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November 4th, 2013

Book Binding Services: The Best Method for Your Project

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by David Rogers

An old saying informs us we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we all know that we do it anyway. So authors certainly pay attention to the visual presentation of their books, and one of the choices that greatly influences that look is the binding method. Making the best choice between different methods means considering a few factors — some aesthetic and some practical.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for the different types of book binding services we offer here at Advanced Print & Finishing, as well as examples of book types that commonly utilize each method. The great thing about working with Advanced Print & Finishing is you never have to worry about the technical details of the layout you choose. Our printing services cover the heavy lifting of pagination and imposition, and your customer service team will guide your through the process and help you make the best choice to suit your book.

You can find all of these different methods as available options over on our quote page, which you can use to get the ball rolling on printing a book of your own!

Softcover Books

Saddle Stitching

saddle-stitched-binding

For softcover books with relatively few pages, saddle stitching often is the way to go. The name is a bit misleading, though, as you won’t find any thread holding your book together.

Depending on the publication, these types of books can use a cover of the same type of paper as the inner sheets. However, many instead opt for a heavier paper stock for a more sturdy cover.

How It Works
This is an extremely simple binding method: after printing, the press sheets are cut, scored, collated and stapled through the spine. Finally, the edge of the book opposite the binding — known as the open edge or the face — is cut straight in a process known as face trimming.

Great For: Catalogs  •  Workbooks  •  Magazines  •  Brochures  •  Annual Reports  •  Children’s Books  •  Coloring Books  •  Comic Books

Perfect Binding

perfect-bound-binding

We’ve found perfect binding to be the most popular binding method among our self-published authors. Instead of staples, perfect bound uses book binding glue to hold the pages together. You’ll want to use a heavier weight paper for the cover, and many choose a glossy paper for this application. The most common cover choice  is C1S 10 pt., which stands for Cover One Side with a 10 pt. paper weight. This means that the outside cover will have a glossy finish perfect for displaying cover art, and the inside of the cover will have a matte finish.

How It Works
You won’t find any folding going on here. Instead, all the pages of your book are collated in a stack, or book block. This block is then clamped together and edge-ground, and the cover is hinge scored and installed on the block before a final three knife trim.

Great For: Novels  •  Non-fiction Paperbacks  •  Trade Publications  •  Self-Publishing  •  Catalogs

Wire-O and PlasticCoil

metal-wire-binding plastic-binding-plasticoil

It’s pretty obvious how these types of books are bound together, as you can see the plastic or metal binding right there on the outside of the book. Which version you choose depends on the exact type of publication. Plastic is a bit more durable, while many think metal looks a little more professional. Additionally, both types of bindings allow the book to lay completely flat or even fold back on itself, unlike other binding methods.

How It Works
Both of these methods are known as “Punch and Bind.” After printing, all sheets are placed in a stack and we use a machine to punch holes through the entire stack. Then we put either metal or plastic loops through those holes to bind them together.

Great For: Manuals  •  Notebooks  •  Workbooks  •  Instructional Material  •  Employee Handbooks  •  Cookbooks  •  Calendars

Hardcover Books

Case Binding

case-bound-binding

Case binding is very similar to perfect binding, but uses a hard cover rather than a soft cover. Called a case — hence the name — the hard cover is then wrapped in book cloth or leather, and the title is usually foil stamped on the front cover and spine. As a result you get not only the classic, elegant look of hardcover books, but also more durability than a perfect bound book. Of course, you also can opt for a dust jacket to protect the cloth cover and add customized cover art.

How It Works

For our hardcover book binding services, the inside pages are stacked and glued like perfect bound books with the addition of end sheets. You also can choose to have your pages Smyth sewn for even more durability. This stack is then glued inside of the case.

Great For: Novels • Longer Non-Fiction Books • Genealogy Books • Memoirs • History Books • Yearbooks

Case Wrapped

case-wrapped-binding

Want the durability of a hardcover book while retaining the freedom to have your artwork right on the cover? Case wrapped book binding service is likely for you. The binding method is very similar to case bound books, but you get a completely different look since you control the art on the cover of your book.

How It Works
Mechanically, the process for binding these books is the same as case bound, but the cover is printed on paper that is then applied to the outside hardcover boards with adhesive (instead of the cloth or leather used for case bound binding).

Great For: Novels  •  Non-Fiction Books  •  Genealogy Books  •  Textbooks  •  Cookbooks  •  Art Books  •  High End Catalogs  •  Yearbooks