When printing books and magazines, catalogs, zines, white papers, or any other document with multiple pages, you’ll inevitably have to decide how you will bind or book your project. For some things all you need is a stapler or paperclip. Other projects call for something nicer.

Knowing about the different types of document binding will help you avoid making a hasty last-minute decision. Choosing the right binding will make your document more functional and aesthetic. Read on to learn more about the different types of binding. You’ll probably recognize at least a few of them.

Perfect Binding

Perfect binding is used for paperback and softcover books. The process involves using a strong, hot-melt adhesive to glue sections of pages together, which are then glued to the spine of the book. The finished product is nice looking and long lasting. Perfect binding is versatile—it can be used on everything from large catalogs to small paperback books of up to 250 pages.

Comb Binding

Comb binding uses a plastic spine with rings called a comb, which is inserted into holes punched through the book. Comb bound books can be opened to lay flat, but the pages can’t be flipped 360 degrees (so that the previous pages are behind the page being read). A major advantage of comb binding is that pages can be added and removed from the document easily. That’s why this type of binding is often used for reports, presentations, cookbooks, sales and inventory sheets, manuals, and albums.

Velo Binding

With velo binding, several small holes are punched along the edge of a book. A strip containing rigid tines is inserted into the holes through the front of the book. Next, a strip with corresponding holes is placed on the back of the book. With the strips in place and the tines protruding through the holes, the book is placed into a special machine that cuts and melts the tines to seal the bind. Velo binding forms a strong, long-lasting bind and is good for books of up to 200 pages.

white book flipped open on a table

Tape Binding

Tape binding involves gluing strips coated in a thermoplastic glue to the spine and cover of a book. It’s basically perfect binding with a piece of heavy-duty tape on the spine. Tape binding creates a strong, long-lasting bind, and the tape strips come in a variety of colors and materials, including linen and vinyl. Tape binding can be used on books up to 200 pages.

Wire Binding

Wire binding uses C-shaped wire loops, which are inserted through holes in the book or document, and then crimped closed until they form a complete circle. Wire binding is very versatile—it can accommodate paper of varying thickness, including heavy cardstock, and allows a book to lay open flat. It has a more sophisticated appearance than spiral binding and is well-suited for training books, reports, manuals, and how-to guides of up to 250 pages.

Saddle Stitching

With saddle stitching, large sheets of paper are folded down middle and then stapled together in the center. Many magazines are bound using saddle stitching. It’s a cost-effective binding method, but it’s not meant to last a long time or withstand heavy use. Saddle stitching is best for documents of 10 to 80 pages that don’t need to have a long shelf life, like magazines, catalogs, and zines.

Case Binding

Case binding is the classic style you see on hardcover books. Sections of pages are sewn together and glued to the spine of the book. Case binding is best for high-end projects and books of 400-800 pages meant to last many years or be passed down through the generations. A special binding process is used for library books, which must be able to withstand heavy use.

Get Help with Document Binding

Need help choosing a binding type? The experts at Bestype are at your service. Give us a call at (212) 966-6886 and we’ll help you determine what’s right for your project. We also offer high-quality printing services at affordable prices.