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What is Saddle Stitch?

Fri, Dec 7, 2018 @ 12:11 PM Amber Gauthier 0
Saddle Stitched Binding

Saddle stitch is when single sheets of paper are printed on both sides, collated in page number order, folded in half and then stapled through the fold by a saddle stitch stapler. Saddle stitch binding is one of the most common binding methods for booklet manufacturing.What is saddle stitch

Saddle stitch binding is an ideal and economical choice for booklets with smaller page counts. We also recommend saddle stitch for publications with less than 92 pages. For page counts over 92 pages, we recommend perfect bound booklet printing. Saddle stitch booklets are great because they will lay flat and stay open when you are flipping through the pages, making it easier to read. Saddle stitch is our most popular binding type and offers the quickest turnaround time with the most affordable and cost-effective pricing.

Saddle stitch is our most popular binding type and offers the quickest turnaround time with the most affordable and cost-effective pricing.

Instant Saddle Stitch Pricing: Learn More
Instant Perfect Bound Pricing: Learn More

How Many Pages Do You Need for Saddle Stitch?

How Many Pages Do You Need for Saddle StitchSaddle stitch binding requires that any publication has a minimum of eight pages, four pages per spread and up to 92 total pages. Saddle stitch documents need to be built in page multiples of 4 pages (8, 12, 16, etc.) because they are printed on sheets that are folded in half.

See below for a more in-depth explanation on how sheets become pages.

How you number your pages depends on the final page count. For example, in an 8-page booklet, the front cover is considered page 1 and the back of that page will be page 2 (inside front cover). The inside pages will continue in order like the diagram below as 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on. The last 2 pages will be your inside back cover (page 7) and the back cover (page 8). You can get pricing on your saddle stitch booklet by visiting our website.

Page Order for a Saddle Stitch Booklet

Related Article: Saddle-Stitch Printing for Books, Calendars, Catalogs & Magazines 

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Paper Count in a Saddle Stitch Booklet

As mentioned above, the saddle stitch method requires that a booklet be printed out on large sheets of paper and then folded in half. Each sheet of paper will contain 4 of the booklet’s pages.

Single Sheet for Saddle Stitch Binding

If you are printing an 8.5” x 11” saddle stitch book, its pages and cover would be made from 17” x 11” sheets that are folded in half to the size of 8.5” x 11”.

First, let’s start with a single sheet of paper. It has 2 sides – a front side and a back side. Once the sheet gets folded in half, it will have 4 sides (or 4 pages). The number of sheets will depend on the final page count of the booklet.

Paper Count in a Saddle Stitch Booklet

Usually, any page count of 48 or less is considered a booklet and any job over 48 pages (with a maximum size of 92) would be considered a book. If your publication is larger than 92 pages, consider our other affordable binding options! Our most popular binding type for larger page counts is perfect binding (28 pages – 2” thick). 

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'Taking the Plunge' for Special Olympics of Montana

Tue, Nov 20, 2018 @ 11:11 AM Amber Gauthier 1

Polar Plunge - PrintingCenterUSA Donation Campaign

During this holiday season, PrintingCenterUSA is looking to make a difference by starting a donation campaign to help the Special Olympics of Montana (SOMT) right in time for the nonprofit's annual Polar Plunge event, scheduled for December 7th in Great Falls, MT. We have 6 of our most daring employees "taking the plunge" and along with that, they are helping out a wonderful cause. We feel honored to be able to help the Special Olympics of Montana execute its mission of empowering those with intellectual disabilities through the power of sports.

By partnering with the Great Falls Polar Plunge, we are changing the lives of thousands of Special Olympics Montana athletes. With the money raised, athletes in the Great Falls area and around the state will have the opportunity to share their gifts and talents with the world through their participation in sports.

Special Olympics of Montana

Now you don't have to "take the plunge" to help out this great cause and it's easy to participate. By using the promo codes below when ordering online, we will donate up to $100 per order to Special Olympics Montana.

