Thursday, March 6, 2014

Binding Options at Direct2Print

A few customers have been unsure of the various binding methods available when placing an online document printing order at Direct2Print.

When placing an order it is possible to select an option which would be beyond the specification and capabilities of the various machines.

The most basic form of binding is stapling – either in various positions or as a booklet.  The maximum number of sheets of paper for online stapling is 50 (assuming all 80gsm or the “standard” specification).  The thicker the paper the fewer sheets and an easy method of calculation would be by multiplying the total number of sheets by the grams of the paper to give a total sheet capacity.

For example, 50 x 80gsm gives a total capacity of 4000gsm – so 4000 divided by 120gsm paper would be just above 33 sheets capacity.

If the stapling had to be undertaken offline then the staple size can be adapted to penetrate a larger number of sheets or a mixture of stocks, for example by adding an acetate or card cover.

Slide binding can be supplied as an option costing the same as stapling. There are various sizes of spine and we simply can add acetates and cards for extra protection.

A popular choice for binding is known as comb binding or spiral binding. This works by punching holes in the left hand side margin.  The combs come in a variety of sizes and colours and again, usually with clear acetate on the front and a card on the back.

The benefit of a comb bound document is that the pages can easily lie flat on a hard surface like a table – so it is easier to do other things with your hands rather than trying to keep the document pages open.

And in addition, if an error is made on any page it is relatively easily to replace the page – simply by punching the paper and then re-inserting into the document.

Comb Bound Documents

However, it should be remembered that there are two different types of machine and length of comb – some have 20 rings and some have 21 rings.  This can complicate any documents where you need to change a page.

The plastic is also a better option for A5 sized bound documents because the combs are easy to trim and the binding machine can easily be adjusted.

Comb binding is also more suitable for very thick documents – although we recommend a maximum thickness of 250 sheets of 80gsm paper (or 500 sides) using a 50mm wide plastic comb.

If your document consists of more than 250 sheets of paper we would recommend opting for the 2 or 4 hole drilling – so that it can be inserted into a presentation folder or lever arch file.

Direct2Print always specify the very high quality thick (240micron) acetates because they make the documents look good.  Some companies like the frosted acetates, especailly if they have a printed front cover, and this option can be specified offline if preferred.

The most popular binding method at Direct2Print is wire binding.  This uses a metal wire and is a similar process to plastic comb binding.  This method has all the benefits of comb binding but adds a professional finish to the presentation or booklet.  Wires can also be supplied in a variety of colours and  a colour that is most appropriate for the colour of the cover page of the document is usually selected.

Wire Bound Documents

Wire binding covers documents from a couple of sheets of paper up to about 250 sheets (500 sides).  There are two punching dies which have to be used according to the size of the document – the Direct2Print policy is to try and have a wire with a reasonable amount of spare capacity as it makes the pages easier to turn and lay flat when opening out.

Finally, there is Fastback binding.  This is also known as thermo or heat binding and has the advantage of keeping pages intact and ideal for when you have to send documents through the post.  A strp has glue fixed into it and when inserted into the machine the glue melts and wraps aound the document to hold all the pages in place.

We stock a supply of both A4 and A5 spines and in a selection of colours – usually adding a special front acetate and card on the back.

However, there is a restriction on the number of pages we bind in any one document – because the binding capability is not as good for thick documents.

Fastback Bind

Our capacity is 120 80gsm sheets of paper and the same principle applies to our section on stapling. 

The thicker the paper the fewer sheets and an easy method of calculation would be by multiplying the total number of sheets by the gsm of the paper to give a total sheet capacity.

For example, 90 x 100gsm sheets would be the maximum capacity for Fastback binding.

This all sounds a bit technical which is why you can always contact our Customer Services Free on 0800 0346 007 during normal office hours to discuss which is the best method to present and bind your documents.

We are able to offer other options offline – so do not think that because we do not offer anything during the online order process we are unable to supply a binding method that meets your requirements exactly.

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