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Perfect Binding


Perfect binding, also known as glue binding or PUR binding, is one of the most popular binding method used in book printing. It offers a sleek and professional finish that is both visually appealing and durable. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what perfect binding is, its advantages, the production process, how to calculate the spine for perfect binding, perfect binding vs sewn perfect binding, and address some frequently asked questions.



What’s Perfect Binding?


Perfect binding, also called softcover binding, perfect bound or paperback binding. For traditional perfect binding, the process is pages are printed, folded, gathered, and then glue into a cover, to form a square spine. The perfect bound book often include front cover, back cover,spine and inner pages.

One of the key features of perfect binding is its ability to accommodate a wide range of page counts. Whether you have a thin booklet or a thick novel, perfect binding can handle it. This versatility makes it a popular choice for both small-scale and large-scale book printing projects. Perfect binding often used for books, novels, catalogs, zines, booklets, etc. Most publishers, independent creators and business are prefer perfect binding, due to it not only affordable, but also save production time.


The Advantages of Perfect Binding


Perfect binding offers several advantages that make it a preferred choice for many publishers and authors.

Professional appearance– The finished product has a professional and polished appearance. The cover can be customized with high-quality graphics, text, and finishes, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal. This is particularly important for books that aim to attract readers with their visual appeal.

Durability– Perfect binding ensures durability. The adhesive used in the binding process creates a strong and sturdy bond that can withstand regular use. The pages are securely held together, preventing them from coming loose or falling out. This makes perfect binding suitable for books that will be frequently handled, such as textbooks or reference materials.

Lightweight and portable– Because perfect bound book are relatively lightweight, make them easy reading and storage. The spine of a perfect-bound book can be printed with the title, author’s name, and any other necessary information. This makes it easy to identify the book when it is stored on a shelf.

Cost effective: Perfect binding is a cost effective binding option for the books over 16 pages.


How Do We Produce Perfect Binding Books?


Perfect bound book, sometimes also known as soft cover book. But how do we make one of these? Well, in below video, we will uncovering the mystery of the perfect-bound book production process.



Above video, we show you some important steps of the production process of perfect binding books to ensure a high-quality and professional result. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

1. Printing: It always starts mass printing sheets by using state-of-the-art offset printing presses.

2. Folding and collating: Once the pages are printed, they are folded with folding machine. Then collated into correct order to create a book block. These steps ensure that the book’s content is organized and ready for binding.

3. Binding: Then we need to prepare the cover, which is printed and laminated, also is oversized. The cover and book block go into the perfect binding machine. Book block into the clamp and has the back edge ground off. The cover is creased on entry and the book block is glued into the spine with PUR adhesive. Then we have perfect bound book.

The cover, which is typically made of heavy paper or cardstock, is wrapped around the glued pages. The cover can be customized with graphics, text, and finishes to enhance the book’s appearance.

4. Trimming: After the glue has dried, the oversized book goes through the three knife trimmer which takes off the three edges. To ensure clean and even edges.

5. Quality control: The finished books undergo a thorough quality control process to check for any defects or imperfections. This includes checking the binding strength, print quality, and overall appearance.


How to Calculate the Spine for Perfect Binding


Calculating the spine width for perfect binding is crucial to ensure that the cover fits properly and the book opens and closes smoothly. Spine thickness depends on your page counts and paper thickness. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to calculate the spine width:

Determine the thickness of the interior pages by measuring the paper stock used and multiplying it by the number of pages.

Calculation formula for paperback spine thickness:

Thickness = inner paper thickness x total number of inner pages / 2

Calculate the spine width by dividing the total thickness by the paper’s bulk factor. The bulk factor represents how much the paper expands when folded, the common paper thickness conversion, please click “here

Round up the calculated spine width to the nearest millimeter or fraction of an inch to ensure a precise fit.

Accurately calculating the spine width, you can ensure that the cover is properly sized and the book opens and closes smoothly without any strain on the binding.

To achieve perfect result, for interior pages, we often recommend 80gsm uncoated paper, 100gsm uncoated paper, 80gsm coated paper, 105gsm coated paper and 128gsm coated paper for a standard perfect binding.


Perfect Binding VS Sewn Perfect Binding


Although both perfect binding and sewn perfect binding are similar, they still have some subtle difference. When consider use perfect binding or sewn perfect binding for your books, you need to consider some factors like budget, durability, cost, page counts, turnaround time and reading experience, that will help you make a right chocie.



1. The durability is different. Perfect binding involves folding, collating, gluing and trimming, while sewn perfect binding involves folding, collating, sewing, gluing and trimming. This extra production step of sewn perfect binding, makes it more durable than perfect binding.

2. Reading experience is different. The books with sewn perfect binding can be opened flatter, but standard perfect binding can not. If you want to give your readers a better reading experience, sewn perfect binding is a idal choice.

3. Production time is different. The production time of perfect binding will shorter than sew and perfect binding. Usually, the production time of sewn perfect binding will longer 3-5 days than perfect binding. If your order is relatively urgent, then you can consider perfect binding or saddle stitch.

4. Cost is different. The cost of perfect binding will be cheaper than sewn perfect binding. If you are consider the budget, perfect binding is a ideal choice.

5. Page count requirement is different. Perfect binding ideal for the books between 16-200 pages. Sew perfect binding ideal for the books over 20 pages. If you are consider more page counts but still keep durability, sewn perfect binding is a ideal choice.


FAQ About Perfect Binding


Q: How durable is perfect binding?

A: Perfect binding offers a durable and sturdy binding option. The adhesive used in the process creates a strong bond that can withstand regular use and handling.


Q: Can perfect-bound books lay flat when opened?

A: With sewn perfect binding can lay flat when opened, while standard perfect binding can not.


Q: What is the Minimum and maximum page counts for perfect binding?

A: The minimum and maximum page count for perfect binding depends on factors such as the thickness of the paper stock. Generally, we recommned minimum 16 pages, and maximum page counts accommodate up to several hundred pages.


Q: Can the cover of a perfect-bound book be customized?

A: Yes, the cover of a perfect-bound book can be fully customized with high-quality graphics, text, and special finishes(e.g. lamination, foil stamping, spot uv, emboss, deboss). This allows for a personalized and visually appealing design.


Q: Is perfect binding cost-effective for large-scale book printing?

A: Perfect binding is a cost-effective option for large-scale book printing projects. The process is efficient, and the materials used are relatively affordable, making it an economical choice.


Q: What’s the production time of perfect binding books?

The perfect binding book production time often needs 12-15 days. Please see our lead time to see how much time for your project will depend on your proofing and printing requirement.


Perfect binding is an excellent choice for book printing projects that require a professional finish, durability, and easy readability. Its versatility and customization options make it suitable for a wide range of publications.

Contact us today to start your perfect binding book printing services, we will assist you with your book printing needs!


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