  Olympic25 - $25 Donation to SOMT on Any Order Over $100
  Olympic50 - $50 Donation to SOMT on Any Order Over $500
  Olympic75 - $75 Donation to SOMT on Any Order Over $1,000
    Olympic100 - $100 Donation to SOMT on Any Order Over $1,000

Not planning on placing an order by December 6th but interested in donating to SOMT? No problem! Click here to donate to our Polar Plunge team!

The Great Falls Polar Plunge is one of twelve Polar Plunges across Montana. Participation provides individuals and organizations with a unique opportunity to support SOMT athletes by taking an icy dip into freezing waters. Plungers must raise the minimum amount to earn the privilege of taking the plunge. They can also raise additional funds and earn extra incentives along the way. Events like the Polar Plunges help support over 3,000 SOMT athletes.

20 Free Stock Photo Sites For Print

Tue, Oct 30, 2018 @ 10:20 AM Ginny Crispin 2


You’ve been searching for hours…combing through page after page of standard stock photos that just aren't quite what you're looking for. 

Or maybe you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend money on overly-used images from big-name stock banks. We get it. And there’s a solution for you.

In the past few years, the internet has blown up with talented and generous photographers who are committed to making sure that everyone has access to free, high quality images in the public domain.

We have gathered a list of the 20 best websites that offer completely free stock photos for you to use in whatever project you have going on. Whether you’re a blogger needing a photo for an article or a designer creating social media ads, it’s never been easier to access some really great imagery without having to pay high subscription fees.

Disclaimer - PrintingCenterUSA cannot be held responsible for any copyright violations that may arise from incorrect or inappropriate use of any images downloaded from this list. You download and use images at your own risk and are entirely responsible for understanding licensing restrictions and applications.


Let's Dive Into Our List of the Best Free Stock Photo Websites!


unsplash image collage

  1. Unsplash offers a unique database of more than half a million images that cover categories such as Nature, Travel, Technology, Black & White, Long Exposure, the Milky Way and even Pugs. The quality of photos that you will discover on Unsplash is more than enough to set it apart from other stock photo sites. Take a look at their website and you will see a wide variety of topics and artistic styles – and hundreds of new images are added weekly! white-bar-2-1License Info: The site has its own custom Unsplash License, which is very similar to the CC0 License in every way except using Unsplash photos for image compiling. Photos are free and can be used both personally and commercially with no attribution required (although it's appreciated if you can).


stocksnap image collage

  1. You can easily get lost scrolling through all the rich and colorful photos to be found in StockSnap.io. The site operates on a tag-based category system, which allows you specify certain traits in the photograph you’re looking for. For example, instead of searching through 12,000 photos in the “people” category, you can cater your search to only show you the photos that are of “children” and who are “happy.” Whether you need a car, a rainy morning or someone sipping a cup of coffee – they probably have it at StockSnap.white-bar-2-1License Info: All images on this site are released under the CC0 License. You are free to download, edit and use in personal and commercial projects with no attribution.


burst photo collage

  1. Burst is a stock image platform created and powered by Shopify, meant to be a resource for business professionals, entrepreneurs, bloggers, designers, developers and more. They offer a vast library of interesting, versatile and high-resolution images that can be used for anything – your blog, an online store, website ads, social media campaigns and more! The images cover popular topics, such as business, fashion, fitness, products and more. white-bar-2-1License Info: Some photos are licensed under the CC0 License and others fall under Burst's own photo license. You are free to use photos in any way as long as you follow Burst's Terms of Service, which includes not using photos for anything illegal, defaming any identifiable person, implying endorsement and more. 


gratisography image collage

  1. Gratisography is not your normal stock photo site. Here, you’ll discover a fun, artistic and often humorous array of photographs covering categories such as urban, whimsical and animals. If you’re looking for something that stands out and makes a statement – look no further. white-bar-2-1License Info: All photos on Gratisography are taken by photographer Ryan McGuire. He has a custom license similar to the CC0 License that provides images free to use for personal and commercial purposes. He does include a sensitivity clause and advises due diligence when choosing photos that might require extra rights (model releases, trademarks, brands, etc.).

