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How to make a Catalogue – the Binding

The binding is not to be under-estimated.  Catalogues of a certain size dictate what binding is to be used, in fact, but that aside we need to ask ourselves how long-lasting and durable we want the catalogue to be, how and where it will be stored and referenced, and how we intend it to be kept and displayed.  Each of these considerations will determine the type of catalogue binding.

Saddle stitched – a very common and economical method, created by punching wire through the catalogue’s spine and then bending it flat on the inside centre fold to grip the pages.  Suitable for up to about 80 pages.

Loop stitched – wire loops are inserted along the external spine to insert the catalogue typically into a 3-ring binder. Suitable for up to about 80 pages.

Stab stitched – wire is stabbed right through the catalogue, instead of along the spine, to keep it intact.  Suitable for up to about 300 pages.

Sewn – similar to saddle stitch but uses thread, which is stitched along the entire spine, instead of wire.  Suitable for up to about 24 pages.

Perfect bound – sections of folded pages have their spines trimmed and roughened to facilitate bonding with glue, the end being the catalogue will resemble a book.  Suitable for up to about 250 pages.

Tape bound – as the name implies an adhesive tape is wrapped around the spine to hold the catalogue together, the pages sometimes being stitched together to increase strength.  Suitable for up to about 250 pages.

Screw bound – holes are drilled right through the catalogue before a barrel post is inserted so that a cap screw can hold everything together.  Commonly used for swatch books.  Suitable for up to about 400 pages.

Hard cover – effectively, a hardback book.  The pages are sewn together in sections and then glued to end papers which are glued to the spine.  High quality! Suitable for up to about 400 pages.

Plastic grip – a very simple binding method whereby the contents of the catalogue are pushed into a moulded 3-sided plastic spine. Suitable for up to about 250 pages.

Comb bound – ideal for catalogues that need to lie flat when open, the combs are threaded through holes that have been punched through the document.  Suitable for up to about 250 pages.

Spiral bound – a circular plastic coil is used to hold the pages together, which not only allows the catalogue to lie flat when open but pages can be turned all the way round to the back. Suitable for up to about 275 pages.

Wire-O bound – another very common and popular type of bind, similar to the spiral bound mechanism but using wire instead of plastic.  The wire loops are available in a variety of colours to match the cover design. Suitable for up to about 275 pages.

Finally, don’t forget what you want displayed on the spine (which may impact your decision on the binding method) and the direction of the text – remember that if the catalogue is stored on its side the spine may be the first thing that the customer sees!

To help you create your own catalogue, we’ve produced a handy FREE catalogue design guide with details on the steps you need to take to create your own perfect catalogue.

Calderstone has many years of experience in the design and printing of catalogues and binding services here is a testimonial from a recent client:

Gary Conway, Dawes Cycles

I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know our 25,000 catalogues arrived this morning.  So far, feedback has been very positive and the printing finish is great.  Another job well done!