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A Guide to Document Binding

When considering the possible methods for binding important documents or publications, it's likely that the process will be looked at from one of two perspectives, or often a combination of both. The first is how the document should look, and the impression it will make on those receiving it. The second is how it will be used: this might range from a one-off read of a business proposal, or delivery of regular publications such as magazines or newsletters; to training material or user manuals that are going to need to be resilient when referred to on a frequent basis. With this pair of viewpoints in mind, and in no order of preference, let's now examine the four most common binding possibilities:

1. Perfect binding

This process is popular when producing publications such as annual and other financial and business reports, many magazines, and brochures to promote a company's products or services. The finished document will offer an attractive visual appearance, and in such examples as readers retaining monthly magazines, the printed spine offers swift identification of individual copies when stored on shelves. The process is more cost-effective than hardcover alternatives, and is accomplished by using flexible thermal glue at the spine and can bind up to 700 individual pages and their cover together.

2. Saddle stitching

This popular method can be found in calendars and catalogues, newsletters, and a range of booklets, usually with a total of no more than 64 pages, always in multiples of four. Beyond that number, it can be difficult and frustrating for an individual to keep the opened publication flat when reading or referring to it. This process combines a group of folded sheets together, and then staples (stitches) them through the common fold.

3. Wire binding

For large page numbers, this is a popular option. However, the accompanying drawbacks to keeping pages firmly in place and easy to access is that, once bound, it is very difficult to add or remove pages, as the wire combs themselves cannot be reused. Therefore, it's a good choice for a neat and secure report or presentation, but less so for product manuals which might need to be updated in the future. With these provisos, this method, using binds through a series of punched holes, is an inexpensive option for delivering information in a neat format, and can cope with more than 300 pages (using double-sided printing).

4. Comb binding

Similar in appearance and process to the previous method, but using plastic combs rather than wire, this is a hugely popular method of binding. It is in use in many educational, medical, as well as business establishments. With both manual and electric punch options, it can handle a wide range of page volumes. Unlike the wire alternative, the flexible combs can be reused and therefore publications can be changed and updated if needed.

Final considerations

As well as appearance and use, mentioned earlier, another consideration will be both the volume of copies required and the relevant costs. If you are considering which methods would be best for the documents or publications you are producing, our expert team here at Instant Print W1 are always happy to fully discuss the possibilities.

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