pexels image collage

  1. Pexels has hundreds of thousands of high resolution images, Photoshop and WordPress plugins, a Chrome extension and more. Pexels’ stock photos are interesting, colorful and creative in a variety of categories, such as business culture, space, wildlife, architecture and even vector mockups.white-bar-2-1License Info: All images are free to use under the custom Pexels License, similar to the CC0 License. You can modify and edit photos as you like. You cannot sell unaltered copies of a photo, imply endorsement, compile images or portray identifiable people in an offensive manner.


pixabay image collage

  1. With over 1.5 million free stock images and counting, Pixabay offers one of largest online collections of photos, video, vector graphics and illustrations. Scrolling through the Editor's Choice is sure to leave you inspired. white-bar-2-1License Info: All images on this site are released under the CC0 License. You are free to download, edit and use in personal and commercial projects with no attribution.


new old stock image collage

  1. If you are looking for something with a little more of a retro vibe, head to New Old Stock. It has thousands of vintage and historic images from the public archive all in one location via Tumblr.white-bar-2-1License Info: Images belong to the Public Domain (no known copyright). Not all images are allowed for commercial use and some require attribution. Each photo includes a link that will give details about specific requirements.


foodies feed image gallery

  1. The name says it all…Foodies Feed is about bright, gorgeous and realistic pictures of all types of tasty-looking food. There are more than 1,000 photos divided into categories such as healthy, close ups, in hands and more. white-bar-2-1License Info: All photographers agree to release their images to this site under the terms of the CC0 License. Free usage for personal and commercial use and not attribution required. 


ISO Republic image collage

  1. ISO Republic caters to providing high-quality, professional photos to creatives. There are over 3,000 images to choose from (the textures and abstract categories are especially mesmerizing). The simplicity of their category list and an easy-to-use search bar makes looking through ISO Republic’s photos easy and hassle-free. And, they’ve even launched a new stock video section!white-bar-2-1License Info: Contributing photographers agree to provide images under the CC0 License and allow personal and commercial usage without attribution. Users are asked to follow Terms & Conditions that layout extra ground rules for things such as model releases, brand awareness and more.


kaboompics image collage

  1. Kaboompics has over 8,000 vivid and deeply beautiful photos that cover everything from home décor to fashion to travel and food. You can filter your search based on color and each downloaded image comes with its own color palette, which is extremely convenient for artists and designers alike.white-bar-2-1License Info: Photographer Karolina has her own custom license that grants free usage of her photos with some exceptions that include a sensitivity clause, reselling and redistributing unaltered photos and using photos that contain brands and trademarked subjects.


Life of Pix image collage

  1. Life of Pix (and its sister site Life of Vids) has a pretty large and trendy collection of cool, artistic images and videos for use in all sorts of marketing projects. Be sure to check out the “Desk” category for some fun and fresh images of office and computer setups – it’s the perfect inspiration you need to bring new life to your blog or ad! white-bar-2-1License Info: Photos are a part pf the Public Domain. There are no copyright restrictions but mass distribution is not allowed.


picjumbo image collage

  1. The photos that you will find on Picjumbo are refreshingly creative and realistic - you won’t find any “staged” stock images here. There are over 2,000 high-quality images that cover popular themes, such as Food, Fashion, Abstract, Holidays and more. New photos are added daily, and you can opt to have images and photo collections emailed to you as they are released to the site.white-bar-2-1License Info: Photos are available under the CC0 License but users are warned about due diligence about using brands and trademarked subjects.


