The Best of Bindery

Part 2: The pros and cons of common binding techniques Last month we looked at some of the most popular methods of binding. Here, we delve deeper and examine their advantages and limitations. As I mentioned last month, I’ve always believed that binding techniques are much more than just a way to put a publication’s … Read more →

The Best of Bindery

Part 1 – Types of Binding This article begins a 10-part series by Norm Beange, owner of Toronto-based Specialties Graphic Finishers, who brings 40 years of experience and expertise as a leader in binding and finishing technology. He can be reached at I’ve always believed that the dozens of binding techniques out there are … Read more →

Know when to fold ‘em

Which is more difficult: putting ink on paper, or proper job preparation and communication? For most printers, it is the latter. The same is true for binderies. Printers (and their customers) can plan for success by coordinating with their bindery early in the job-preparation stage.

Ten ways to make your trade bindery a profit centre

A printer’s relationship with a trade bindery is often tumultuous, frustrating and even antagonistic. It is frequently flavoured with tension, mistrust and misunderstanding. Things can run smoother and can happen faster with more goodwill and a better understanding of the challenges a trade bindery and print shop each face. A mutual appreciation of each other will result in long-term relationships, which can be more enjoyable and profitable. The following are 10 ways that a printer can improve relationships that are risk free, do-able and sensible.

Bangtail panels for direct-mail effectiveness

Location, location and location are the three most important factors in real estate; the direct-mail world has three of its own critical factors – ROI, ROI and ROI. Every little change can yield substantial cost savings and effectiveness. If you’re looking for a direct-mail ROI dynamo, look no further than bangtail panels.

Braille standards soon to become commonplace

All medicinal products must comply with the Braille requirements in Europe by October 2010. The requirements in Europe are already migrating here. Some large pharmaceutical companies have begun to incorporate Braille on their packaged products. Although there isn’t any current North American legislation on the use of Braille in packaging, the writing is on the wall. It will either become law or pharmaceutical companies (and others) that produce and market consumer products will begin to incorporate it on their own. Given these factors, the new standards provide a foundation for printers to have available when the application presents itself.

Laser cutting applications

When used appropriately, laser cutting can be successfully combined with many other finishing processes with spectacular results – although conventional die cutting is still typically the most cost effective way to go.

How the process works

In the simplest terms, laser cutters use a focused beam of light to scan art onto, or completely through, material. No physical cutting tools make contact with the stock.

Perfect binding

Planning for perfect-binding crossovers is part art and part science. In addition to grinding 1/8-inch off the signature spine, accurate crossovers depend on your layout and how the books are opened.

For maximum operator flexibility, place your crossover images 3/16-inch from the spine edge. Your crossover should appear to meet right at the spine. To achieve this effect, strip your copy 1/16-inch short of the grind-off area. If your book is thick or is printed on heavy paper, nudge the image outward, perhaps another 1/32-inch.


Successful gluing work needs a scientific approach and an artistic touch. The four horsemen of gluing – paper, ink, coatings and glue – are about equal contributors to a job’s success. Their combinations are nearly infinite and unexpected results frequently occur. Sometimes easy-release glue tears paper fibre; sometimes permanent glues perform like easy-release.

Graphic arts glues are mainly oil, resin or latex-based. Each type performs as expected most of the time, but there are exceptions.

Saddle stitching

Saddle stitching is the art of inserting forms on top of other forms, over a saddle and driving stitches through the gathered backbone. Stitched products lie flat and can be economically produced in nearly any quantity. Many other inline bindery operations may be combined with saddle stitching for efficient production.