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Printing 101

Baby Steps To Print Purchasing Know How

The Printing Crash Course - Printing School

How Many Different Kinds of Binding Are There?

There's a whole lot of different ways to bind a multi-paged project. Some of these methods can be applied by affordable equipment while other methods are best left to bindery professionals found in a bindery. Here's a bunch of professional and office methods for holding pages together.

Saddle Stitched Binding:
A very common method employed in the print industry that can be used to bind books under approximately 1/8". A saddle stitched book has staples (stitches) on the spine. It gets its name from when it is spread out, and draped over a saddle to apply the stitches. The pages have to be in multiples of 4 as a sheet is folded in half and once folded, there are two sheets joined at the spine, each sheet having a front and back - therefore there are 4 page to each spread (a 4 page piece in a saddle stitched book). The advantage of this type of a binding is that the book will open flat.

Side-Stitched Binding:
The application of a staple on the spine of loose pages is called "Side Stitching". This method allows the binding of loose pages, and can be multiples of 2, with each sheet having a front page and a back page. The stitching done on the side exposes four cut edges on the book, and the durability is very short on this type of a binding. The other disadvantage is that this type of a binding does not allow the book to open flat.

Perfect Binding:
When the saddle stitching becomes prohibitive due to the thickness of the book, instead of nesting signatures, the signatures are stacked. this creates a square spine, rather than the pointed spine on a saddle stitched book. The spine of a perfect bound book is notched, or ground down, a glue applied, and a cover drawn over the spine. The spine of a perfect bound book is square. The disadvantage of a perfect bound book is that it does not open flat, however certain advancements in this process have made it possible to almost open a perfect book to a flat.

Case Binding:
A hard cardboard encased in the cover printed on a medium weight stock is made into a hard cover, with the spine attached to the front and back of the cover. This type of a book binding process is for very durable items. The pages of the book can be sewn (smyth sewn) or processed in the same manner as the perfect binding, but some fancy edging is given to this book, and the spine does not adhere to the spine of the pages, thereby making the case bound book open flat, but not quite as flat as one would require to say if it were being photo-copied.

Plastic Comb Binding:
Like the name suggests, this is a method employed on loose leaf (loose sheets) that is bound using holes on the spine, and applying a plastic comb into the holes. This process is inexpensive and very flexible binding process. The book bound in a plastic comb binding can be opened very flat. Pages can be ripped out, or removed from this binding in the easiest fashion, compared to the rest of the bindings defined thus far.

Plastic Coil Binding:
Plastik Koil as it is commonly known, is the same type of binding as Plastic Comb binding, with the only difference that instead of the plastic comb, the use of a spiral coil is utilized in the holes made on the spine. Again this process of binding allows for a flat opening of the book.

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