How can I bind hard bound documents?

posted this on Jul 7, 2015

If you are looking to bind your own hard bound books and presentations there are several options that are available to you. Specifically, you can bind your books using Unibind steel books, thermal binding hard cases or Velobind hard cases. All three of these systems allow you to do your own hard case binding in your home or office. Here is a quick overview of the strengths and weaknesses of these three options.

  1. Unibind SteelBooks: Unibind Steelbooks provide the easiest method of binding your own hard bound books. With these unique hard case covers, you simply insert your pages intoNavy Velobind Hard Cover Case the spine put the book in your Unibind machine and less than a minute later you have a finished book. Make sure to let it cool first. Unibind Steelbook covers are available in sizes up to 36mm (about 1-1/2”) and come in wide variety of colors and sizes. Of the three options for hard case binding this is the only option where the supplies are stocked and no production time is necessary (unless you required customization such as foil stamping or windows). Unibind Hard Cases can be customized by adding a window or with foil stamping. Fully customized four color Unibind Steelbooks are available in quantities greater than 500 (with a several month lead time). Thus, Unibind Steelbooks are ideal for short run presentations and proposals but are not ideal for highly customized applications which involve four color process printing and silk screening or custom sized covers.
  2. Thermal Case Binding: Binding hard bound documents using your thermal binding machine is slightly more involved than binding documents with a Unibind system. Like the Unibind system, you insert your pages into the cover and insert it into your machine. After the book has been heated and before it cools it must be inserted into a hard back book crimper for cooling. The hard back book crimper helps to ensure that the spine of the book is shaped correctly and that the glue hardens in contact with the book block. Thermal binding hard cases are available in a number of sizes and finishes that are not available from Unibind. It is important to note that thermal binding cases require a minimum two week lead time for production. Thermal cases can be customized with windows, foil stamping, silk screening and four color process printed covers (or digital offset printed) are available in quantities as small a 100 books. This makes thermal binding cases a good option for special sized photobooks and highly customized presentation covers.
  3. Velobind Case Binding: This style of producing hard bound covers is really only ideal for companies or individuals who already own a Velobind system. These hard cases use special fly sheets that are bound together with the book using your Velobind system. These fly sheets are then peeled back to reveal an adhesive that is used to adhere the book into your Velobind Hard Case. These supplies are produced on a custom order basis and can be foil stamped for customization. Cost and lead time makes this the least desirable option for in-house hard case binding. This being said, if you are interested in hard case binding with your Velobind system, you might consider reading our article on using GBC Velobind hard case covers.
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