What’s the best binding method for my brochure?

23rd September 2016   Angus Smith

So you’re planning to produce a printed brochure, book or catalogue…but have you considered the best binding method to use? This final stage of the print finishing process can have a big impact on the success of your publication so let’s explore some of the most popular options.

Saddle Stitch
A very durable and cost effective binding method, saddle stitching or ‘two wire stitch’ is often confused with ‘stapling’ and although both processes achieve a similar end result they are actually quite different. The book sections (four pages per section) are collated then ‘stitched’ together with metal wire that is punched through the spine from the outside inwards with the ends of the wire being bent around to grip the paper. Although the wire shows on the spine and in the middle of the centre page spread, coloured wires can be used to good effect. Suitable for 8-96pp (printed pages) depending on the weight of paper used.
Good points: low-cost, strong, single-handed opening, no content lost in spine.
Not so good: stitches can be unsightly and there’s a slight bulge when closed.

Loop Stitch
Similar to saddle stitching but instead of flat stitches in the spine, loops are created, enabling the booklet to be inserted into a ring binder. Loop stitching is a great solution for informative publications that will be supplied in instalments (e.g. a monthly magazine) or specific product range brochures that are part of a larger collection and may need to be changed, updated or added to regularly. Suitable for 8-80pp (printed pages) depending on the weight of paper used.

Sewn
This traditional binding process shares some similarities with saddle stitching but uses thread stitches along the entire length of the spine instead of wire in multiple positions. As with saddle stitching, different colours of thread can be used to create really cool contrast effects. Suitable for 8-24pp (printed pages) depending on the weight of paper used.

Tape Bound
Another traditional binding technique where adhesive tape is wrapped around the spine of a book to hold the covers and pages in position. The page sections usually need to be stitched together prior to the tape being applied and although this is mainly for decorative effect, it also provides added reinforcement and durability. Suitable for 50-250pp (printed pages) depending on the weight of paper used.

Perfect Bound
Also known as ‘PUR binding’ or ‘Notch Binding’ this popular method results in a square spine and is often used commercially for paperback books, being a cheaper alternative to hardback ‘Case Binding’ (see below for more on this). Hot glue is applied to the edge of grouped page sections or loose leaves which are then glued inside a wrap-around style cover with a minimum spine thickness of 3mm. Perfect binding has advanced a lot and techniques such as cutting notches in the edge of the paper to improve bonding with the glue have been developed. However, it is still not regarded as the most durable binding method and sometimes not recommended for books that will have constant use. Suitable for 48-248pp (printed pages) depending on the weight of paper used.
Good points: neat, cost effective, lies flat when closed, spine can be printed.
Not so good: tends to spring shut, two-handed opening, content lost in spine.

Wire-O-Bound
A mechanical binding method that uses formed double-loop wire combs which are inserted through pre-punched holes in collated leaves of paper – a great option for books that need to lay flat when opened. Wire combs can be sourced in a selection of different sizes and colours to suit the item being bound and the end result is very durable, particularly when clear acetate or polypropylene front/back covers are added. Suitable for 16-275pp (printed pages) depending on the weight of paper used.
Good points: cost effective, lies flat when opened, single-handed opening.
Not so good: spine cannot be printed, pages cannot be added or removed.

Case Bound
This binding method is typically used for hardback books of 60 or more pages which require a high-end, durable finish. Pages are collated together then thread sewn in sections and affixed to end papers which are glued into the hardback cover. Case bound books are finished by hand making it a rather time consuming and expensive option. Suitable for 60-400pp (printed pages) depending on the weight of paper used.

Still unsure as to which binding method would be best for your publication? Call today on 01444 236204 or contact us for friendly, expert advice and guidance.

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