Types of Document Binding

When you’re printing or producing any kind of book, booklet, magazine, catalog, zine, or other publication, at some point, the question will have to be decided: How will you bind your book or project? There are many options out there, and not all types of binding are right for every product. 

Thomas Group offers several different types of bindings that our press team is experienced in helping customers choose among. Our focus is not only on making sure you get the right binding for your book, but also that you’re satisfied in knowing you are using the best style of bookbinding that will enhance your final product. Here, we’ll take some time to explain the different kinds of binding and what might be the best choice for various projects. 

What kind of bindings are there? 

There are multiple ways to bind a book, with each binding offering its own style and function. Before you can decide what kind of bookbinding you’d like done with your printed project, you need to know the various kinds of binding available. 



A saddle stitched booklet printed for the International Center of Photography

Saddle stitched booklets are secured using staples. This method of binding is best for documents ranging from 8-80 pages.


Saddle stitching is a method of binding documents that places staples down the middle of large, loose-leaf sheets to secure them. It’s cost-effective, it’s common, and it’s perfect for binding booklets and other smaller projects. You often see saddle stitching used with zines, smaller magazines and catalogs, and anything that doesn’t need to have a long life. However, saddle-stitching isn’t the most durable or effective for large projects, odd sizes, or reference books that will sit for a long time on a shelf. 


Perfect binding

Perfect bound books are created by gluing sections of pages to a cover at the spine. This method of binding is best for documents ranging from 50-250 pages. 


Perfect binding is one of the most popular bindings you will find in bookstores due to the fact that it is used on paperback and softcover books. This particular style of bookbinding is an excellent choice for nearly any project. The finished product is easy to stack and appears extremely professional. Large catalogs, books, annual reports, and collections of documents do well with perfect binding, and it can also be used for a long-lasting, elegant look on smaller projects. 


Wire-O binding

Wire-O bound booklets are created by punching holes in the pages of a document and passing spiraled wires through them, allowing the booklet to lay flat. This method of binding is best for documents ranging from 16-275 pages.


Wire-O binding is an affordable option for small to mid-sized printing projects, and is very popular for documents as well as other items like calendars. Wire-O binding isn’t a spiral-style bind, but instead uses C-shaped wires that are threaded through the holes of a document and then squeezed closed to form the namesake “O” shape. This allows pages to be laid side-by-side on a flat surface for ease of reading and use. Wire-O offers a sturdier coil-type binding than plastic coils, and helps printed products last longer even with frequent opening and handling. Employee training books, reports and larger projects that benefit from spiral or wire binding are suitable projects for wire-o binding. 


Case binding

Case binding is the type of binding used for hardcover books. Pages are typically sewn together in sections and glued to the hard cover at the spine. This method of binding is best for documents with page counts ranging from 60-400.


When it comes to hardcover books, the typical binding that you see on nearly any version is called a case binding. This style of bookbinding is perfect for larger or high-end printing projects, and this is a great way to make the biggest impression. Case binding is a type of a bookbinding that actually sews the pages together in sections before those sections are then glued to end papers and then glued to the book’s spine and cover. 


Post binding

In Post binding, holes are drilled through the document’s pages and metal posts are installed to screw the pages together. This method of binding is best for documents 16-400 pages in length. 


This form of binding, which is also known as screw and stud binding, or sometimes Chicago post binding, requires that holes be drilled down through the completed book project. Through those holes, barrel posts are inserted and a cap screw is added in order to ensure the bookbinding holds well. This style is popular for industrial, art, and creative projects. 


Important: Your page count depends on the type of binding you use.

During the printing process, different types of documents are assembled in different ways. The method of binding used can affect the number of pages that your booklet can contain. Because of this, it’s good to design with your document’s printing style in mind in order to get the best result for your printed piece. 

Page counts for saddle stitched documents:

When a saddle stitched document is printed, a large sheet of paper will be printed front and back, then folded and stapled down the middle, effectively making a single sheet of paper into four pages. This is done to conserve paper and ensure your content is printed on every available surface. So, when using saddle stitching, be sure your final page count is divisible by four to avoid having blank pages in your finished document. 

Page counts for all other documents:

When other types of binding are used for a document, the rules change. Since each page is bound to the document individually, they’re only printed front and back, not folded. This means that if your book will be perfect bound, case bound, Chicago post bound, wire-O bound comb bound or spiral bound, your final document page count just needs to be divisible by two. 


Thomas Group Printing Can Help 

As you can see, there are many options to choose from when it comes to having your documents bound together. If you’re not sure what is best for your specific printing requirements, contact us and we can go over the specifics of your project and what your needs are. With all these choices available, we are confident we’ll be able to find the binding that best suits your expectations, the aesthetics of your project, and your budget.

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