Select the perfect finishing and binding for your next print project.
When you have multiple pages or documents you want to print and distribute, how do you decide on a presentation format? Your printer can suggest various options depending on how you plan to use the materials, the design and style of the product or service they represent, and the shelf life of the information it contains.
Before your print project is packaged for shipping, the bindery department of a printer will “finish” your job in a way based on your desired presentation format. In this article, we list the most common finishing options offered by printers, and give a brief explanation of each.
The Many Bindery Options:
Cutting — Stock paper sheets are often oversized, to accommodate a wide variety of finished document sizes. Several pages may be laid out per sheet, and therefore require cutting. A client’s finished document may also be an odd size, requiring additional cuts.
Scoring — Machine scoring uses an instrument such as a knife to crease paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately.
Folding — There are multiple types of folds to choose from: the tri-fold, gate fold, letter fold, accordion fold, or double parallel fold, for example.
Perforating — Perforating is used to make tear-offs for documents such as registration forms or coupons, by creating a line of small holes that penetrate the stock.
Drilling — A drill bit or punch cuts holes in the page stock. Most common is the three-hole punch for ring binders, but there are drilling sets available in various sizes and patterns for ring, coil, or comb binding.
Saddle-Stitching — Used for pamphlets, booklets, and magazines, saddle-stitching binds by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine.
Padding — Padding holds books or sets together with adhesive spread across the edge of the sheets. The standard number of sheets per pad is 25, 50, or 100.
Plastic Spiral Coil Binding — Made of extruded plastic available in many colors, spiral coil binding is widely used for documents, reports, presentations, and proposals because the books open flat on a desk or table.
Comb Binding —This binding method utilizes round plastic spines with 19 rings and a hole puncher that makes rectangular holes. Also known as GBC binding, it is easy to take apart and reassemble by the end user.
Wire-O Twin Loop Binding — Printed and pre-drilled pages are inserted into a “C” shaped spine, after which a wire closer squeezes the spine until it is round. Similar to spiral coil, the Wire-O book can lie flat on a surface, and can even be folded back on itself.
Leatherette + Acetate Overlay — Often used with Coil, Comb, or Wire-O binding, acetate and leatherette provide a more substantial cover system in comparison to simply using a heavier stock paper for the front and back sheets. The clear acetate protects the front cover of your pages, while the back cover is leatherette (often black but may come in many colors).
Ring Binders — Ring binders can identify, order, and segment your materials. O-ring, D-ring, and slant-ring binders of varying ring diameters can hold up to 1,300 sheets. Vinyl-covered chipboard covers come in scores of colors. Clear-view vinyl cover options invite insertion of custom-designed full-color cover sheets and spines for further identification and promotion. Ring binders are durable for both ongoing and archival use.
Folders — Folders secure your material and if customized, create great first impressions for your company, event, or association. Print them with graphics, titles and text, slogans, logos, contact, website and sponsor information. Able to be configured with pockets, tabs, fasteners, and business cards slits, folders are both functional and attractive.
Tabs — If you need to organize the contents of your project, you’ll want banked tabs. Custom-made of heavier stock in a variety of colors, they can be die cut, printed, and mylar reinforced.
Shrink Wrapping — Shrink-wrap is a material made up of polymer plastic film. When heat is applied, it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering. Shrink-wrapping bundles of finished printing products protects them during shipping and makes handling and distributing them easier.
The Right Choice Sends the Right Message
Your selection of options to organize and display your content is an opportunity to command attention. The presentation package should reflect the nature of your offering, be it formal, fun, or just fundamental. With so many options from which to choose, you can be sure you’ll find just the right finishing and binding option for your unique print project.