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.

Producing remoistenable glue self mailers

Until the 1990s, sheetfed printers had little opportunity to sell products with remoistenable glue. Today, short-run remoistenable glue jobs are practical because current machines yield high-quality jobs at good production rates. Both sheetfed and non-heatset web printers can now produce products with direct response reply devices and participate in profitable direct-mail campaigns. There are primarily … Read more →

PUR adhesive perfect binding can take it

The word is out. PUR (polyurethane reactive) is hands down the best glue for adhesive perfect binding. For durability, nothing comes close. Consider this: take a PUR-bound book, throw it in the washer and watch it disintegrate…except for the spine. No kidding, that’s how strong PUR is. PUR is the ideal solution when perfect binding … Read more →

Think flocking

The first question is how do we increase sales? Equally important is how do we increase margins? “Flocking” is a century old process that adds value to a printed sheet and improves profits. In the last three to five years, I have noticed an increase in its usage in the graphic arts industry. I have … Read more →

Bindery evolution

The evolution of binderies shows a trend of continual value added – more operations on the same piece, multiple operations inline, customization, individualization and sample packaging. The innovation of new processes to involve, intrigue and awe the consumer by using innovative ways to draw them to action is impressive. I’m seeing exponential growth in unusual … Read more →