Bold, graphic of three prospective book covers in orange, black and white

Template jargon buster

Design Template

The design template is used to piece the front, back and spine elements of the cover together. The template includes the front, the back and the spine in one, flattened layout – this is standard practice when supplying designs to a printer.

For both the Penguin and the Puffin standard design templates the size of the book’s front is 129mm in width and 198mm in height. The book’s back is the same size as the front and the spine is 20mm, making a total layout size of 270mm wide by 198mm tall. In addition to the design area there needs to be an area of bleed added to the overall cover. 

Design template – What is bleed?

As printers will print several copies of one cover on a single, very large, sheet of paper and then trim those covers out of the large sheet, bleed is needed as part of the cover design. Bleed is extra artwork that extends past the edge of the cover and it gives the printer a margin of error when they come to trim the cover.

Therefore your design should extend out past the edge of the template by 3mm on the width and the height.

See the template to help understand how bleed is applied to artwork.

Design Template – What are crop marks?

Crop marks – also called trim marks – are thin lines placed at the corners of the design template that indicate, to the printer, where the finished cover should be trimmed to the finished size of the book on the shelves. Here’s an illustrative example.

See the template to help understand how crop marks are applied to artwork.

Are there any restrictions to the fonts I can use in my design?

You can use any font that you wish in your design.

The normal copyright rules around font usage apply to your work and it’s your sole responsibility to ensure that you have the correct permissions to use them in your design.

I don’t have the fonts that are specified on the templates, can I use an alternative font that is closely matched?

Yes, you can use an alternative font as long as you have the correct permissions to use it.

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