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Each book, magazine or leaflet with over six pages is sent out to be bound after it’s printed.

There are four types of binding:

  1. Saddle Stitching
  2. Adhesive
  3. Thread-sealing
  4. Spiral


When we say stitching, we mean binding the printout with two metallic staples on its back. There’s simple saddle stitching and saddle stitching with hooks. Simple saddle stitching is commonly used on magazines and leaflets.


Saddle stitching with hooks is the same but the staples pop out of the printout’s back shaping little hooks. This helps with their filing in binders when companies want to store many files or want to include many files on big binders.


In the case of stitching, the number of pages must be a multiple of 4. (Except for the case of printouts with jacket flaps – pages that fold on the outer side of the printout, covering the page they fold over.)

In order for the binding to be more economical, the number of pages should be a multiple of 8. If the paper used on the inside is the same as the one used for the cover, then we should also take the 4 pages of the cover into account when calculating the multiples of 8. However, if the cover paper is different, then we should calculate the main body and the cover separately.

For example:

32 pages + 4 cover pages (cover produced with different paper)

28 pages + 4 cover pages (cover produced with the same paper as the inside)

The maximum amount of paper that can be bound is 80gr paper until 128 pages, but this type of paper is very thin. The commonly used 100-135gr paper should not be more than 80 pages.


What we have to keep in mind in order to make sure that our project is as we want it to be:

  • When binding with stitches, each four-page signature is placed on top of the next one, which creates a 0.1-1cm distance from the cover four-page to the inside four-page, depending of course on the number of pages and the weight of the paper. If we use foliation on the edge of the page, the ones in the middle are likely to be cut off. However, during the electronic montage the foliation should be cropped, which means the number should be placed on the correct spot, so as not to be cut off. Unfortunately, not all printers are aware of this possibility, so we should ask the printers if the montage program they use has this possibility or simply place the foliation on a safe distance from the edges.
  • The double-page spreads created on the computer are not real, except for the one that will be placed in the middle of the final product. When we say double-page spread, we mean the two pages printed together, which we can use as if they were one single page. For example, on a 32-page leaflet, pages 16 and 17 form the double-page spread. Pages 2 and 3 create a false double-page spread, since they will be printed separately and will be joined after the binding. The problem with this is that if we want to join very thin lines or fine work, it is quite possible that they won’t be correctly joined after the binding. Machines cannot be millimeter-precise. On the following picture we can see a printout very hard to be bound.


In the case of false double-page spreads so hard to bind, we should not be based on coincidences, but avoid the situation or make sure the binders are aware of the difficulty. Of course, so hard binding projects will also be more costly.

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