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Print Finishing Methods (Binding)

2nd October 2009


A multiple page printed document such as a brochure, book or booklet will require finishing to ensure the best possible look and feel. The actual method of finishing a brochure is known as binding and although there are many methods we thought it might be of help to list some of the more popular ones.

  • Saddle Stitch – a method similar to simple stapling whereby groups of 4 creased pages are collated together and stitched using metal wire in the centre crease. The wire is stitched inwards from the outer spine and can be seen both on the inside and outside of the document. Depending on the weight and thickness of paper used as many as 100+ pages can be stitched together using this method of binding.
  • Side Wire Stitching – also know as Stab Stitching this method of binding requires a metal wire to be stabbed through the edge of loose pages from front to back. This wire is then folded back on itself and covered using a binding tape.
  • Perfect Binding – this method uses grouped sections or loose pages (leaves) which have a hot glue coating to the edge and are then set inside a separate wrap around cover. This method of binding is one of the most costly and requires a spine thickness of at least 3mm. Contrary to common thought it is not ideal to simply increase the paper weight of the cover and reduce text page weight as the two tend to work against each other and pull the binding apart. When binding the 3mm minimum thickness it is better to reduce the thickness of the cover to the region of 250gsm and increase text to 170gsm, this makes for a more substantial and longer lasting finish.
  • Wire-O Binding – this common binding method is used for low cost documents and may also be known as Comb Binding. A document made up of loose leaves with a loose front and back cover are punched along the edge and held together using either a wire or plastic comb. These combs are available in a large variety of colours, lengths and diameters to suit almost any application.
  • Half Canadian Wire-O Binding – this method is similar to standard Wire-O Binding but has the added benefit of allowing a printable spine and partial covering of the comb. A single-piece cover is creased and folded around punched loose leaves and a wire comb is then bound through the back cover only. This gives the appearance of a spine and the comb can only be seen from the back of the document.
  • Full Canadian Wire-O Binding – this method provides a very similar finish to the Half Canadian Wire-O Binding, the only difference being that the comb is bound through both the front and back cover whilst still offering a printable spine.

All of these binding methods have their features and benefits and vary in cost so the best way to find out the most appropriate for your needs is to get in touch.