Death to Stock image gallery

  1. A little different than other, more traditional photo stock sites, Death to Stock emails subscribers a photo packet that includes 20 photos within a certain category once a month. If you have a bit of a budget, Death to Stock offers two different paid subscriptions that provides access to extra photos and resources. white-bar-2-1License Info: Death to Stock has its own custom license that allows for almost type of usage. A few restrictions are claiming an image as your own, using an image in an offensive manner and more. Death to Stock does collects model releases for all photos that contain identifying people.


Fancy Crave image gallery

  1. Fancy Crave offers some truly stunning and remarkable photography. Every photo has a unique and modern style that will definitely catch your attention. Two new photos are added every day, so things stay fresh and you’re sure to find the perfect photo for your project. white-bar-2-1License Info: Images are offered for use under the CC0 License with a few restrictions, such as selling and redistributing images, using images for illegal or offensive purposes, using trademarked subjects or brands without the appropriate permissions and more.


NegativeSpace image gallery

  1. From Animals to Food and Landscapes to Sports, NegativeSpace has a little something for everyone with a variety of images from a community of photographers from around the world. The photos are interesting and offer a different perspective on popular topics (hint: check out the typography category for some fun pictures of signs and sayings). Content is updated constantly so it's a good idea to keep checking back if you're looking for that perfect photo. white-bar-2-1License Info: All images on this site are released under the CC0 License. You are free to download, edit and use in personal and commercial projects with no attribution.


Skitterphoto image gallery

  1. There are so many gems to discover on Skitterphoto. They have images that represent the standard stock photo categories (industry, food, business) and also an assortment of refreshingly unique topics (antique cars, castles). You can see how many times each photo has been downloaded before as you browse through several hundred high-quality, beautiful photos.white-bar-2-1License Info: All images on this site are released under the CC0 License. You are free to download, edit and use in personal and commercial projects with no attribution. 


Freerange Stock image gallery

  1. Freerange Stock offers thousands of photos and illustrations in a variety of categories. A lot of the images you’ll find are produced by in-house photographers, but they also accept submissions from a growing community of creative photographers who wish to share their talents with the public. This means that all the photos you’ll find have different feels and styles – from abstract to artsy to natural. white-bar-2-1License Info: Some images are under the CC0 License and all others fall under Equalicense - which allows free usage for commercial purposes without attribution and forbids selling, redistributing or relicensing any images. You cannot sell products which derive their primary value from the image. 


PikWizard image gallery

  1. PikWizard offers photographs of impressive quality in a variety of subjects. They are particularly strong with photos depicting people in a natural, realistic setting. It’s also a great resource of stunning nature and landscape photos. If you need design help, this site also offers use of an online design and photo editor. The free version is limited, but most of the images and templates and very cost effective.white-bar-2-1License Info: PikWizard has their own custom license that allows free usage in commercial projects along with a sensitivity clause. The site does offer third party images, which fall under the CC0 License. PikWizard warns that these images may still require a model or property release and it is up to the user to obtain those through the original source.


realistic shots image gallery

  1. True to its name, you will find straightforward and candid images at Realistic Shots. But there’s nothing boring it - every photo is high-quality, vibrant and interesting. The site stays updated with 7 new photos added every week! white-bar-2-1License Info: All images on this site are released under the CC0 License. You are free to download, edit and use in personal and commercial projects with no attribution.


styled stock image gallery

  1. Styled Stock offers a small collection of mostly desktop and accessory scenes that have a decidedly feminine style. Every photo is very modern and clean, with pops of color that create a vibrant and minimalist effect. These photos are perfect for fashion, lifestyle and beauty professionals for use in blogs, website content or social media.white-bar-2-1License Info: The copyright is still held by the author/owner but images are allowed to be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You are free to adapt and edit without attribution.


What You Need to Know Before Using Free Stock Images

Let’s go over some issues that often come up when using free stock photos. As with anything that seems too good to be true, most things that claim to be free…aren’t. Or at least not without a catch.

