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InfoCenter » Inkjet Tips » How to Bind Inkjet Books



Create A Book - Its easy using Red River products.

Photography is still the best way to make time stand still. Now that you have a mini-printing press on your desk, think of ways to use it for creative and fun projects. Pick a set of photos you like and make a book!

Red River Paper offers a wide variety of inkjet papers you can use to print and bind custom books. You can choose from glossy, semigloss, matte, and even cotton art papers for your book project. This Print Something article offers suggestions for how to bind your book and what to expect from each process.

Definition: Binding is a general term for any of various methods of securing or binding together the loose pages or sections of a book or booklet using stitching, staples, wire, plastic, tape, or glue.

When paper clips won't do

If you are printing a booklet, book, or multi-page report you need to plan how you will put together the finished product before you set up your document in your page layout program. You can choose from several binding methods, each with its own pros and cons depending on the purpose of the document, need for durability and best appearance, and cost.

Books Can Tell A Story

Create a photo book of your baby's first year...

Create a photo book of your birthday parties...

 - enjoy the memories of your vacation...

 - preserve and share your memories...

Hard cover, soft cover....

For some binding methods it might simply be a matter of ensuring that the margins are wide enough to accommodate the holes for a three ring binder or spiral binding. For saddle-stitching, you may need to compensate for creep. Some bindings provide more durability, others allow your book to lay flat when open. You will also want to weigh the cost of special equipment if you want to do-it-yourself rather than using a local copy shop or printer for your binding and finishing.

Below we look at several methods to consider when its time to bind.

Binding Methods

Comb Binding

Definition: Comb binding is a method of securing loose printed pages using a piece of plastic with "teeth" that fit into rectangular holes in the paper. Comb binding is somewhat similar to wire spiral binding.

Also Known As: plastic comb binding

Resources: Comb binding machines can be purchased a local office supply stores. A quick glance at Froogle found a range of machines from $69 to $699.

Have someone do it for you - Office Max, Office Depot, and Kinkos offer in-store business centers that can bind your books for a nominal fee.

Custom swim team memory books printed on Red River UltraPro Satin and comb bound in-house.

Spiral Binding

Definition: Spiral binding is a method of securing loose printed pages using single or double loop wire or plastic that fit into round or rectangular holes in the pages. Spiral binding is often used for blank notebooks and for reports that generally have a short shelf-life. Spiral binding allows the publications to lay flat when opened.

Also Known As: coil binding, wire spiral, double loop wire binding, Wiro (brand name for double loop wire), Wire-o

Resources: Local office supply is the best place for spiral binding. Machines that do this sort of binding are expensive tending to start at $500 or more.

Thermal Binding

Definition: A method of securing loose printed pages with a strip of tape or plastic strips fused with heat is known as thermal binding. Thermal binding allows documents to lay flat when opened, is sturdy, and neat.

Also Known As: tape binding, Fastback (brand name of tape binding), Velo binding (plastic strips)


Definition: Saddle-Stitched is a method of securing loose printed pages with staples down the middle of a folded sheaf of papers. Many booklets are saddled-stitched. Side-stitching is a similar method where the pages are stapled about 1/4" from the spine.

Also Known As: bookletmaking, staple-stitched

Resources: Saddle-stitch staplers are available at local office supply stores on on-line.

These custom books were printed with two Red River inkjet papers: The cover is a 68lb. UltraPro Gloss 2.0 and the interior pages are 45lb. Zeppelin SeimiGloss double-sided.

Close-up of saddle-stiching

Different brands and levels of saddle-stich staplers are available on-line and locally.

“Perfect Binding”

Definition: Method of bookbinding where a flexible adhesive attaches a cover to the spine of the assembled signatures is called perfect binding . Paperback novels are one example of perfect binding. Variations of perfect binding are where the cover is glued only to the side of the spine and allow the book to lay-flat.

BindIt-Photo heat binder unit

Closeup of spine and paper attachment


Perfect Bind Your Inkjet Books


Specialty Binding - Use Your Imagination

Chicago Screw Custom Binding

Take a series of printed images of any size and come up with a fun way to bind them using one or more screw-posts (Chicago screws). This is a particularly easy way to quickly assemble images for viewing with little worry about registration, alignment, or other book-binding issues.

Ring Binding

Definition: Ring binding is a method of securing loose printed pages in soft or hard-covered book with rings that hold the pages through holes punched in the pages.

Examples: Ring binding is often used for procedural manuals or documentation where changes are frequently made - obsolete pages are removed and replacement pages are easily added in.

However, leather bound binders are available from some professional album suppliers. The example below is a very nice 3-ring binder that works with clear hole-punched sleeves from Crown Photo Products.

Also Known As: notebook binding, three-ring binders


Papers to consider for book making
Some items are 2-sided

68lb. UltraPro Gloss 2.0
68lb. UltraPro Satin 4.0

45lb. Zeppelin SemiGloss Double-sided 2-sided
32lb. Premium Matte 2-sided
50lb. Premium Matte 2-sided


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