What type of binding style should I choose?
Jeff McRitchie posted this on Jul 6, 2015
When looking for the right binding style for your organization’s finishing needs, you might want to consider these methods. Here they are:
- Plastic comb binding is by far the most popular bookbinding methods and it has been around for almost a half century, most likely because it is inexpensive and easy. With the right machine and supplies, you can quickly crank out your documents. Work bound with plastic combs can contain up to 425 pages and can lay flat when open for easy reading or photocopying. There is a large selection of colors available for plastic combs and the combs can be imprinted and customized with your company’s name or your personal information. If you need a cost-effective binding method, using plastic combs is the way to go.
- Color coil or spiral binding is another popular method and it is used for marketing materials, reports and more. When using color coil or spiral binding, you insert the coil through holes punched in your document. This can be done either manually or with an inserter. A great benefit of coil binding is that the coils come in more than 50 different colors. With a large selection of colors, it is really easy to find supplies that will complement your work. Using these coils are a good choice as well as you can mail them and they will stay in shape. You can bind work up to 440 pages long with this method. The one unfortunate drawback with this method is that it can be tricky to bind longer documents. Of course, the more you do it, the easier it will get.
- Twin-loop wire binding is a great method to use if you need your documents to look professional and presentable. Wires come in a handful of colors including silver and bronze. Two hole patterns are offered and the one utilize depends on the size of the wire you are using. Spines ranging in diameter from 3/16″ to 9/16″ use a 3:1 hole pattern (three holes punched per inch) and can bind items containing 110 pages or less. The other wires use a 2:1 pattern and are 5/8” to 1-1/2” thick. These supplies are for documents that are 125 to 250 pages. The one drawback to this method is that the wires can be crushed in the mail. Be sure to consider this if you’re going to need to send your work to someone.
- Thermal binding is perfect for documents requiring a highly polished look. If you have a thermal binding machine all you need to do to bind your documents is place the pages in either a hardback or paperback cover and stick the book in the machine. The heat inside the device will cause the adhesive to melt a bit, securing the pages. Thermal binding covers can be used with documents containing up to 500 pages. The covers can be customized so they’re perfect for yearbooks, anthologies, and anything else requiring a polished look. Keep in mind that this bookbinding method is more expensive that the other methods listed in this article. However, the results are usually worth the cost.
- VeloBind is one of the few styles that can bind documents over two inches thick. This style is manufactured by GBC with a similar style, SureBind, made by Tamerica. VeloBind machines come in various capacities but the System Three can bind reports up to three inches thick, making it a great choice for law offices, accountants, and anyone needing extra binding space. VeloBind offers both 4-pin and 11-pin strips to hold materials together. While both are very secure, the 4-pin option snaps into place and offers easy editing of documents on the fly. The 11-pin strips permanently rivet the binding pins into place, resulting in a secure, tamper-proof bind. VeloBind can be very cost effective, as you only need one punch (the 11-pin punch accommodates both 11- and 4-pin strips) and one size strips – the excess is trimmed off in the binding process.
- FastBack: FastBack binding systems are made by Powis Parker. They have a similar appearance to Perfect bound documents but save significant time and expense. FastBack bound materials give a professional look that can be completed quickly and easily. The cover options are endless and can even be custom printed or foil embossed. Each Fastback document is completed using a binding strip which is also customizable and comes in a variety of lengths and colors. FastBack offers the benefit of a lay-flat spine, no punching required, and an efficient way to get professional look.
- ProClick: Also called ZipBind, this is another style made by GBC. ProClick binding spines work with comb binding punches and offer both large electric closers as well as quick handheld ones. This is an excellent style for sales reps or other professionals who need to edit documents while in the field. The ZipBind closing tool quickly opens the bind to allow pages to be removed or added, and the same tool “zips” the bind closed — no need for a machine or even a new spine. ProClick spines come in basic colors and can give an alternate spine style to plastic combs without needing to purchase a completely new machine.
- Zipbind:Similar to Proclick, documents finished with this type of spine are easy to edit. This system works with 19 hole comb bind punched documents (Proclick spines use 32 hole wire bind punched paper). You open and close zip-bind documents using a specialized tool that is included with each pack of supplies. This product provides an ideal complement to a plastic comb system.
- Clear View Ring Binders: Clear view ring binders are a big favorite for correspondence records and training manuals. Clear view binders include clear pockets on the front and spine into which users can insert their own customized cover and spine text and designs. While 3-ring binders lack the professional edge of other document finishing systems, they are quite practical for high-use documents requiring frequent updates.
- Staples: It may seem silly to mention, but staples are, by far, the most common way people bind documents. Staples are functional and work well for simple binding needs; however, staples are probably not the best choice when you’re soliciting new clients and need to make a great impression.