Depending upon the final trim size of a binding project and the sheet size capacity of the printing press, printers often make decisions to use a cross grain sheet when printing covers for a stitching or binding project. Although this decision may save on the cost of paper, it may also create several cosmetic or functional issues that may lead to additional downstream costs. Several things should be considered before deciding to print a cross grain cover.
Spine and Hinge Score cracking is a common complaint when cross grain covers are used. If the cover design requires full ink or dark ink coverage, cracking along the spine or hinge score becomes highly visible and can be viewed as an objectionable cosmetic defect by the customer. The best opportunity to minimize this type of problem is to die score the spine and hinge score areas of the cover. A die score is a superior choice to the wheel score that may be provided by a perfect binder or saddle stitcher cover feeder. The die score, however, increases the cost of the project and may offset any savings generated by the use of a cross grain sheet. Additionally, if the requirement to die score is not identified until after the cover has been shipped to the Bindery, both the additional cost and additional processing time will be unexpected.
Cross grained covers applied to a perfect bound book will likely result in a series of waves along the length of the spine. Once the cover is adhered to the body of the book, any moisture that may be absorbed by the cover stock can expand the paper grain. Since the cover will be held in place by adhesive along the spine, waviness will often be created as relative humidity is absorbed into the cover stock. Although the book remains functional, this cosmetic imperfection may leave a customer dissatisfied with the end result.
Involving the Sales and Planning Professionals at Allied Bindery can help you avoid problems such as recognizing or avoiding potential problems with cross grain covers. Give us a call and let us help you achieve your customer’s expectations.