Nationwide Laminating & Finishing
Nationwide Laminating & Finishing: Helpful Tips

New Idea: Partial Run Laminated Books

Published in Print & Graphics

Do you ever get book jobs that need to be "super-durable?" Have you considered laminating each page? Too expensive? What about laminating just a portion of the job? Will it cost more? Maybe yes, but maybe no. Laminating each page of a book isn't crazy - sometimes it's downright necessary.

Product durability requirements are important to know when planning book jobs. Page-pull strength, page-flex strength and page-coatings should be considered during the quotation stage. Some jobs need to be super-durable because of factors like excessive end-user handling, presence of liquids and unusual temperature and moisture conditions. Is there a solution? You bet: Double-sided lamination on every page.

Lamination is the most durable paper coating. For book jobs that must perform in the roughest conditions, there is no substitute. Among the laminated book projects that our company has produced are: community phone books, retail catalogues, pharmaceutical training manuals, map books and Persian Gulf War combat tactic and medic manuals.

If you need the benefits of lamination on every page but believe the cost will be prohibitive, consider laminating a portion of your job. Partial job lamination will earn you more money while you better service your customers' product needs.

Changing job specifications can make full book lamination even more attractive. If you're used to running the text portion of a job on 80# cover because some users beat up the product, consider reducing your paper to text weight stock and double-side laminate each page for only the heavy users. This will give heavy-use books the best protection available without affecting light users' product functionality. You will save your client money. In addition, laminating a partial quantity won't require you to do anything different in your pre-press and press departments - but always consult with your laminating services provider first.

An Example
Consider the following. A job with the these specs - 2,500 quantity, 32-page plus cover, 4/4 color, 8½" x 11", plastic coil binding, with 10% of the job needing full page lamination - might sell for $10,500 if the text pages are run on 80# cover. If you change the 32 pages to 80# text, your paper cost should drop by more than $1,000. The bottom line is simple. The selling price to your client should fall even after laminating 10% of the job (see below). You will have provided your customer with a better solution, reduced their price and increased their loyalty to you.

Sample Book Project with Partial Job Laminated - Projected Costs


Percentage of Job Laminated                        

Scenario A


Scenario B


Non-Laminated Quantity                             



Laminated Quantity                                   



Prep Work Pages

Normal 32

Normal 32


8 ½ x 11

8 1/2 x 11


Plastic Coil

Plastic Coil

Text Weight (4/4 Colors, #1 Sheet, Gloss)  

80# Cover

80# Text

Cover Paper & Printing Cost, 4/4 Colors, #1 Sheet

100# cover

100# cover

  Total Selling Price


 $ 9,800

** Note: Your job costs and price may vary.

For years, our company has been doing a government job that originally did not include lamination. While most of the books were lightly used for occasional reference, some were shipped to public libraries and often ruined within a matter of months. Our company was consulted on the project and we suggested laminating only the portion of the job sent to libraries. Although the text specs weren't changed, the run was quite large and the additional laminating cost was hardly noticed. In short, this government agency saved considerable time and money because midyear replacement requests from libraries dramatically decreased. Moreover, the pages' write-on/wipe-off surface - which can easily be restored with a mild alcohol-based cleaning solvent - proved to be very popular.

Another job we've been doing for a long time is a major metropolitan area map book offered in two versions; fully laminated and non-laminated. This 7 ½" x 10 ½" book has 176 leaves and is offered for sale directly from the publisher. While full lamination is done on only a small portion of the entire job, the product's toughest users appreciate the opportunity to purchase a super-durable book. This project's economics are important to consider. While the incremental laminating cost is only $12 per book, the retail price of the product soars by nearly $50 after full page lamination. Needless to say, our client earns a much better profit on laminated books.

Oversized laminated medical training easel backed products are also common. One of our more interesting easel back jobs was an 18" x 25" stepped page birthing flip chart that was featured on the famous Murphy Brown TV birth episode.

* * *

For your next super-durable book project, suggest full-page book lamination to your client. Your customers will appreciate your creativity and resourcefulness. Your reputation as an indispensable information-clearing house will grow as you pad your bottom line. And, isn't this what we're really after?

Information Links