We’ve got Binding All Sewn Up

Alright, so popular consensus might tell us that we’re really not meant to judge a book by its cover – but (to take the phrase literally for a moment) being in the printing, branding, and design business we can’t seem to help it.

Of course, in the wider scheme of things, it’s best not to make hasty superficial judgements, but when it comes to printed materials there’s definitely a lot to be said for first impressions. The cover design of your book, brochure or manual counts for an awful lot in this respect. As does the overall feel of what’s produced too. Part of that is how your document’s bound and given that there are so many different options when it comes to binding we thought we’d put together a quick guide on what’s what.  

Saddle Stitching

This is probably the most common choice for those working with a tight budget. With saddle stitching, pages are folded and stapled together along the crease. A special stapler with particularly long jaws is used to get into the middle of those pages. This type of binding tends to be a good option for documents with a smaller page count. That’s because when you have too many pages the staple will fail to perforate and hold everything together.

Perfect Binding

Perfect binding is probably one of the most common techniques used. In fact, most of us have examples of perfect binding around the house – it’s what’s typically used by publishers for paperback novels. How it works is that pages are folded up into sections (or signatures, to use a bit of industry jargon). These are then glued together using a strong adhesive and heavier stock that forms the wrap-around cover. More adhesive is used on the spine to join these two parts together. As an avid paperback enthusiast knows, your book won’t open flat – so design considerations have to be made when formatting the text inside.

Section Sewn

Those separate ‘signatures’ we mentioned with regard to perfect binding can be bound separately and sewn together along the spine. Then the spine is glued again for extra support and again wrapped with a cover. This option gives you the choice of being able to lay your book out flat, no matter what the page count is.

Pamphlet Binding

Pamphlet binding uses only one single signature and is sewn together with a stitch that runs right down the spine of your booklet.

Wire Binding

Sometimes referred to as spiral binding, this particular technique is one commonly favoured by students putting together their precious thesis or dissertation. Wire or plastic coils hold together the pages through holes that have been pre-punched.

There are certainly a lot of choices when it comes to binding and these are just a few of the most common examples. The important thing is to make sure you’re choosing the best option for whatever it is that you need to produce.

If your brand is on the more premium end of the scale, you might want to opt for a classier finish (like section sewn, for example). Alternatively, if you need something produced relatively quickly and within a strict budget, saddle stitching may be the way to go. Of course, if you’re not sure which is best for your needs – or are looking for some options to help you stand out, our experts are always happy to help guide you to the best answer.