How to Pick The Best Bind for Your Print Project

Most people never thinking about the binding used for printed materials. That is, until they are printing a book, brochure or manual. There are a lot of binding options out there – so how do you make sense of them all and decide which bind you should use for your print project?

Five Most Popular Paper Binding Techniques

Though there are a seemingly overwhelming number of binds to choose from, we’ll stick with the five most popular, as you’re most likely to use one of them for your next project.

The most common binding techniques used on print projects are:

1.)   Saddle Stitch

2.)   Perfect Binding

3.)   GBC (or Comb) Binding

4.)   Wire Binding

5.)   Coil (or Spiral) Binding

Which bind should you choose?

The type of bind you choose will depend on various characteristics of your print project, including the number of pages, how durable you need the finished piece to be, and whether or not you’d like the pages of your project to be removable. 

So which bind is best for you?

You Need: A book for an event such as a fundraiser, gala or race

Best Stitch: Saddle stitch 


The saddle stitch involves folding large pieces of paper in half and stapling at the crease. For this reason, saddle stitched books require that the number of pages be divisible by four. If your page count isn’t divisible by four, your printer or designer may be able to help come up with a solution to add the extra pages you need without compromising the quality of your content.

We don’t recommend using saddle stitch on pieces that are more than 22 sheets of paper (or 88 pages, after folding).

You Need: Writing on the spine

Best Stitch: Perfect binding


Perfect binding is used when you want to include writing on the spine of your book. Perfect binding is great for books as small as a couple pages and as large as 450 pages (assuming a size 20 font).  

Keep in mind: the heavier the paper, the smaller the page count.  The cover of a perfect bind project will be printed on a sheet of paper that is at least twice the size of the inside, allowing it to be wrapped around the book.

We love perfect binds as they result in books that are easy to stack – making them ideal for using in the classroom, or during events such as demonstrations and programs.

You Need: To bind a book that you will need to add or remove pages from down the road

Best Stitch: GBC (also known as Comb) Binding


GBC, or Comb, binding is a great, inexpensive way to bind larger books. You can bind as few as two and as many as 425 sheets of paper at a 2 inch bind. This bind makes use of a hole punch that allows you to easily add and remove pages. We often see the GBC bind used for spec books or for pieces that will likely be handled a lot, and therefore, take some wearing.

The GBC bind only allows one option for the hole punch that is used to bind the book, which is a small rectangle.

You Need: A nice-looking, permanent bind that allows your project to lie flat

Best Stitch: Wire binding


We recommend using a wire binding when you need an aesthetically pleasing, permanent bind.  A wire bind allows documents to lie flat and can hold up for a long time. Wire binding has a classy look, and isn’t limited to a metal appearance. Wire binding is a popular choice for calendars or presentation materials that are designed to impress. 

The size of your book will determine whether you use a 3:1 or a 2:1 pitch (the amount of punches per inch). Unlike the GBC bind, the wire bind offers the option of using a square or round punch.

You Need:  A book for a presentation, meeting, class or manual

Best Stitch: Coil (also known as Spiral) binding


Coil binding is used when you would like a book to lay completely flat while also being able to have it open cover to cover.  Unlike wire binding, coil binding is elastic, so your book is able to keep its shape like a slinky.

You can print up to 300 pages with the coil bind. Coil binds often, though not always, have a clear front and a plastic backing.


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