I do soft cover books and laminate the top side, and therein lies the problem. The cover keeps curling up too much. I have tried Ningbo 350gsm which works perfect except that now it's too stiff and tends to crack and peel.

What type of paper stock should I use for the cover?

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about the paper aspects of printed books, instead of writing as a process. It is about bibliology and papercraft, not writing.
    – FraEnrico
    Oct 1, 2017 at 15:35
  • 5
    @FraEnrico I don't agree. Tools and materials questions are just as important to a trade as design questions and we have generally accepted them in the past. That said, there might be better places to ask, places where there are likely to be more people who have experience with these particular issues.
    – user16226
    Oct 1, 2017 at 17:29
  • Lamination produces a pretty stiff result, which is probably part of your problem. Are you open to other ways of making a cover durable? Oct 1, 2017 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


Looking at companies that offer to print and laminate books you can find out what typical paper stocks are used.

For example the site printabook.ca mentions:

300gsm art stock (option for gloss or matt laminate to increase durability)

The site printninja.com gives a comparison of the different kinds of paper used:

10pt. cover:

The lightest cover stock we offer, 10pt. cover is a great fit for catalog covers, and is often the best choice for the cover of any perfect bound project 6″ x 9″ or smaller. (250 GSM metric weight)


12pt. cover:

A medium weight cover stock often used as the cover paper for trade paperbacks, graphic novels, and many perfect bound projects larger than 6″ x 9″. (300 GSM metric weight)


14pt. cover:

The heaviest cover stock we offer, 14pt. cover gives a rugged, durable feel and is often used for any project that will be handled a lot, for very thick perfect bound projects of any variety such as catalogs or graphic novels, or for oversized projects larger than 8.5″ x 11″. (350 GSM metric weight)

This shows that you are using the perfect type of paper for very large books that are handled very often. If you are looking more for something that you would usually find in a bookstore it looks like 300 GSM would be better instead of the 350 GSM you are currently using.

connect.lulu.com mentions:

270gsm laminated cover stock

That is quite close to the other suggestions of 300GSM.

All in all it looks like 350 GSM is simply too much for most average projects, so you might want to try something in the range of 300 GSM.

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