Material Monday: Binding Finishes for Brochures & Catalogues Part 1/3

Material Monday: Binding Finishes for Brochures & Catalogues Part 1/3

Posted 1 April 2019 by Katie Kubrak

This Material Monday we look at a printed medium that may sometimes come across as boring, banal and not exciting – brochures and catalogues. With this post we aim to offer you tips on how to infuse a bit more excitement into such design by going through a range of possible binding techniques. With myriad of options out there we have divided this into 2 x posts.


We want to start by listing some classic options available to you. These include:


  1. Hard cover

Hard covers, also known as case bound section, are made with rigid protective covers such as heavy paperboard. These can then be covered with a myriad of materials that include: fabrics, leathers / faux leathers, papers, paper-like materials. This finish is significantly more durable to paperback cover. To additionally protect the crafted finish, these are often covered up with artistic dust jackets. Nevertheless, with issues around sustainability and general industry aims of light weighting products ‘jacketless’ alternative is increasingly gaining popularity. In effect, think sustainable exciting cover solutions! If stuck, please always reach out to us, we have few cool options up our sleeve. 🙂  Recommended page range: 50-400.

  1. Thread sewing

Thread sewing binding is very durable and best used for high-quality publications designed for longevity. In terms of functionality, it easily opens flat without the binding splitting along the spine. Depending on how many pages the final item has, it can be used raw or with glue. In the latter, glue (usually EVA) is applied to the spine and then a wrap is used to cover it. Recommended page range per section: 6-24.

  1. Perfect / PUR / Burst binding

Perfect binding is a widely used soft cover book binding method, where all the pages and cover are glued together at the spine. The fundamental difference between perfect and PUR binding is the adhesive used in the process, PUR adhesive gives superior adhesion over perfect binding. Burst bound section is a method of binding similar to a thread-sewn section, whereby the sections of a book are gathered, but instead of being sewn with thread, the folded edges are perforated and then glue is permitted to penetrate the fold. This method is stronger than perfect binding, but not as strong as a thread-sewn section. The pages can be opened moderately flat, but if excess pressure is applied, the binding may crack.

  1. Saddle stitching

In saddle stitching pages are folded, creased and stapled together by a special stapler.  This technique is most often used in items with smaller page count, such as lookbooks, booklets, magazines, brochures and small catalogues. Recommended page range: 10-80.

  1. Pamphlet binding

Pamphlet binding is an alternative to saddle stitching that uses thread. As this process uses a single sew line with a running stitch down the spine it too is used in items with a smaller page count, but arguably creates a more pristine aesthetic. Some of the most popular ranges include a three and five whole pamphlets. Recommended page range: 10-80.

We hope you have found this as an interesting reminder of timeless classics. If you want to chat binding more or would like a sneak peak on what’s coming next week please feel free to get in touch.