How to choose a book binding service

All of us have picked up books when studying at school or for leisure reading purposes, but we don’t often consider the actual fabric of the books themselves or the work that goes into producing the finished article. All printed documents are finished, or bound, in some way – here are some examples of the different forms of book binding services and techniques:

The different varieties of book binding

All forms of book binding techniques involve assembling the pages together into a finished, readable document, usually with front and back covers. There are two overarching forms of book binding – traditional and automatic and, depending upon the type, format, and size of the book the most appropriate book binding technique will be employed. You find these days that automatic binding is more often used for larger print runs, whilst the more traditional hand-binding is used on smaller volumes. There are different individual book binding techniques, some of which are explained below.   

What is case binding used for?

This book binding technique is ideal for hardback books. They tend to be of higher quality and is a more expensive binding option but are much more durable and have a much longer shelf-life. The pages are sewn together into sections and are then glued to the last papers and then the covers.

The different methods of mechanical binding 

This book binding technique is more labour-intensive and can prove more expensive than other options. Spiral bound and Wire O-binding are typical examples of mechanical binding. It typically entails spiral wires or coils being used to hold the pages together through pre-punched holes in the individual pages. This produces books that can be laid flat and will allow pages to be added or removed more easily. This form of binding is often used for smaller print runs and is ideal for documents such as recipe books, employee manuals, directories, or documents for distribution at conventions and business events.

What is perfect binding best for?

If your publication is a larger paperback book then perfect binding is a good option. Perfect-bound books have a definitive spine, ideal for printing the book title and author, and makes the book far more visible on display on a shelf in a shop or library. The pages are essentially glued against the spine as single sheets making the book more durable as well as providing a visually appealing finish.

Side stitching is a unique and specialist type of binding

This book binding technique uses a powerful stapler securing the pages – the tines of the stitching wire move vertically down through the pages and are crimped at the bottom. This is not the most common form of book binding but can be effective for certain publications – one disadvantage of this style is that the publication will not comfortably lie flat.

How to decipher what saddle stitching is used for

Books finished with a saddle-stitching technique have no spines as such – saddle-stitching wire is passed through an open book in which the pages are folded into each other, as opposed to being stacked as in side-stitching, and the book is then folded shut. Saddle-stitching is ideal for shorter publications as it is cheaper and faster for book printers to perform and so is often used for publications such as catalogues, programs, booklets, and brochures. This form of book binding technique is not recommended for larger publications.

When choosing which of the book binding services to use for your document always consider the function of your book or document, the number of pages involved, the desired quality of your finished book and, of course, your printing budget!  


We are an all round UK book manufacturing and printing service. We work closely with publishers, self publishers and authors. We have a state of the art factory, complemented by our sales and marketing office in Westoning, Bedfordshire. We have invested in the very latest digital and litho printing technology, to integrate with a fully equipped craftsman bindery.  The conclusion of which means we are offering both softback and hardback books, to a very high standard of quality.

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