Part of the ‘Total Service’ approach by Gemini Print is to ensure clients gain comprehensive in-house award-winning quality and control standards for a wide range of print finishing and print binding choices.

Binding Picture
Hard Case Binding
Stitching Bind


The earliest ‘books’ were papyrus scrolls rolled onto a stick before the introduction of parchment and vellum led to the art of hand binding using stitching with, e.g. leather, silk, and velvet. Manuscript illumination, gold tooling, and the use of luxury embellishments such as ivory and precious gems ensured the craftsmanship of bookbinding produced valuable collectables and prized possessions for royalty, the richest merchants and the Church.  It wasn’t until the 1800’s that mechanised cloth binding began  (much to the disgust of the traditional bindery craftsmen!)

Even though commercial printers such as Gemini Print invest in the best leading-edge plant and technology, there are still many aspects of binding that demands skilled and experienced hand-work.

Choosing the best binding for your printing will be influenced by what you need to achieve, e.g.:

  • Your brand values

  • Intended use of document/target audience

  • Longevity required

  • Pagination

  • Competitor differentiation

  • Project ROI goals and budgets

Gemini Print will also help you consider the options according to, e.g. the weight and type of paper, and the papers folding endurance and the grain direction.

Stages before binding will include the pre-press imposition and stripping (and in some cases ‘shingling; to compensate for creep) and the post-printing ‘cutting and trimming’ and folding.

Folding types and terms include:-

  • Right-angle folds

  • Parallel folds

  • Accordion/Fan Folds

  • Gatefolds

  • Over and Over Folds

  • Tri-Fold – 2 folds to create three panels (can also be called a 6pp DL)

  • Concertina or Z Fold – the document folds back on itself to create a Z)

  • French Fold – ideal when you want to open up the document to, e.g. a poster

  • Letter Fold

For those who like to know the ‘techy’ details – folder technology includes knife/right angle folders (including a jobber, a double sixteen, a quadruple or quad), buckle folders, or combination folders.

Gemini Print Tip

“The decisions about folding and binding should be discussed and agreed at an early stage as the different folds and binding etc. impact the artwork dimensions.”


Saddle-stitched / wire stitching

Saddle Stitched

Certainly the most cost-effective choice for binding any documents from 80 to 8 pages.  To many people, the process looks similar to staples. The wire is punched through the spine of the pages and bent flat inside the document – popular for leaflets, programmes, newsletters, brochures, magazines etc.

Similar to ‘saddle-stitching’ is ‘side-stitching’ – sometimes the choice for reports documents.

Gemini Print uses a range of silver wire spools of varying gauges relevant to the project.

The special choice of coloured wires can enhance the look of the finished product

  • Black

  • White

  • Red

  • Yellow

  • Green

  • Orange

  • Copper

  • Brass/Gold

Coloured Stitching Copper

Gemini Print Tip

“There are important considerations re the thickness (number of pages and weight of paper and cover stock – this will typically mean a limit of e.g.24 to 32 pages).  If the publication is too thick the colour can be stripped off during the punching and stitching process as the strengths and gauges of coloured wire are limited compared to standard print stitching wires.  Talk to the team  for help and advice”


PUR / perfect binding / adhesive binding

Perfect Binding

A very professional and stylish look – perfect for annual reports, catalogues, guides, art programmes, brochures and premium sales or marketing collateral.  From 180 pages to 16 pages.

PUR Binding is a form of perfect binding using Polyurethane Reactive Adhesives.  Other perfect binding uses EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate adhesives.

So – what is the difference?  EVA hot glue processes are often the choice for bookbinding or case binding using thread sewing as the thick glue works its way into the sections of the spine effectively.  But – the advances of modern PUR glues has led to the ‘lay-flat’ ability plus greater flexibility and durability.  With PUR binding the cover and sheets are glued together

A quick guide to the benefits of high-quality PUR Binding:

  • PUR can withstand extreme temperature changes (below freezing to 200 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • Even thinner publications, e.g. 16 pages, will gain a quality clean finish as less glue to needed protecting the integrity of the spine

  • A wide range of papers and substrates respond well to PUR including coated, UV varnished, recycled etc

  • Impressive strength – good PUR means it is very tough to pull out any pages

  • The flexibility of PUR means the book or publication can be enjoyed with pages opened wide (lay flat) without the spine cracking

The important stage that follows PUR binding is the trimming.  Careful trimming produces the clean edges you expect on a quality publication.


