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One of the four binding options that we offer is perfect bound printing. Paperback books are the classic example of perfect binding. Many magazines, catalogs, and booklets are also perfect bound. With perfect bound printing, the inside pages are glued to the cover on the spine and a little up the spine to hold the cover in place. Other common names for perfect binding are soft cover binding and paperback binding.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Perfect Bound Printing

 

Some of the advantages of perfect bound printing include:

  • Perfect bound books have a very professional look that lays flat when it is not open for reading.
  • It is the only binding style where you can have printing on the spine.
  • Perfect bound books are very reasonably priced, even for small quantities.
  • A wide range of pages and sizes can be perfect bound.

 

Disadvantages of perfect binding include:

  • When opened, perfect bound books cannot lay completely flat. If readers attempt to do so, there is the possibility of breaking the spine.
  • If the user is going to write in the book, perfect binding is not the best option, since the book won’t lay flat.
  • Part of the bound side of the book is caught in the spine. Thus, care is needed when graphics are spread against two pages.
perfect bound magazines

How Are Books Perfect Bound?

 

When we print your books on our digital machines, the covers and inside pages are printed separately. For the inside pages, we print 2 to 4 sets of the book on large sheets of paper. Covers for perfect bound books are twice the size of the inside pages plus the spine of the book. Covers are also printed on large sheets, with 1 to 2 covers printed on each sheet, depending on the size of the cover. If lamination is ordered, it is put on the covers after printing.

We then cut the inside pages down to one book per set and one cover. At this point, both the covers and inside pages are cut to slightly larger than their finished size. After binding, they will be cut to the exact finished size, so that the edges of the book are even.

One set of insides is put in the clamp of the perfect binding machine, which runs the inside pages over a milling area that notches the spine side of the pages to make the glue adhere better. The insides then run over the glue pot on the spine area and on either side of the book. The inside pages then are positioned over the book cover and clamped into place.

After the books have set so the glue has a chance to dry, they are then cut to size on three sides. Cutting the books after they have been bound allow them to have even sides.

There are two types of glue used in perfect binding — EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) and PUR (polyurethane). EVA glue dries much quicker than PUR glue, but EVA glue is not as durable. EVA glue will work fine for most applications. However, PUR glue is almost impossible to pull apart and will not come apart in very cold or hot weather. PUR books can also lay flat without breaking the spine.

We have two perfect binding machines — one that uses EVA glue and another that uses PUR glue. If possible, we will use the PUR machine to give more versatility to your books. However, there are certain circumstances when we can’t use PUR glue — when the book is smaller than 5 x 7 inches, the book has fewer than 40 pages, or the book must be shipped the same day it is bound (PUR glue must dry overnight).

For a more detailed description of the perfect binding process, check out this article on perfect binding.

perfect bound binding

Perfect Bound FAQs

 

How do you calculate the size of the spine for a book?

Use this formula:

For 60# uncoated, 70# matte and gloss text stock, and 80# matte and gloss text stock:

Number of pages divided by 440 = spine in inches

For 70# uncoated text and 100# matte and gloss text stock:

Number of pages divided by 370 = spine in inches

For instance, if your book is 100 pages and you are printing it on 60# uncoated text, the spine would be .227 inches (100 pages divided by 440). When counting pages, the front and back of one sheet of paper is 2 pages. So count pages like you would count pages in a book.

Can you print on the spine of the book?

Yes, as long as the spine is at least .25 inches, you can print on the spine. When setting up the spine, make sure that you do not make the text exactly the same size as the spine. The cover can vary a little from book to book, so you want to leave some blank space on the top and bottom of the text. That way, the text will not roll to the front or back cover.

What size perfect bound books can be printed?

We have four standard sizes for perfect bound books — 5.5 x 8.5, 6 x 9, 8.5 x 11, and 9 x 12. However, we can also print nonstandard size books. The range of finished sizes is 4 x 4 to 9 x 12. When ordering a nonstandard size, use the next large size on our calculator. For example, if you want to print a 7 x 10 book, you would use the calculator for 8.5 x 11 books.

Can you print landscape perfect bound books?

Yes, we can print landscape books in all sizes that we can print portrait books. There is an additional charge for landscape books.

What is the minimum and maximum number of pages that can be perfect bound?

The minimum number of pages is 8 (4 pages for the cover and 4 inside pages). The maximum thickness that we can print is a 2-inch spine. If you are using 60# uncoated text, 70# gloss or matte text stock, or 80# gloss or matte text stock, the maximum number of pages is 880 pages. If you are using 70# uncoated text or 100# gloss or matte text stock, the maximum number of pages is 740 pages.

Can you print on the inside of the cover?

Yes, we can print on the inside front and/or back cover at no additional charge. When submitting your print files, make sure it is obvious whether you want printing on the inside covers. If you submit one file with the cover and inside pages and want the inside covers to be blank, you should insert a blank page after the outside front cover and before the outside back cover. If you have no blank pages, we will put the second page of your PDF as the inside front cover and the second to last page of your PDF as the inside back cover.

Do you offer lamination for covers?

Yes, we offer gloss, soft-touch, leather, and linen lamination. We definitely recommend lamination for perfect bound covers. Lamination will make covers more durable. If you have lots of colors on your cover, gloss lamination will make the colors much more vivid. Soft-touch lamination has a very nice velvety feel to it. Leather and linen lamination has texture to the lamination and looks best on dark covers, where the texture is more obvious.

Do you offer corner rounding for perfect bound books?

Yes, we offer 2 and 4 corner rounding on perfect bound books, although 2 corner rounding is most typical. Corner rounding is a good option for planners, journals, and children’s books. But because most books don’t have rounded corners, it can be a nice touch on almost all kinds of books.

How should files be submitted?

All files should be high resolution PDF files with bleeds. The bleed should be at least 1/8 inch on all four sides. You should submit a file with the inside pages and another file for the cover. The cover can be one file with the front cover, back cover, and spine, or you can submit three files for the cover, making the front cover, back cover, and spine separate. Typically, three files will be better because it gives more flexibility if we need to adjust your spine or cover.

Should the files be submitted as single pages or spreads?

Please submit your file for the inside pages as single pages in the order they will be read.

perfect bound book

Inspiration for Books

 

As you prefer your book for perfect binding, we encourage you to check out some of our Client Spotlights. Each Spotlight gives the details of a book we printed along with the client’s thoughts on how the printing process went. Here are some books to take a look at:

CaitlinCapital LaserCharmfrilcreate luckCreative Guts Zinedear black girlenigma design graphicsevolve todayFlorida Shuffleboard AssociationHollyJohn NewlanderLady DayLOA Radio NetworkLove Letters to a Dying GodMagenta Moon MediaMarissa Rose Photomilitary cyberMy Parents Taught Me Good MannersNatalee DismukePet Professional Guildrealty pathRL StudiosShive MagazineSongbonessouthern counties rescuetarsha worksTortillaGurl

Contact Us with Questions

 

When it comes time to print your perfect bound book, we hope that you will consider Dazzle Printing. We offer outstanding quality, numerous options, small print quantities, reasonable prices, outstanding client service, free shipping on orders over $399, and 100% satisfaction guarantee. We’re sure you’ll be thrilled with your printing experience! If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 1-800-338-4329, email us at help@dazzleprinting.com, or chat with us online (our online chat is in the bottom right corner of every page on our website).

If you’d like to get instant pricing on your perfect bound book, just check out our online calculator.

perfect binding

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