What type of binding should you use and how does it impact your work?

It’s easy to overlook the importance of great binding for your project — but your papers need to be held together somehow! Save your staples and paperclips and opt for a more professional approach. The concept of binding is straightforward; complexity only enters the picture when you consider the vast array of options available. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular methods:

This well-liked binding option delivers a stylish, professional-looking metal finish with the use of a continuous hinge of double-wire loops that hold covers and pages intact. Books with wire-o binding lie perfectly flat and can be opened back-to-back to put your work on full display. This method is ideal for documents that are from 1/8 inch to 1 inch thick.

You’ve seen this on your notebooks — it’s another favourite, due in part to its modern, clean appearance. Spiral binding uses a continuous piece of plastic coil wound through a series of evenly spaced holes. It too can open back-to-back, and it’s durable enough to maintain its original shape even with excessive use. Spiral-bound coils can range in diameter from ¼ inch to 2 inches.

Plastic Comb
Of the three most popular bindings, the plastic comb is the only one that cannot be opened 360°. The combs are formed by a spine of rings that fit into rectangular holes. Since this binding can be easily opened and closed, it’s ideal for those situations where pages may need to be added or removed. Plastic-comb bound documents can be up to 3 inches thick.

Take a look at a paperback book and you’ll find an example of perfect binding. It attaches pages using a strong adhesive to create a clean, professional look with a flat spine. This versatile binding can only be used with soft covers, however, and typically requires a minimum thickness of 1/8 inch. Perfect binding is great for thicker booklets and directories.

This method is king in the binding world, and built to last. Signatures (groups of folded pages) are collated and sewn together by machine. They are then glued to the spine before the casing-in machine adheres end papers and attaches a durable hard cover.

Saddle Stitch
Saddle stitching is a binding method where booklets are placed over a “saddle” and staples or stitching wires are inserted along the spine. It is a fast method of binding that is commonly used for small booklets and calendars.

At TPH we offer a wide variety of binding options for your projects and custom books. If you’re curious about a type of binding that you don’t see here, talk to your local TPH Manager. 

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