When printing educational materials like a conference program book or training manual, it’s important to choose the right type of book binding. Not only does the binding literally hold the book together, it affects its quality, usability, Selecting the best one starts with knowing your options.

We’ve put together this brief overview of each binding type.

Four Common Types of Book Binding

1. Plastic Coil Bindingplasticoil-binding

How it looks:

Remember the silver coil notebooks we bought as kids at the beginning of each school year? That’s plastic coil binding. The only difference is instead of the metal coil, the coils are now plastic.

Why we love it:

It lays flat and allows the user to flip the book in half for easy note taking. They also ship well as the plastic coil is more forgiving than the metal coil. It comes in over 40 colors so you can easily match or compliment your branding. Even better, our black plastic coil is 80% post-consumer waste!

When to use it:

For workbooks, training manuals, and conference program books where users will be taking notes within the piece. Also, if your room configuration does not have tables, or has theater-style seats with the pull-up half desks, users can easily fold the book in half.

Works best with:

Books up to 750 pages (375 sheets) of 60# offset stock or 1,000 pages (500 sheets) of 50# offset stock.

Can also accommodate books with tabs and dividers.

2. Perfect Bindingperfect-bound-binding

How it looks:

Perfect bound books are the soft-cover books from our college days, or the ones we find at our favorite bookstore.

Why we love it:

They have a professional look for an affordable price. A perfect bound cover provides a space for text on the spine, turning your book into a shelf-worthy piece.

When to use it:

Best for reference pieces with a longer shelf life such as proceedings, manuals, and educational publications.

Works best with:

Books between 32 and 1,420 pages.

Can also accommodate books with tabs and dividers.

3. Saddle Stitchsaddle-stitch-binding

How it looks:

Saddle stitch resembles a magazine with two center staples on the spine.

Why we love it:

It’s a budget-friendly option with a faster production time.

When to use it:

Conference programs, journals, conference marketing brochures, or other booklets that have a smaller page count.

Works best with:

Books up to 64 pages (32 sheets) of 60# offset stock or 88 pages (44 sheets) of 50# offset stock.

4. Case Bindingcase-binding

How it looks:

A case bound book looks like a hardcover textbook.

Why we love it:

It’s extremely durable and creates a high-value appearance.

When to use it:

Best for text books, standards, and other high-value books with a longer shelf life.

Works best with:

Books between 48 pages (24 sheets) and 1,600 pages (800 sheets).

Other Book Binding Types Available (But We Don’t Recommend)

Tape Binding:

It’s a lower quality version of perfect binding with a high risk for pages falling out.

Plastic Comb Binding:

This is the budget version of plastic coil spiral binding. It doesn’t allow the pages to flip all the way around and lay back-to-back. It can be perfectly suitable It for college papers, printed PowerPoint slide decks, or other free or lower-value materials. But for educational books with high-value content, a plastic comb binding will cheapen its look, feel, and durability.

You’ll find more information on binding, tabs, and other finishing options for your print materials on our website.

About Omnipress

Omnipress delivers educational content for associations and other organizations. Digital and print solutions for in-person, virtual, and hybrid conferences and training programs.

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