • Yellow.
  • Black

Offset 4-color printing passes your artwork through these 4 ink locations. See Lifewire.com’s CMYK vs. RGB primer.

Black lettering should be 100% black (C = 0, M = 0, Y = 0; K = 100%). Offset printing presses can displace paper somewhat. Rich black, made from CMYK, may not be sharp and may overlap with other colors.

Board books should not be laminated. Lamination could peel and be ingested accidentally. Child-safe gloss UV varnish protects and prolongs cardboard.

For safety, they have two rounded corners.

Board Book Printing: Quality and Value

North America has few board book printers. Printing, binding, and specialist equipment are costly. Callawind prints books in China for quality and affordability.

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