Good To Know: Book Binding Styles
Our clients often ask us about the different binding options when printing reports, brochures or presentations. So, what are the options and what are the factors to consider when making a choice?
The best option will depend on the job. Specifically, the document type, how many are being printed, who and what is the document for, what is the desired impact and of course, the budget. Below is a summary of the most popular options.
Saddle Stitch Binding
One of the most common types of binding, the pages are folded and inserted into a folded cover, then stapled through the fold along the spine. This style is suitable for both self-covered books (where the cover stock, or paper, is the same as the text), and books with separate covers. Generally the maximum number of pages is approximately 90 (depending on weight and bulk of the paper used, this number may vary). Typically used for brochures, smaller magazines, small soft covered books.
Loop Stitched Binding
Loop Stitched Binding is similar to saddle stitching, but with a different effect. Loops are created with the wire along the external spine in order to facilitate the document being inserted into a ring binder.
Side Stitched Binding
The pages are cut all the same size and stacked, then staples are inserted down the side of one edge of the book’s front, 2 to 3 times depending on thickness and paper weight. The result is a sturdy binding, however the book will not lie flat when opened. This binding style is generally less expressive than other styles. The staples can be covered with tape to improve the look. Also known as stab stitched. Typically used for notepads and tear-off calendars.
Similar to saddle stitching, but uses thread instead of wire. Thread is stitched along the entire spine. As more pages are added it begins to closely resemble case binding, but without the hardcover.
This method involves an adhesive tape being wrapped around the spine to hold the covers and inside pages in place. Usually pages need to be stitched together prior to affixing the tape to reinforce and provide added strength.
The most common style used for binding commercially produced paperback books, and is generally cheaper than Case Bound. With this method, glue is applied to the left edges of the pages, and the cover is glued to the page block. The cover is scored on the front and the back for ease of opening and to put less stress on the spine. Perfect binding is not recommended for books in constant use. Typically used for paperback books, large magazines and user manuals.
Screw & Post Binding
This style has a cover and back similar to a hardcover book, 2 to 3 screws are used along the left to bind the cover content and spine together. A post binding method can be disassembled and pages can be added or removed. Typically used for photo albums and presentations.
Case Bound or Section Sewing
This binding style is typically used for books of more than 80 pages, which require a strong, high-quality finish. The pages of the book are collated, and then sewn together with thread. The cover is then glued to the spine of the page block. Case Bound is generally the most expensive style, so are usually only used for books that must withstand constant use. Typically used for hardcover books, reference books and text books.
Spiral Wire Binding
The book is punched with a series of small holes on the left. A coil binding then is screwed into those holes from one end of the book to the other. The binding may be made of either plastic or wire and allow the printed document to lie flat and to double over. Spiral wire coils range from 1/4 inch to 2 inches in diameter and can bind books of up to 24 inches in length. Typically used for Technical manuals, Presentations, Notebooks and Calendars.
Double Wire Binding or Wire-O Binding
This binding holds the pages of the book in place by a double-loop wire inserted through holes on the left edge. It does not spiral through the book rather it creates a wire comb. The pages lay flat when opened and can rotate 360 degree. Wire-O bindings are durable, but do not permit printing on the spine. Typically used for reference books, reports, cook books and proposals.
Plastic Comb Binding
This is one of the cheapest options of bindings, however, they are usually inserted by hand which can be costly for large quantities. They are made of lightweight plastic that can be used for books up to 3 inches thick. The style allows the pages to lie flat when open, and you can easily add or subtract pages. These bindings are the most susceptible to damage. Typically used for Reports, Presentations and Formal Documents.