What is a Creative Commons License – most websites that offer free stock photos are licensed under Creative Commons (CC) and will specify how artwork can and cannot be used. The most common license type that you’ll see is Creative Commons Zero (CC0), which is the least restrictive and allows an image to be used commercially and non-commercially without attribution. There are other variants of the CC license, which can require anything from following a sensitivity clause to obtaining model releases. There are also rules for using images that depict trademarks and copyrighted items. Just make sure to read through each photo's license carefully and follow the rules.


So, as you can see, it's possible to find free stock images that are authentic and realistic! Peruse through any of the above sites and you're sure to find awesome photos that are perfect for your print and online marketing projects.

You can find the perfect images for your company's newsletter. Or maybe you need resources for a calendar project (hint: if you're working on a calendar, check out this FREE online design tool!).

PrintingCenterUSA offers full color digital printing services, specializing in calendars, booklets, catalogs, magazines and more. Visit our website and browse our products! 


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What is Perfect Bound Printing?

Fri, Oct 5, 2018 @ 08:22 AM Ginny Crispin 0

what is perfect bound printing?

Perfect binding refers to a popular binding method that features a flat spine. The pages are stacked together, and the cover of the booklet is placed over and around it, attached by the application of a strong yet flexible glue along the binding edge. The other three sides of the book are trimmed down to produce a clean, smooth and “perfect” square look. 

perfect bound printing diagram


holiday open spread perfect bound magazine

Is Perfect Binding Right for Your Project?

Perfect binding isn’t limited to authors who are printing books of 500+ pages! The minimum page requirement is 28 pages and plenty of businesses and organizations use this method on a variety of printing projects because of its highly professional appearance and relatively low cost, in both short runs and larger order quantities. It is commonly used for a variety of publications, such as manuals, reports, catalogs, magazines, photo books and more.

stack of perfect bound magazinesWe know that perfect bound books are a no-brainer when it comes to high page counts. With any booklet that contains more than 92 pages, perfect binding is definitely superior and highly recommended. However, it can be slightly more expensive than other binding options.

The primary benefits of perfect bound books are that they look professional and offer great visual appeal. Also, there is the option of placing content on the spine, such as an author, book title or any type of design. This is something that neither saddle-stitch binding or spiral and wire-o binding offer. Perfect binding definitely produces a high quality and professional look that can’t be matched.


What Options are There for Perfect Bound Book Printing?

Your perfect bound book can be printed in a variety of sizes and customized exactly to your needs in order to create a truly unique and visually stunning booklet.

Size – we offer many different sizes that your booklet can be printed to. You will save costs by choosing standard sizes, such as 5.5” x 8.5” or 8.5” x 11”. Other sizes include 4.25” x 11”, 6” x 6”, 9” x 9” and custom sizing. Whatever your vision is for your booklet, an online printing company will bring it to life!

Paper – you can choose between matte, gloss or uncoated papers in a variety of thickness and weights. Cover paper options can be used for the outside front / back pages of a booklet and are more substantial and sturdier than regular text papers. They have a similar feel to cardstock, thin cardboard or a file folder. For the interior pages of a booklet, text paper options will provide a flexibility and thinness that is similar to high quality printer paper or the interior pages of a magazine. For a breakdown of all our paper options and their different uses, click here!

Finishing Touches – We recommend treating your booklet cover with UV High Gloss Coating, a shiny gloss coating applied over printed cover weight paper to make photos and colors pop. It will provide your final product with durability, a professional look and quality finish. UV High Gloss also protects the outside of your booklet or magazine from scratching and scuffing.


