What is binding and what are the different options available?

So you need your document(s) bound, but you’ve got no idea what ‘saddle stitched’, ‘sewn bound’ and ‘perfect’ actually means.

Below, we’ll go over some of the most popular types of binding, what their function is and how it affects the overall look and feel of the document.

First, let’s look at why we bind documents in the first place.

  • Binding keeps documents together, so there is little risk of individual pages falling out or getting damaged.
  • As mentioned above, you can’t risk having pages falling out onto a client’s lap. Binding helps convey your message clearly and also adds a touch of quality you don’t get with loose documents.
  • Certain types of binding allow pages to be removed, replaced or added. However, for finished documents, you may want to permanently bind your pages together.

The most popular types of binding

Saddle stitching

Pages are folded over each other, and a staple is driven through the pages at the spine, including the cover page, to seal them together. Depending on the size of the document, page designs may need to be formatted correctly to display properly on each page. See newspapers and tabloids for examples of saddle stitching.

Sewn bound

Similar to saddle stitching, pages are folded over each other and ‘stitched together’ at the spine. Sewn bound documents cost more to produce but create a greater depth of quality.

Perfect bound

‘Perfect binding’ is most commonly used among softcover books. The pages are individually glued together at the spine and the pages are trimmed to give the book a ‘box-like’ feel. This process can also be used with hardcover books.

Comb binding

You are more likely to find comb binding in an office setting. A plastic comb is slotted through square punched holes to hold the document together. This is an affordable and effective option for producing multiple reports, manuals and proposals.

Ring binding

Also known as wire binding, ring binding is a higher quality option compared to comb binding, but also more expensive. It is most often used for its professional look, durability and flexibility.


Ready to get binding?

If you’re still unsure, talk to one of our experts who will happily guide you through the binding process. Get started here.