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How to Choose the Best Binding Method for your Next Publication

Choosing the best and most practical binding method for your nonprofit or association’s next book project can be challenging and overwhelming, especially if you take to Google with a quick web search. The number of binding options out there can be off putting and sorting through all of the industry jargon can be painful. To choose which application you truly need, you first need to know that bindery recommendations are often made with two things in mind: use and size of the publication.

What are you using the book for?

When determining use, you need to decide how the book is meant to be used; this should greatly impact the type of binding chosen. For example, a manual or reference book will be of better use with a coil or twin loop binding as opposed to say tape binding because most readers want manuals to lay flat for reference purposes. This is more easily achieved with a coil or twin loop binding.

How many pages is it?

The pagination or number of pages also needs to be a factor in determining the best binding method. For example, twin loop binding is best for books 200 pages or less. Once you get to more than 200 pages or so, it becomes hard to move pages due to the binding. And, while it will still lay flat, it will take some effort to do so.

Last but not least, customers always need to consider cost and, from time to time, the production time it takes to produce each type of binding. For example, saddle stitch is the most cost effective for books 60 pages or less, and these are also great for annual reports. Additionally, some of these binding types are more work intensive than others, so given the nature of your project and your time frame, some bindings may not be practical from that standpoint. For example, Perfect Bound (aka soft cover books) can take up to three days to complete the binding process, due to the number and nature of the steps involved.

While use and size are the best determiners to decide on the application, you can’t ignore the budget, so we also educate customers on the most cost effective option for their print job.

Now, let us help you with a few suggestions on which binding methods are best for which uses:

Academic and Education purposes- Manuals and Reference Texts:

Coil and Twin Loop are your best options for Academic and/or Educational texts. For example, both Coil and Twin Loop binding allow the book to lay flat while open. This design, in particular, is popular for academic resources. While Coil and Twin Loop are very similar and both are quite durable, keep in mind that Twin Loop is only good for books 200 pages or less.


Twin Loop or Wire Bind

In addition to Coil and Twin Loop, Binders are also a good call for academic materials. Binders are cost effective, and they tend to be good for academic purposes since the interior of the book can be updated periodically by adding and taking out various tabbed sections; additionally, these removable, tabbed sections make binders a great reference book. These are good for things like  Procedural Manuals or Staff Handbooks that may need to be updated on a regular basis.


Coil Bind

Annual Nonprofit Publications: Annual and Quarterly Reports, Fundraising Guides:

Both Perfect Bound and Saddle Stitch bindings are ideal for some common annual printing for nonprofits and associations, like Annual and Quarterly Reports and Fundraising Guides.



Perfect Bind 

Perfect Bound, or soft cover, is best for these types of publications. They ship flat, stack easily, and are visually appealing. Additionally, you can choose from a variety of coatings for the cover in order to enhance the design. Also, if you are ordering 300+ books, these can be more cost effective than both coil and twin loop, as both of those can be labor intensive which adds to cost. However, keep in mind that you need at least three days to complete a perfect bound order; as a result, this  may not be the most ideal choice for jobs with a tight deadline, like conferences or last minute rush orders.

To read more about available coating options click here.

On the other hand, Saddle Stitch is the most cost effective option up to 60 pages. Once your text is longer than 60 pages, the book will become too big and will be harder to bind. The Saddle Stitch process is fully automated, making this option the fastest and least labor intensive. As a result, saddle stitch becomes a practical and cost effective option for things like Annual Reports and Industry Magazines.



Tape Bind

Conference Materials- Break- out Sessions and Training Sessions Booklets:

Tape Bound is ideal for these types of course materials that are frequently needed for annual conferences and other meetings throughout the year. This kind of watered down version of perfect binding is similar to perfect binding in that pages are adhered with glue, but the spine of a perfect binding is scored to allow glue to seep in whereas Tape Binding is a heated strip of glue that grips the book spine. Tape binding is usually done in limited runs for customers that use it for break-out and training session booklets, where this type of book is most popular.

To read more about valuable printed conference materials click hereand/or here.

In conclusion:

While it is smart to consider practicality of use, pagination and size in addition to cost and time frame when choosing the right type of binding for your project, at CTR Services it is our goal to give the customer what he/she wants every time. As a result, we will educate you on your options and then help you make the most knowledgeable, cost effective and practical choice when it comes to binding for your next book project.

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