When to Use Saddle Stitch Binding

When to Use Saddle Stitch Binding

Saddle stitch binding is a mainstay of the printing industry. It offers many advantages, and it could be the perfect binding method for your media.

What Is Saddle Stitch Binding?

Saddle stitch binding is when the pages of printed material get folded, placed on a metal frame, and then stapled in the fold line. The process usually requires just two staples in the fold line, although more can get used for large page counts or heavier paper.

Advantages of Saddle Stitch Binding

Many publishers opt for saddle stitch binding because of its numerous advantages:

Professional Look and Feel

Material printed on glossy paper is more compatible with saddle stitch binding because it looks and feels more professional than other binding methods.

Perfect for Publishers on a Tight Schedule

If you need to have material printed and bound as quickly as possible, saddle stitch binding can be the right choice due to the minimal setup time required.

Low Shipping Costs

Publishers wishing to keep their marketing budgets low prefer saddle stitch binding as it adds very little weight to the printed media.

Flexible Production Runs

Whether you need 50 or 50,000 books, brochures, or magazines printed, saddle stitch binding simple setup means you can enjoy flexible production runs.

Minimal Impact on Artwork

When you read each page of printed material bound with saddle stitch binding, the staples don’t force readers to detract from the content.

Potential Drawbacks of Saddle Stitch Binding

While saddle stitch binding offers many advantages, there are some drawbacks to consider:

You Can’t Print On the Spine

Printing on the spine isn’t possible as the spine is actually just the folded crease of the outside pages.

Page Counts Must Be Divisible by Four

One sheet of paper folded in half equates to four pages with saddle stitch binding. With that in mind, pages must be divisible by four; otherwise, you will end up with blank pages.

Page Creep Is Unavoidable

Creep is where the edges of folded middle pages stick out further than the outside pages. Some page creep is possible with saddle stitch binding, although the affect page edges can get trimmed to diminish the problem.

Why Use Saddle Stitch Binding?

Is saddle stitch binding right for you? Here’s why it could be the perfect binding option for your needs:

Inexpensive Binding Method

Saddle stitch binding is arguably the least-cost choice out of all binding methods.

Artwork Can Span Two Adjacent Pages

Whether you’re having brochures, magazines, or short stories printed, saddle stitch binding enables you to have artwork spanning two adjacent pages for maximum impact.

Perfect for Mailers

Printed media bound with saddle stitch binding is ideal for slotting into mailboxes as it’s not bulky.

Hole-Punching Is Possible

You can have holes punched along the spine so readers can insert the media into a ringed binder.

Alternatives to Saddle Stitch Binding

There are some other choices you could consider if you feel saddle stitch binding isn’t suitable for you:

  • Perfect Binding – a technique where all pages get collated and glued together using hot-melt adhesive;
  • Glued Fold Binding – an ideal choice for simple advertising material where durability is not a concern;
  • Glued Pad Binding – a technique suitable for short-life printed items, such as tickets and coupons;
  • Thread Sewn Binding – a highly durable method that uses thread to sew pages together;
  • Spiral Binding – also known as twin loop or double loop binding, it’s a method that involves using pre-formed wire loops inserted through punched holes in each page.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions on saddle stitch binding:

Why Is It Called Saddle Stitch Binding?

The pages get draped over a saddle-like bar in the binding process. Plus, stapling gets known as stitching in the printing industry, hence the name “saddle stitch binding.”

What Is the Minimum Number of Pages That Can Be Saddle Stitched?

Eight pages for self-cover books, or four pages plus a cover.

How Many Pages in Total Can I Have?

Sixty-four pages are ideal for producing a flat booklet using standard thickness paper.

Which Dimensions Work Best?

You can use any dimensions, along with any orientation (portrait, landscape, or square).

How Many Wire Staples Get Used?

Two stapes typically get used; however, three or four can get used for large publications or ones that use thick paper.

Is Saddle Stitch Binding Durable?

Yes. Pages open entirely flat, and printed content doesn’t get lost in the gutter (the margin that allows space for binding or other finishing options).

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