                        get a custom quote     request a free sample packet      


Designing a Perfect Bound Book

If you have decided that your printing project is going to be perfect bound, there are a few design tips to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t Lose Yourself in the Gutter – Unlike a saddle-stitched booklet whose open pages lay flat, perfect bound books are glued at the spine and cannot lay completely open without breaking. During the binding process, an area of each page will disappear into the spine, also known as the gutter. Depending on how many pages are in the booklet, the gutter can take up between 1/4” – 3/8” of each page. It’s good practice to leave at least a quarter inch of safety margin space on the sides of each page. Be careful to keep note of which pages will be on the left or right side of your perfect bound book so you can place your safety margins on the correct side. Keep all text and any images that need to remain visible inside the safety margin.

good and bad examples of gutter safety margin placement


  1. Be Careful with Two-Page Spreads – If you decide that you want one image to be featured across two pages, keep in mind that the alignment of the photo where the pages meet together might not perfectly match up. When an image covers two pages, the gutter area will still obscure at least a quarter inch off of each side. It might seem like a small amount of space to worry about, but it can drastically affect the photo’s appearance. It helps to choose photos that won't be so obvious that there's a gap missing (example: a person's face might be a lot more noticeable than a photo with less detail).

good and bad examples of two-page spreads


  1. Don’t Forget the Spine – A unique feature of perfect bound books is the ability to design the spine. You can keep it a solid color, add text or have one continuous image covering the front cover across to the back cover. The most important part is to set up your file correctly because the width of the spine needs to be exactly the width of the book, which depends on how many pages the booklet has. For books with a solid color or one single image, this isn’t too hard to plan for. But if it’s a different color or an image, things can get tricky and calculating the width of your spine can be difficult. It’s best to be in contact with an online printer early in the design process to avoid any mistakes and disappointment in the final product.

good and bad examples of spine alignment


PrintingCenterUSA is happy to answer any questions you have about perfect book binding or any of our full color digital printing services. Call us at 1-800-995-1555  or send us an e-mail.


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6 Tips For Affordable Booklet Printing

Tue, Sep 25, 2018 @ 02:10 PM Ginny Crispin 6

6 tips for affordable booklet printing

We understand that printing a booklet online can be intimidating and confusing. Everyone is looking for ways to save money and whether you’re printing 10 or 10,000 copies, booklet printing can get quite expensive. What paper should you choose, and what type of binding is best suited for your project? It helps to understand how each decision you make for your booklet will affect its overall costs. Here are a few things to take into consideration that will help you save money and still maintain quality and design.

1. Stick with Standard Page Sizes & Save

Deciding on the size of your booklet should be your first step. Choosing a standard size will always save you money because it produces less waste in the production process. The paper standard and most common print sizes are 8.5” x 11” and 5.5” x 8.5” and these sizes offer the best value for just about any booklet project. 


booklet print sizes - landscape - portrait - square


Portrait orientation refers to a book that has a width dimension smaller than its height dimension (see diagram above). This format has a vertical shape, which is regarded as the most common choice for printed book projects. It is also known as a “long edge bind” because the spine of the book runs along the longer of the two dimensions. Portrait sizes of 8.5” x 11” and 5.5” x 8.5” offer the best value and is the most economical choice you can make for your booklet project.

• Landscape orientation refers to a book that has a width dimension larger than its height dimension (see diagram above). The landscape format has a horizontal shape and is not as common as the portrait style. It is also known as a “short edge bind” because the spine of the book runs along the shorter of the two dimensions. Please keep in mind when choosing a landscape orientation instead of portrait that the costs do increase.

• Square orientation refers to a book that has width and height dimensions that are equal (see diagram above). Square size booklet costs will be higher than a standardized portrait size.

If none of these sizes fit your printing needs, most printing centers offer custom sizes, although this option is going to cost more. It is important to keep in mind that a custom size can have huge impact on your overall price - even when the difference is as small as ¼” off of a standard size. This can come as a big shock when you are ready to print your booklet. Unless you have a very specific reason for a custom print size, why pay more money? It’s best to keep with the standardized sizes recommended to keep costs low. Or, if needed, make sure you know the price before you start designing.


2. Let's Talk Paper

An important factor in online booklet printing is the paper. Printing companies offer a variety of papers that are thick or thin, glossy or matte, and more. Picking the right type of paper can be confusing and making the wrong choice can end up being costly. Here are some tips.

