Some Tips For Binding Your Next Publication

Binding of covers should be carefully planned and well managed to achieve the best possible results. We have a wealth of experience in this area so we’ve put together the following guidelines to help you prepare your print job prior to finishing.

Grain Direction

When preparing your job, please note that the direction of the cover grain is critical. For a better quality finish, please ensure the grain runs from head to tail rather than across the page. A failure to do this may lead to the cover cracking when creased and the job being sub-standard.


If you are going to be binding your publication with screws, then we highly recommend getting some good quality nickel plated ones for the best finish possible.

UV Varnishing

When using varnish, avoid all areas which are going to be creased or that wrap around spines. The varnish will peel off of these areas and will spoil the end product.

Inside Cover

Printing inside the cover is OK but please avoid printing on the spine and hinge areas as the print or the seal does not always adhere to the glue and can pull away.


When covers are printed, we recommend that gutters are left between the heads and tails. If there is a 6mm trim on the head of the text, try to leave 12mm in the covers so that there is adequate room for the trim.

Line Ups

If a book has a line up between the front cover and the first page of text, consider that the most common hinge is 6-7mm so any images on the inside of the text and cover will be lost. Line ups for the rest of the book are OK but be aware that glue can push up between the sections, especially on thread sewn books.

Thread Sewn

If a book is to be thread sewn, it must be carefully planned. We recommend that you sew jobs as 16pp or 24pp sections depending on the paper weight. If a book is A4 and you can only print SRA2 then the 8pp sections can be printed to insert to 16pp or 24pp sections. If there is a 4pp section this should wrap around the outside of another section.

Each printed spread should be supplied separately so that it can be folded individually (not as a booklet) Regardless of size, each section should consist of no more than a 16pp section. You will need to supply a reasonable number of ‘overs’ due to the number of processes that have to be carried out

Note: 4pp sections cannot be sewn as single sections as they tear and jam the sewing machines.