Monday, 18 November 2013

Design for Print: Book-binding Research

Perfect Binding
  • Perfect Binding is a widely used soft cover book binding method. With this binding method, the pages and cover are glued together at the spine with a strong yet flexible thermal glue. The other three sides of the book are then trimmed as needed to give them clean “perfect” edges.
  • The many soft cover books that you see on the shelves at bookstores are good examples of perfect bound books. They have a square, printed spine and the cover is usually made from paper or cardstock that is heavier than the interior pages. Plus, the cover is often clear coated to provide durability and improve appearance. In addition to authors, businesses and organizations use the perfect binding method on a variety of printing projects because of its professional appearance and relatively low cost. 
  • Perfect binding is commonly used for annual and corporate reports, manuals, catalogs and thicker product brochures.
Benefits of Perfect Binding
  • The primary benefits of perfect bound books are that they look professional and offer visual appeal, are less expensive to produce than hardcover books, and they stack well. Also, the square spinal edge formed by the perfect binding method allows for the book’s title or other information to be printed on the spine…something the saddle stitch and spiral binding methods do not offer.
  • In addition, perfect bound books can be printed in Short Runs and are a great candidate for On Demand Printing. This provides tremendous benefits to book authors as well as cost-conscious businesses and organizations.




PUR Binding
  • The fundamental difference between the two types of binding is the adhesive used in the process. Perfect binding uses ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) adhesives whereas PUR uses polyurethane reactive (PUR) adhesives. Put simply, the binding really only differs by way of the type of glue used. It is the properties of each type of adhesive, however, which is important in determining which is suitable.
  • A key reason PUR adhesive is often the preferred choice is due to its excellent flexibility and ‘lay-flat’ qualities. The benefits here are two fold. Firstly, due to PUR requiring a smaller layer of adhesive when compared to perfect binding, it allows even the thinnest of books (a minimum of 3mm is still recommended) to maintain a square and rigid spine. Secondly, when applied to standard thickness, PUR glue affords considerably more flexibility and pliability than EVA, which allows books to demonstrate lie flat characteristics. This in turn minimises any spine cracking when the finished product is ‘flattened’ out for reading.



Wire Binding
  • Wire binding is one of the most popular commercial book binding methods used in North America and is known by a number of different names including twin loop wire, Wire-o, double loop wire, double-o, ring wire and wirebind. With this binding method, users insert their punched pages onto a "C" shaped spine and then use a wire closer to squeeze the spine until it is round. 
  • Documents that are bound with wire binding will open completely flat on a desk and allow for 360 degree rotation of bound pages. 

Wire-O Binding

Semi-exposed Wire-o binding

Reversed/concealed wire-o




9/16" Black Spiral-O 19 Loop Wire Binding Combs - 102pk. Spiral-O 19 Loop Wire Spines are designed to work with any 19-ring plastic binding system that will accept Wire Bindings. These wires are designed specifically for use with older Ibico Ibimaster binding systems that included a comb binding punch along with a wire closer. - link

Wire binding machine



Saddle Stitching
  • A saddle stitch is appropriate for small booklets and, in general, for volumes with only a few pages. Most magazines that are not glued are saddle stitched: that is, they are held together by staples that run through the gutter. Once the pages are aligned and in the right order, this type of binding is quite straightforward. Staplers with extremely long jaws, designed specifically for saddle stitching, are available in office supply stores. Some photocopiers produce saddle-stitched volumes automatically.
  • If neither of these options is readily available, an improvised saddle stitch can be accomplished by using an ordinary stapler in "tacking" mode. This usually requires swinging the anvil away from the bottom, or detaching the lower jaw of the stapler. The working surface should be reasonably soft and durable, such as carpeting or a cork board. Staples can be driven through the centerline of the pages to be bound, and then bent down individually using the cap of a pen.
  • Saddle stitching can also be done to the individual codex, using a needle and thread, as part of the process of binding them together into a larger book.




Plastic Comb Binding
  • similar to wire spiral binding, comb binding is a method of securing loose printed pages using a piece of plastic with "teeth" (the comb) that fit into rectangular holes in the paper. 
  • The combs come in different colors and widths to accommodate small and large numbers of pages. Documents can be bound with or without covers. 
  • The binding allows books to lay flat when opened.



Spiral Binding
  • Spiral binding, also known as coil binding, is a commonly used book binding style for creating documents, reports, presentations and proposals. This binding style is known by a number of names including spiral coil, color coil, colorcoil, ez-coil, plastic coil, spiral binding, plastikoil and coilbind. 
  • Documents bound with helical coil (usually called spiral coil) can open flat on a desk or table and offer 360 degree rotation for easy note taking. 
  • This binding style is durable and is often used for documents that need to be mailed. Spiral coil binding spines are also available in more colors and sizes than other binding styles.
Rhythm flipbooks to make a variety of different rhythm patterns quickly without lots of flash cards.
Bind your own




Above: Fully bound so only the covers are accessible,


Lay Flat Perfect binding
  • A variation of traditional perfect binding is called Lay Flat binding The cover is glued only to the sides of the spine so that a perfect bound book can lay flat when open. 
  • A strip of gauze is glued to the spine edge of the book block to hold the signatures or pages together. This allows the book block to “float” over the spine and lay flat when opened. 
  • In traditional perfect binding, the cover is actually glued to the spine of the book which means the book will not open as far as a lay flat book.



Japanese Stab Binding
  • This technique is ideal for binding single sheets of paper in soft covers and can be used for diaries, class notes, phone messages, recipes, and school or business reports. Most types of papers-handmade, commercial or tracing papers, even acetate can be used for Japanese stab binding. If the book will contain writing, the paper must be smooth.
  • Inexpensive photocopy paper is also fine for text pages, and has the added benefit of being readily available and cut to a standard size. 
  • Cutting is not required for this technique, which makes it suitable for both young and beginner bookbinders.

'Cuts' (2010) Handmade Japanese stab bind book.




Coptic Binding

Perspex book cover, hand bound

Einar Guðmundsson - 0.01%

'Master Conclusion Book Design'



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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing such a nice article. I love your writing. Your idea is mind blowing that's why i would like to appreciate your work.

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