Cover Finishes and Binding Styles

Cover Finishes
So often overlooked but offering so many possibilities to make your publication stand out finishing can be the hero of the print process. From laminates and varnishes to foils, embossing and die cutting Pensord Group can advise on how to add impact, tactility or interactivity to your publications.

Some options include

Gloss, matt or soft touch laminate
Spot varnish
Die cutting
Fragrance bursts (scratch and sniff)
Rub off silver latex
3D finishes

Binding Styles

There are many different types of binding styles in book, catalogue, magazine and brochure production and it’s easy to get confused or make the wrong decision for your publication.

For publications with a small number of pages its very simple.  Once you go above 6pp then it moves from a straightforward folded product into what is called Saddle Stitched or saddle stitching, often referred to as ‘stapled’.

Saddle stitched products are ideal for up to around 96 pages, depending on the weight of paper stock being used, beyond this then it’s time to consider the most appropriate type of binding.

Perfect Binding and PUR are the most common and most cost effective types of binding and are often chosen when the page count goes beyond saddle stitching or when the client wants a square spine on the publication.

The lower limitation is around a 3mm thickness for the spine (total thickness of the text pages when put together). Below this thickness can sometimes be achieved but the spine can become rounded and twisted as it will be below the recommended specification of the binding machine.

Perfect Binding uses ‘hot melt’ glue and is ideal for products with a short shelf life like a periodical magazine.

PUR Binding uses ‘PUR’ glue which takes longer to cure (set) but when it does creates a stronger bind, ideal for catalogues or publications with 3-figure page counts.

Once the page count gets higher, or if the publication is regarded as collectable or likely to have lot’s of referencing, then it’s time to consider ‘thread-sewing’.  Thread sewing uses a combination of ‘thread’ like cotton and hot melt glue to create the ultimate in binding strength for your publication. Thread-sewn products lay flatter than perfect or PUR bound and while this does though take longer, add a complicated process and increase the cost of production for some publications there is no better alternative.

Finally, if the product is premium then we have ‘case-binding’ or hard backed books.  These use either PUR or Thread-sewing for the text but then a hard back cover is joined using end papers to create the ultimate in book presentation.  We won’t pretend that case-binding is cheap because it’s not it’s the ultimate offering for the publications that deserve the best finish.

Of course beyond ‘binding styles’ we can enhance covers using a variety of finishes which you can read up on under ‘cover finishes’.

See our guide to special cover executions and belly bands here.

And our guide to bound inserts here.

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