In Indesign, I know the accepted way of creating 3 pages (back, spine, front) for a spread that will be used as a paperback cover. I use a 5 mm bleed as well.

The confusion arises when I have to work on a hardback, which needs the regular bleed for the jacket, but a bigger bleed for the pasted cover (the bleed will actually fold behind the endpaper).

What is your suggested workflow for this? Do I create separate files for jacket and cover? Most of my covers have the same design as the jacket.

2 Answers 2


I would extend the work area to the size of the paper (including the "fold"). Just be careful with the corners of end document as folding can alter your design. It ends up as being the same than creating another document for the jacket and dynamically import tue cover design on - that can be safer.

Also, try to figure out the thickness of the cover to anticipate the fold on the edge.

If your printhouse can send you a template, you win!


After years of experience, here's my workflow:

I create a 5 page spread—back-flap, back-cover, spine, front-cover, front-flap—with a 25 mm bleed for the document. The design extends to the edges of the bleed. Of course, most of the time this 25 mm bleed will contain the extension of unimportant textures and background matter.

Once the design is done, I duplicate that spread and delete the flap pages from the resulting spread. Thus, the first spread (pages 1–5) is the jacket, and the second spread (pages 6–8) is the PLC (pasting on the hardback).

When exporting the PDF for the printer, the jacket's bleed settings in the PDF export dialogue are kept as 3 or 5 mm and the PLC's bleed is left to the document default of 25 mm. The crop/trim marks' offset is adjusted accordingly.

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