4 Important Document Binding Considerations

March 21, 2019
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4 Important Document Binding Considerations

Binding has been around for as long as there has been printing, because for as long as pages have been printed on, people have needed ways to keep them attached together. Nowadays there are a ton of different ways to bind a book, and sorting through the mass options can be a bit daunting. That is why I have compiled this list of four important considerations you should think about before you choose a binding method. When you think about these aspects of binding and of your finished bound book, you will have all of the ammunition that you need to figure out what will truly be the best way to bind books for your specific needs (because we all have different binding expectations and needs).

1. Handling

It is important to think about how your finished book will be handled, by whom, and for how long. Does it need to be extra durable to last through heavy handling of mechanics in a maintenance repair shop? Or will it primarily sit on a shelf, and simply be an occasional reference? Or will it be used once for a presentation, and then recycled? Perhaps some combination of these applications?

Knowing who will be handling your bindings, and knowing how long they will be used for are important considerations to choose the best binding for you. Something editable, such as a binding comb or a screw post may be ideal for those who want to be able to re-use the binding itself after a one-time proposal or presentation, whereas something permanent, such as a velo binding strip might be more suited for a law office that needs security with their books. Understanding the finished application and use is key in determining which kind of binding will be more suited.

2. Presentation

What do you want your book to look like? Is it important that it be very professional and look expensive, or is something where the professionalism doesn't really matter, and functionality is more important? Determining what your goal is for the finished look of your book is an important consideration.

This aesthetic look and feel can make a huge difference for some various binding applications, and can not matter in the least for others. If you are creating a proposal for a high-end client that could earn you some serious business, then the look of your book could be a valuable asset or a hindrance. And remember to look at not just the binding itself, but also the potential of cover stock as well. Some binding styles are full wrap-around covers like Coverbind, while others can use a full variety of cover sheets, like any of the punch-and-bind options.

3. Functionality

The function of your bound book is another very important factor. Do the pages need to be able to flip all the way around? Or do they just need to remain laying flat and open without having to hold them? Perhaps they will be stored on a book shelf, or maybe even a file cabinet? Maybe they need to be mailed out? Ask yourself how your books will be handled and you will be able to better decide what kind of binding method you should choose.

4. Budget

Your budget allowance or limitations will also play a factor in your final decision. As expected, some bindings are more expensive than others, so while functionality, presentation, and handling are all important, budget will the the ultimate decider for you.

Comparison Chart

In this chart we compare some of these features for a few of the most popular ways to bind. These are not all the possible options, just the most commonly chosen. We've listed the thickest book they will bind, the material they're made of, as well as some pros and cons for each. Listing different binding methods from least to most expensive is not as simple as it seems because of the various sizes/color options, so we've created a chart with either $, $$, or $$$ to show the approximate pricing as compared with other options. But remember to counter balance the budget with the other factors before you make a choice.

Binding TypeThickest Book Possible*MaterialProsConsPrice
GBC Comb425 Sheets
(1 ⅞" Thick stack)
Plastic• Inexpensive
• Many colors
• Editable
• Lay-flat
• Less professional$$$
Notepad BindNo limitGlue• Easy
• No punching
• Can be done with or
without a machine
• Can bind many books
at one time
• Glue requires about
30 min to dry
$$$
Book Ring9 ½" Thick stack screw lock
(Depends on ring style)
Metal &
Plastic
• Inexpensive
• Easy
• No machine needed
• Different kinds of rings
• Thick binding capacity
• Not professional
• Limited colors
$$$
Ring Binder850 Sheets
(3 ½" Thick stack)
Vinyl &
Poly
• Many colors
• Poly & clearview options
• Easy to bind & edit
• Various sheet sizes
• Limited finished look$$$
Binding Post5" Thick stack
(Depends on post style)
Metal &
Plastic
• Various styles to choose
• Most styles easy to edit
• Thick binding capacity
• Inexpensive
• Easy
• No machine needed
• Limited colors
• Lay-flat only with crease
$$$
Booklet BindThickest book possibleMetal• Quick
• Simple
• Page count limited$$$
Spiral Binding Coil440 Sheets
(1 ¾" Thick stack)
Plastic• 360° Page turn
• Lay-flat
• Durable / flexible
• Many colors
• Bulky
• Not most professional
$$$
Wire-O260 Sheets
(1 ⅛" Thick stack)
Metal• Professional
• 360° Page turn
• Perfect registration
• Lay-flat

• Bendable/easy to damage
• Bulky
• 2 Punch patterns needed
for full range of sizes
$$$
Thermal CoversThickest book possibleVaries• Soft & hard covers
• Extremely fast
• No punching
• Supplies only compatible
with same-brand of
machine
$$$
Tape StripThickest book possibleFabric• Flat (easy to file/mail)• Expensive machine
• Lay flat only with crease
$$$
Velo Strip3"Plastic• Secure• Expensive machine$$$
Saddle StitchDepends on machineMetal• Clean
• Fast
• Expensive machine$$$
Perfect BindDepends on machineGlue/Varies• Classic soft cover look
• Use your own covers
for versatility
• Expensive machine
• High volume only
$$$
Hard CoverDepends on machineGlue/Varies• Classic hard cover look
• Wrap your own covers
for versatility
• Expensive machine
• High volume only
$$$



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Mallory Morsa, Binding101 Product Expert About the Author • Mallory Morsa has been a part of Binding101 since 2008 and has experience in several departments within the company. She began in customer service and sales where she honed in her skills to provide the customer with professional, fast, and accurate information. Shortly after, she was promoted to sales supervisor and also took on the role of product expert, training the team on new products. Throughout this time, she also wrote content for the site, as well as contributed stock photography and videography. As the team grew, she moved to an official position as the content specialist and social media manager. Her skills in these variety of areas give her the unique expertise to not just create content for the web, but to create content for you, the customer. She has a Bachelor's degree in business management and marketing, was on the Dean's List each year, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In her free time, Mallory's favorite things to do include volunteering at the animal shelter by bottle feeding neonatal kittens, reading at the park, cooking plant-based meals, playing board games, and binge streaming TV shows with her 3 furbabies and family beside her.


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