Booklet Covers

 Self-Cover (soft cover) is when the cover and the inside paper are the same weight. Our best value suggestion when producing a self-cover booklet is utilizing 100# Text (Gloss or Matte) for both the inside and cover papers. The paper is not too flimsy and still has a good texture to it that keeps your final product looking and feeling professional.

 Plus-Cover (cardstock) is when the cover is thicker than the inside pages. The extra stiffness will make your booklet feel better to hold and flip through. Our recommendation is to use an 80# Cover (Gloss or Matte) with 100# Gloss Text for the inside paper. The cardstock cover will give your product a more formal and substantial feel. 80# Cover is also not so thick that the paper flexes open when the booklet is closed. The 100# text on the inside maintains a level of quality consistent with the type of cover you are using.

Paper Types

We know how confusing it can be to understand all the different types of paper there are to choose from. There are so many options that it can be hard to decide which paper is best suited for your booklet project and will give you the best value. Here is a quick breakdown:

infographic on different paper types offered and their uses

We hope this breakdown helps you better understand the various paper types and that you have a better idea on how to decide on the best paper for your booklet project. But sometimes there’s nothing better than feeling the paper for yourself. Request a sample pack and receive our paper swatch plus lots of other product samples where you can feel and compare different types of papers!


request free samples


Gloss vs. Matte vs. Uncoated

In the infographic above, you may have noticed that each paper type comes in either gloss, matte or uncoated. What does this mean? Papers are either coated or uncoated. Uncoated paper is non-reflective like printer paper. Coated papers have matte or gloss finishes. Matte stocks are smoother and more refined than uncoated, but not shiny like gloss papers. The coated papers produce sharper and more vibrant printing.  

• Gloss paper has a shiny and lustrous smooth coated gloss finish. Excellent for making color  printing pop and catching your customer’s attention. Gloss coated papers are commonly used to convey professionalism, and the coating results in rich colors that makes images and photographs really stand out. Catalogs, magazines and programs are good examples of projects best printed on gloss paper.

• Matte paper exhibits more of a diffused sheen that enhances the contrast of photographs and provides a smoother look than uncoated papers. This makes matte paper an excellent choice for jobs that require high quality color reproduction without the reflective shine that comes with gloss paper. Matte paper is glare free, making it easier to read when there is a lot of typed copy. It is superior to that of uncoated papers. Matte paper is a popular choice for art books, lookbooks, photo books and other projects that require a subtler shine. Photos of people and other flesh toned images really stand out on matte paper since there is less reflection.

• Uncoated paper has no coating applied and is a higher grade of paper than normal copy paper. Uncoated paper delivers perfectly printed pieces with stunningly sharp images and bright, compelling photos. It is easy to write on and a popular choice for journals, coloring books, manuals, workbooks or other materials that are filled with mostly text.


3. For Best Value & Price, Choose Saddle-Stitch Binding

So now we are moving on to picking the best and most affordable binding for your booklet. So many options! There’s saddle-stitch, perfect bound, wire-o and spiral. Do you know what the differences are and what will best suit your needs? See below for all the different binding options and what they are best suited for. 


binding options - saddle stitch - perfect - spiral - wire-o


Saddle-Stitched Binding - Best Price!

Saddle-stitched binding is two staples nested in the spine of the folded piece, securing the sheets together. It can go along the left edge or on top, depending on how the project is planned out. Saddle-stitched booklets can lay flat and stay open when you are flipping through the pages, making it easier to read.

Saddle-stitched binding is our most inexpensive yet professional form of binding. Saddle-stitching is commonly used to bind everything from calendars, magazines, coloring books, programs and more. If your booklet has 8 to 92 pages, this will be the most economical choice to make. If your booklet has a larger page count, we recommend changing your binding type to perfect, spiral or wire-o.

