Let’s Talk Binding, Part 1

To Bind… or how to Bind?  That is the Question!

By Phil Mikesell, Senior Account Manager

There are multiple options to choose from when binding your publication, handbook or other multi-page documents.


The most common for low page counts (under 96 pages) is saddle-stitching.  Saddle-stitching is stapling at the spine of the book on fold.  When producing a saddle-stitched book, keep in mind that the page count needs to fall in increments of 4 pages (and to printers, a single sheet is considered 2 pages!).  The page count is important because going up into the 88 page count range, a saddle-stitched book will tend to balloon at the spine from the volume of folded sheets and might not be the most user-friendly binding method because it will not lay flat for viewing or reading.


For higher page counts, another binding option is Pasticoil or Wire-O Binding. A plastic or wire coil is fed through punched holes on the binding edge of the sheets of paper and coiled through those holes.  This is user-friendly because the books lay flat, pages turn easily and users can view or read without having to hold the book open.  Plasticoil is the more popular of the two options.  Plastic will “give” a little if the book is stepped on, crushed in a crowded briefcase or backpack or will have frequent use, as a reference book would.  Both Plasticoil and Wire-O are available in colors to complement the design of your peice.


GBC Binding is still available, but not nearly as popular as it once was. This is also called “comb binding.”  Pages don’t turn as easily for the user, sometimes getting caught up in the “comb.”  The advantage of comb binding is the ability to add or replace pages if necessary.  With the capabilities of digital printing and shorter, more targeted print runs, comb binding is used less and less.

For more information or a free consultation about your bindery options please email Fineline.

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