Samco Printers

What is perfect binding?

Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding is a book bindingprocessfor books, magazines, catalogues, manuals, directories, periodicals, etc. Books bound this way are also called soft covers or paperbacks. The perfect bound book has the familiar square spine with a wraparound cover, making it an attractive and professionalbinding method.

Benefits of Perfect Binding

Closeup of Perfect Binding

Perfect bound books look professional and are visually appealing. They are cheaper to produce than hard cover books and are generally less expensive than other book binding methods. This makes them ideal for self-publishingor small print runs. Combined with our digital colour and black and white printing capabilities, we can fully serve your Print on Demand or Publish on Demand needs. Perfect bound books stack well because they lay flat. They have a square spine where you can print a book title or other information. Having the title printed on the spine makes your book stand out on a bookshelf for quick identification and easy retrieval.

Printing and Finishing Options

The inside pages and the cover of a perfect bound book can be printed in black and white or colour, single-sided or double-sided. The covers are usually printed on heavier stock and coated on press or offline with a laminate for protection and visual appeal.

Perfect Binding Process

The inside pages (or book block) are jogged and clamped. The spine edge that will be attached to the cover is milled and notched to expose the paper fibres and increase the area for glue contact. A strong and flexible hot glue is applied to the book block. The cover is hinge scored to trap side glue, which makes for a stronger binding, reduces breaking at the spine and allows the book to open and close properly. After the glue is applied, the cover is then pinched onto the book block while the glue is still hot. The glue is left to set and once completely cured, the 3 edges of the book are trimmed.

Print Files Set up Tips

  • Perfect bound books do not open completely flat. Please allow for an inside margin or gutter (the spine edge of the page) of at least 0.75″ so that the text is not lost in the binding.
  • Send us separate high-resolution PDF files for the inside pages and the cover.
  • Set up the cover file to include the front cover, spine and back cover. We can calculate a spine width for you when we know how many pages and the paper stock you’re using for your project.
  • We can assist in setting up the cover file for you if you are unable to do this yourself.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Whether you are using Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign to set up your publication for perfect binding, we can help and provide technical support. We can set up a page template for you or you can just give us your manuscripts and we will design and typeset the entire publication for you. If you are publishing your first book, we would be happy to walk you through the process. We work with individuals who want to self-publish,small businessesor enterprise clients who require professional print documents or other professionally boundmarketing essentials. Whether you need to print 5 copies of a family tree or 1,000 copies of your company annual report, we will make sure that you get high quality printingand binding every time. Talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Service Representatives at 604.683.6991 or email Sales and Customer Service. If you have the printing specifications and want an estimate, please fill in an estimate form.

Kept or Tossed?

NGM Cover, June 1985

Did you know that the choice of binding can influence the decision of whether or not to keep the publication or throw it away after reading? Adhesive bound books denote permanence in our culture. Old copies of National Geographic, a perfect bound publication, are often found in garage sales, basements and libraries whereas Smithsonian, a similar publication is saddle-stitched; readers discard the magazine with impunity after reading it.

National Geographic Cover: 1985 | PAKISTAN Steve McCurry’s iconic photograph of a young Afghan girl in a Pakistan refugee camp appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine’s June 1985 issue and became the most famous cover image in the magazine’s history. Photo by Steve McCurry

Samco Printers is a full commercial printing service providing exceptional offset, digital and large format printing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada using the latest pre-press, printing and finishing technologies. We also have a fully equipped art department to handle your graphic and web design needs.

Need help? Let us help you get started or put the finishing touches on your printed materials. Our Art Director will be happy to spend some time with you. Give us a call at 604.683.6991 or contact our technical support.

Don’t need help with design? Talk to us anyway to ensure that the files you’ll be supplying meet our specifications or just ring us to ask about our products and services. We’ll be happy to help either way!

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