Perfect Binding - Perfect for Large Page Counts

Perfect binding is sheets of paper held together by glue attaching the inside sheets of a book to the cover. This type of bind creates an attractive square spine for a polished look. With perfect binding, you can print on the spine and the booklets will not lay flat when open. The minimum page count for a perfect bound booklet is 28 pages. Keep in mind that while perfect binding has its place, it can be slightly more expensive than saddle-stitch binding.

Spiral & Wire-O Binding - Workbooks, Training Manuals & More

Spiral bound printing is a coil of a plastic continuous loop passing through a row of punched holes at the edge of the printed piece in a spiral. Wire-O binding is a metal coil that passes through a row of punched holes at the edge of the printed piece. Wire-o bound books are a series of parallel wire loops attached along a wire. Spiral and Wire-o binding is used mainly for textbooks, workbooks, notebooks and manuals that you many need to write in or use in a daily setting.


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4. Color vs. Black & White

Catalog Example

Printing in black ink instead of full color is cheaper than full color but not by much! You would be surprised how closely priced color can be to black printing. However, for the sake of savings, black ink is the most economical and cost saving option. If it’s absolutely necessary and you’re on a tight budget, try limiting your booklet to using color only for the outside cover and print all inside pages in black ink. This is especially sensible if your booklet pages are mostly text anyways. Any inside images and logos can be printed in black or grayscale as well.

Of course, printing in black ink isn’t always the right choice. If you are printing a photo book, product catalog or any other highly visual or promotional booklet, we definitely recommend full color. Remember that full color printing is still quite affordable! If you are choosing to print in color (whether the full booklet or just the outside cover), make sure you understand the differences in CMYK and RGB.

• CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) is a color system also known as full color printing and is a process used by most commercial printers.

• RGB (red, green, and blue) is the color process that computer monitors, digital cameras, scanners, and TV screens use to display color. If you are designing a print project that is RGB, expect a slight color shift to the final prints, as the files must be converted to CMYK in order to produce the printed materials. For best results, design all print designs in CMYK.


5. Affordable Finishing Touches

Once you’ve chosen your booklet size, paper weight, binding method and colors, you’ve reached the point where your project is almost done! Now all you have to worry about are the finishing touches – namely, cover finishing. This is where PrintingCenterUSA recommends spending a little extra money in order to make sure your final product looks its best. While UV High Gloss Coating is completely optional, we think that it’s worth the low cost because it will prevent scratching and scuffing and keep your booklet looking brand new for years to come.

UV High Gloss Coating - UV is short for Ultra Violet Coating, which is a shiny gloss coating applied over printed cover weight paper to make photos and colors pop as well as providing a truly professional look and feel to your book printing. 

Gloss vs. Matte Paper

It is both water and scratch resistant and is great for artwork with a high concentration of ink coverage. UV gloss is highly recommended for orders with quantities under 500.

There are three important things to keep in mind when deciding on whether or not to use High Gloss UV Coating on your project:

1. We cannot guarantee against scuffing and scratching if you chose not to apply High Gloss UV Coating to your cover!

2. We especially recommend High Gloss UV Coating on covers containing solid ink coverage where a large part of the cover or the entire cover has ink coverage.

3. Keep in mind that when applying our High Gloss UV Coating to a Matte stock, it will result in the cover being glossy. The inside covers and other pages will be unaffected.


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6. Bonus Tip!

If possible, try to order a large quantity of booklets at a time. Typically, the more you order results in you paying less per piece. For short runs (10 to 1,000 booklets), digital printing will cost less than offset printing. But, if your order quantity increases to more than 1,000, offset printing becomes more efficient. So, your individual costs for 1,000 booklets will be more cost-effective than 500 booklets. The more you order results in a lower unit cost.

Make sure you are in contact with your online printing company early on in the printing process. Ask for suggestions! Let them know what your plans and specifications are. If you are on a budget, getting in touch with an online printer before you start the design process could help you save lots of money.

Here at PrintingCenterUSA, we will always make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck and can help you through the entire production process. We are happy to answer any questions on how to save money on your print project. Call us at 1-800-995-1555  or send us an email.


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