How to Choose the Right Binding for Your Project

Published 05/11/2016

Selecting the best binding style to apply to your customized print project is just as important as the design and printing of the piece.

Once the design and printing phase of your project is complete, you’ll have several binding options available to you that will help your project – literally – come together.

“How do I know which binding method to choose?,” you ask?

The type of binding you select for your project should be influenced by the purpose of your end use and will help to determine which binding option you will need. As with all decisions, there are pros and cons associated with each binding method. Time and money can also play a factor in your decision making process.

There are a number of binding methods that are used to combine individual printed pages into one finished project – whether it is brochures, calendars, notepads or restaurant menus. The images, along with their definitions below will help to illustrate some of the most widely-used binding methods in the printing industry.

Binding Options

Perfect Binding is a method where individual pages are stacked and then glued along the edge to be bound to form the guts of the book. A cover is then wrapped and glued around the pages creating a very durable book. Soft cover books, user guides and training manuals are examples of perfect binding.

Pros: Well-suited for a variety of printed collateral and a polished look

Cons: Not as durable as case binding and does not lay flat

Price: $$

Case Binding is similar to perfect binding, but with a hard cover attached. Textbooks are an example of case binding.

Pros: Sturdy; variety of cover materials including special effects

Cons: One of the more costly binding options

Price: $$$

Saddle Stitch is a method where the folded pages are stacked over each other in sequence and then stapled along the folded edge. The other three edges are trimmed to finish the book. You regularly see saddle stitch binding used in magazines, and smaller catalogs are often saddle stitched books.

Pros: Convenience for readers

Cons: Customized print product has limited page counts; no printable spine

Price: $

Saddle Loop Binding is similar to saddle stitch binding where the folded pages are stacked over each other in sequence and then stapled along the folded edge. Instead of flat staples however, it uses staples with a loop attached. You often see saddle loop binding used for business reports, as the printed materials can be inserted into a ring binder for storage and convenience.

Pros: Convenience for readers

Cons: No printable spine

Price: $$

Coil Binding is good for keeping a book open flat and it utilizes a small round coil to hold the book together. Many notebooks are bound with coil binding.

Pros: Printed pages lay flat when opened; product can be opened 360 degrees; choice of plastic or metal with a variety of colors.

Cons: No printable spine

Price: $$

Comb Binding (GBC) is a more economical binding option that can have the book open flat. It has a plastic cover that covers the spine. Sample documents include proposals and marketing materials.

Pros: Printed pages lay flat when opened; pages can be rearranged

Cons: More susceptible to damage than other bindings; printed pages must be inserted and bound manually; not for large quantities.

Price: $$

Wire-O is commonly referred to as twin-loop binding or double-loop binding. Wire-O binding is similar to coil binding, but does not have a consistent coil. This binding requires a clamp to close. It can thread through a square, rectangle or round hole.

Pros: Printed pages lay flat when opened; variety of colors available

Cons: Cannot insert additional printed pages

Price: $$

If you have questions about these or other binding solutions, contact Integrity Graphics at 1-800-343-1248. We'll walk you through the process and help you to decide which combination of services will work best for your next project.

Tags: Commercial Printer in MA, Digital Printing in New England, Excelsior Printing, Finishing and Binding