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Amber Gauthier
By
May 15, 2020

Book Binding | What are the Types?

Types of Book BindingOne of the biggest choices you need to make before designing your next booklet is what binding type you are going to choose. A lot of factors go into determining which binding type is best, such as page count and the book’s purpose. You must ask yourself questions such as where will it be used? By whom? How will it need to function?

When you start to look at it that way, there is a lot to consider! While perfect binding is great for magazines and product catalogs, spiral binding or wire-o binding is probably the better option for projects such as manuals and cookbooks. If you’re on a budget, saddle stitch binding is the optimal choice. Before we get into the nitty gritty, take a look at our book binding options overview below.

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Book Binding Options: Overview

Saddle Stitching

Saddle Stitching
8-92 Pages | $$$$
Sheets of paper (two pages on front, two pages on back) nested, folded, stapled together, then trimmed down to size.

Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding
28 Pages – 2” Thick | $$$$
Pages stacked (one page on front, one page on back) together then cover is wrapped around and glued to spine.

spiral binding

Spiral Binding
8 Pages – 2 3/4” Thick | $$$$
Cover and pages are stacked (one page on front, one page on back) together, hole punched, then bound by a plastic coil.

WireO binding

Wire-O Binding
8 Pages – 1 1/4” Thick | $$$$
Cover and pages are stacked (one page on front, one page on back) together, hole punched, then bound by a metal looped wire.

How to Arrange Pages

Below you can find more detailed information on each binding type to help make your decision easier.

 

Saddle Stitch Book Printing

saddle stitch booklet printingSaddle-stitched binding is the most common and cost-effective form of book binding. Booklets bound in this way have printed sheets that are folded and nestled together one inside the other and then stapled through the fold line. This allows the booklet to lay almost completely flat when open. This means that less of your design gets lost in the middle and the book will be easy to handle. However, there is a limitation to this type of binding. Staples can only hold so many pages. Therefore, saddle stitching is best for smaller booklets containing less than 92 pages.

Page Count Restrictions: 8 Pages – 92 Pages  |  4 page increments

Available in Soft Cover or Self-Cover

SelfCover SoftCover_SS

Popular Saddle Stitch Books:

  • Programs
  • Marketing Booklets
  • Portfolio Books
  • Coloring Books

Saddle Stitch Printing

 

Perfect Bound Book Printing

01_PerfectBindingPerfect binding is a popular type of book binding you see on soft cover books such as paperback books and magazines. The internal pages are printed on both sides of text weight paper, then gathered together (collated) into a book, one on top of the other, in numbered page order. The cardstock cover of the perfect bound book is placed over and around the inside pages, attached along the binding edge by the application of a strong yet flexible PUR glue.

SoftCover_PBPage Count Restriction: 28 Pages – 2” thick  |  2 page increments

Available in Softcover Only

Popular Perfect Bound Books:

  • Magazines
  • Photobooks
  • Look Books
  • Yearbooks
  • Product Catalogs
  • Memory Books
  • Art Books
  • Handbooks

Perfect Bound Book Printing

 

Spiral Bound Book Printing

spiral bound book printing

Spiral binding or coil binding is similar to saddle-stitched binding except that it involves creating holes along the left edge of a booklet's pages and inserting a continuous plastic coil through the holes. This binding allows for a wide variety of sizes and page counts. It also offers the most versatility for the user to lay the pages flat, which is why this is a common binding method for spiral notebooks and journals.

Spiral bound books are easier to handle due to the ease of turning pages, lack of spinal tension, and folding or wrapping back around themselves (360 degree). You cannot print on the spine or add or remove pages. Crossovers, or images that span two adjacent pages, inside of perfect bound books are not recommended.

SoftCover_SpiralPage Count Restrictions: 8 Pages – 2” thick  |  2 page increments

Available in Soft Cover Only

Popular Spiral Bound Books:

  • Manuals
  • Cookbooks
  • Guide Books
  • Directories
  • Workbooks
  • Handbook
  • Notebooks
  • Journals

Spiral Bound Book Printing

 

Wire-O Bound Book Printing

wire o book printingWire-O binding is similar to spiral binding except for instead of a spiral coil, it has a metal coil, as shown above. This binding allows for a wide variety of sizes and page counts. Wire-O tends to be an ideal option for when a project is for a professional setting, but also needs to have the versatility of moving the pages 360 degrees. A good example is an annual report or presentation booklet.

Wire-O books are easy to handle and will lie flat (180 degrees) for easy reading reference materials. Pages turn easily, lack spinal tension, and can fold or wrap back around themselves (360 degrees). You cannot print on the spine or add or remove pages. Crossovers, or images that span two adjacent pages, inside of perfect bound books are not recommended.
SoftCover_WireO

Page Count Restrictions: 8 Pages – 2 3/4“ thick  |  2 page increments

Available in Softcover Only 

Popular Wire-O Bound Books:

  • Manuals
  • Annual Reports
  • Presentation Books
  • Directories
  • Report Book
  • Guide Books
  • Business Books
  • Calendars

Wire-O Bound Book Printing

 

Softcover vs. Self-Cover

While describing the book binding options above, we mentioned softcover and self-cover. Here is a brief look at soft cover and self-cover to give you a better grasp.

A SOFTCOVER BOOK is like a paperback novel, catalog or magazine. The soft covers are printed on a more durable heavier weight cover cardstock paper to give your book a little more thickness and heft. We recommend 80# or 100# gloss or matte cover cardstock for the cover and 80# or 100# gloss or matte text for the inside pages. 70# gloss text is available when weight becomes an issue, for example, mailing. Below is a saddle stitch example of softcover (the darker colored cover in the example is a heavier weight than the inside pages).
saddlestitch_softcover-1

  • We offer 4 types of softcover binding: Perfect bound, Saddle-stitched are our most popular binding types. We also offer softcover Spiral bound and Wire-o binding.
  • Softcover books offer the BEST VALUE.
  • The cover can be UV Coated with a luxurious high gloss finish.
  • They are more popular, affordable and offer a quicker turnaround time than hardcover books.
  • A hardcover book has a cover made from thick, rigid paperboard (like an elementary school textbook). We do not offer hardcover books.

SELF-COVER BOOKS have the same paper weight for the front and back cover and the inside pages. 100# Text (Gloss or Matte) is recommended. We only offer self-cover for Saddle Stitched Books. Below is a saddle stitch example of self-cover (the cover and inside pages are the same paper weight).

saddlestitch_self-cover-1

  • Easier to fold into a self-mailer or put into an envelope
  • Does not require the durability and longevity of a heavier cover
  • More easily damaged when mailed.
  • 80# or 70# gloss text are also available when weight becomes an issue, for example, mailing.

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