Binding is very important when it comes to effectively getting your project done. Unlike many of the last subjects I have blogged about such as, Paper, Printing, and envelopes, aesthetic look of binding is typically the last consideration when it comes to finishing the project at hand. The more important features of binding are cost effectiveness, the type of binding that best suites the document which can rely heavily on the amount of pages, and type of paper that is being printed on. Just like the paper, and printing, stitching is an important aspect of making your finished document great instead of good, and can set your document apart from others giving the document a unique feel.
First off I am going to group the cost effectiveness of each type of stitching into one of four categories, being: cheap, medium, expensive, and very expensive.
Saddle Stitching, Loop Stitching, Stab Stitching / Side Stitch, Plastic Grip, and Comb/Plastic Bound.
Perfect Bound, Tape Bound, Spiral / Coil Bound, and Wire-O / Wire Bound.
Sewn Bound and Hardcover / Case Bound.
Now I am going to explain what each of these binding types are in further detail to give some insight on certain types of binds, when to use them, and hopefully help whomever reads this on choosing a binding type.
Saddle Stitching is the most common, and most cost effective way to bind a document together. This bind is created by punching wire through the document’s outside spine, then bending the wire flat on the inside center fold to grip all the pages. Saddle Stitching can also be done with stapling the outside center fold but does not yield the same results as punching wire will, however both are viable options.
Loop stitching can be compared to saddle stitching as it is also an economical way of binding together documents. With Loop Stitching, loops are created with wire along the external spine in order to insert and secure the document into a 3-ring binder. This is very effective for informative business documents as more can easily be added whenever needed because each booklet can rest inside of a 3-ring binder.
When it comes to Stab/Side Stitching, it uses wire that is stabbed into the front cover of the document, through the inside pages, and the back cover instead of on the spine. This is often used to cover / hide the wire. Hence why it has the name Stab Stitch.
Sewn Binding is similar to that of saddle stitching, however, used with thread instead of wire or staples. Thread is stitched along the entire spine to create this type of binding, and as more pages are added to the document it more closely resembles a case binding without the hard cover.
With Perfect Binding the sections of folded pages have their spines trimmed off and roughed up to improve bonding with glue. All of these sections are collated and glued to its wrap-around cover. The cover is also always scored on the front, as well as the back to make opening the document easier and relieve stress on the spine.
Tape Binding involves using adhesive tape being wrapped around the spine to hold the covers and inside pages in place. Typically with this process the pages need to be pre stitched for added strength and durability.
When it comes to a Screw Bound book, first holes are drilled through the complete document. Then a barrel post is inserted through the holes and a cap screw is added to the post hold everything together. This type of binding is most commonly found with swatch books as it allows the reader to easily flip between colors and have multiples flared out simultaneously.
Hardcover / Case Binding:
Hardcover / Case binding is the standard binding used for hardcover books. Several different types to choose from, but typically involves inside pages being sewn together in sections. These are then glued to end papers which are glued to the covers spine.
The Plastic Grip binding method uses a moulded 3-sided plastic spine. By prying apart the 2 vertical strips the entire document is guided through one end of the plastic grip until it covers the full length of the spine.
Comb / Plastic Bound:
The Comb / Plastic binding method is most suitable for manuals and books that need to lay flat when open. Using rectangular holes punched through the document, the plastic combs rings are threaded through holes and page edges at spine are covered by plastic comb.
Spiral / Coil Bound:
Spiral / Coil binding utilizes a smooth round coil to hold pages together which allows the book to lie flat when open or the pages can be turned all the way around to the back if desired. This process is created by wire being threaded through punched holes and then Ends are crimped to prevent wire slipping off. Spirals or coils are available in a variety of colors to add more customization to the process.
Wire-O / Wire Bound:
Wire-O / Wire binding uses formed wire that threads through punched holes which allows books to lay flat when open. Wire loops are available in variety of colours to coordinate with cover color. Wire binding is a durable option for a wide variety of project types.
As you can see there are many different options when it comes to binding, some being more effective than others depending on resources, document page length, and cost effectiveness. Deciding on the right type of binding can be very crucial to the outcome of a given project and must be handled with care, and sensibility.