Case bound documents & hard cover books

Hard Cover Case Bound

The method traditionally used for hardback books providing durable protection and a very smart look – popular for any de-luxe brochure, catalogue, report, prospectus, annual report, book, art books etc.

Three types:

  • Edition binding – a fully automated process typically used for large print runs

  • Job binding – smaller quantities for books

  • Library binding – involves a degree of handwork to reinforce bindings for books that need to withstand a lot of usages

The stages:

  1. Thread sewing or Saddle sewing (sometimes called Smyth Sewing). As books that are saddle sewn (the threads pass through the signature fold at the spine of the book) will lie flat when opened this method tends to be the superior choice Gemini Print will recommend to you.
  2. Three-knife trimming – to the correct trim size
  3. Forwarding – a combination of essential and decorative work. ‘Rounding or backing’ processes shape the spine of the book to ensure they fit with the cover perfectly, producing ‘shoulders’ for the book to rest on, and ‘hinge creases’ to allow the book to open. Forwarding stages can include, e.g.
    • Glueing-off to reinforce the thread sewing and maintain a convex shape
    • Edge treatments or edge staining to colour the top/bottom/sides of the book block
    • Gilding – as above using gold leaf
    • Headbands – decorative strips of cotton or silk on the spine
    • Bookmarks or placeholders – ribbons or cards
  4. Casing In – the first step to case binding is ‘nipping’ or ‘smashing’ – an application to the spine of the book block or the whole block to compress the treads and force out any excess air. Case binding is the attachment of cloth or, e.g. leather to board to manufacture a precisely sized case – the covers can be pre-printed or embossed
  5. Jacketing – the addition of a printed paper ‘dust-jacket.’

Screw binding or screw post binding

Screw Binding

Ask Gemini Print to see an example of a screw bound brochure.  In addition to being very stylish (with a wide range of colours and sizes of screws) the option to update or change the order of pages in a publication makes this method popular. Screw binding also gives you the option to insert, e.g. fully personalised and targeted content for a specific user. Used effectively, e.g. brochures, sales development collateral, user guides, training manuals, product or service instructions, portfolios.

The stages of Exposed Screw Post Binding work include a hollow metal tube (the post) with screw threads either end, a screw cap fitted to each end of the tube, drilling the holes, inserting the contents.

Other variations of screw post binding include:-

  • Casebound Screw Post Binding (where the screws are only visible on the back of the publication) (less adaptable than exposed screw binding)

  • Portfolio Screw Binding (the covering boards mean you only see the screws when the publication is opened)

Gemini Print Tip

“If you are planning to add or remove pages to your screw bound publication the dimensions of the screw post needs to take these changes into account.”


Wire-o bound or spiral binding

Wire-O Bound

Also called:

  • Twin Loop Wiring

  • Double-O

  • Ring Wire

  • Wirebind

  • Coil Binding

Popular for items that are to be wall hung such as calendars, or for any publication or printed product that will be enhanced by an affordable option that is easy to turn and lay-flat – making, e.g. notes very easy to add.  Diaries, desk calendars, notebooks, recipe books, instruction cards, training tips and guides, Depending on the paper and board thickness, the limit of pages will typically be about 200.

Different approaches to wire o bound will require different holes and pitches.  Talk to Gemini Print about your project for the best advice to gain the right quality of finished work.


Plastic comb bind

Comb Binding

Rectangular holes are drilled for publications from 230 to 2 pages, and the mechanical insertion of a plastic comb (with a choice of colours) binds the content.  A popular choice is the addition of clear acetate covers or backing boards.


Print binding choices

Saddle Stitched
Loop Stitched
Sewn Bound
Perfect Binding
Tape Bound
Screw Binding
Hard Cover Case Bound
Plastic Grip
Comb Binding
Spiral Bound
Wire-O Bound