Differentiating various binding techniques can be confusing. Yet making the right selection is important for reasons ranging from durability and utility to appearance and cost. Here is an overview of the most common alternatives and their applications:

  • Saddlestitching. Bound materials where staples hold the pages together. Signature are automatically gathered one inside the other and secured through the center with two or three staples. Saddlestitching has thickness limitations — generally 1/4" — and lower perceived value.
  • Perfect Binding. Signature are automatically gathered one on top of the other and glued with a flexible adhesive — EVA, PUR or white (cold) depending upon the use — that holds each page in place after trimming the signature folds along the spine. A popular choice for higher page-count documents because of openability, high-perceived value and affordability. Perfect binding is best suited for either soft- or hard-cover print materials at least 1/4" thick.
  • Layflat. A variety of perfect binding where a reinforcing strip is applied along the backbone of the cover. The text block is then secured by multiple applications of glue and a bead of pressure sensitive hot melt just above the back edge of both covers. The resulting gap on the spine between the text block and the cover provides flex that enables the document to lay flat when opened.
  • Case Binding. The ultimate of bookbinding alternatives, case binding is a method of hardcover binding where the case is made separately from the text block and later attached to it. Glued endsheets attach the text pages to its case. Covers, which can be either round or square edges, always extend beyond the edges of the text pages and may be constructed from rigid or flexible boards and covered with a wide range of materials. Case binding is more costly than soft cover but also has superior longevity and greater perceived value.
  • Thermal Binding: A low-cost binding method often used in conjunction with in-line digital printing systems or as small, tabletop versions used in offices and quick-print shops. This method most commonly applies heat-fused cloth or plastic strips at the document edge to provide a professional appearance and reasonably durable binding that also allows the piece to open flat.
  • Coil or Comb Binding. An inexpensive binding method whereby slots are punched along the binding edge with a plastic comb, plastic coil, spiral wire or wire-o inserted into the slots. All of the binding materials are available in a variety of colours. This method allows the document to lay completely flat as well as accommodate a variety of different papers and inserts. Ideal for cookbooks, manuals and similar products.

To learn more about binding techniques, contact us.