Material Monday: Binding Finishes for Brochures & Catalogues Part 2/3

Material Monday: Binding Finishes for Brochures & Catalogues Part 2/3

Posted 8 April 2019 by Katie Kubrak

This Material Monday we continue looking at a printed medium that may sometimes come across as boring, banal and not exciting – brochures and catalogues. With this post we review some creative alternatives to classic binding techniques and aim to offer you tips on how to infuse a bit more excitement into such design.


Some of the more exciting and creatively stimulating options include:


1. Bellyband

Bellyband is a strip of material that wraps around the centre of the book/magazine/catalogue/box/brochure to prevent the pages from opening. It can be made out of a range of materials as paper, bagasse, sugarcane, leather, faux leather etc. It creates an interesting platform for branding purpose and could incorporate sustainability statement. To exemplify, it could be the only place were branding (i.e. print or foil) sits leaving remaining collateral free of processing.


2. Binding screws

Binding screws are small brass thumb screws consisting of a male and female part and used to bind loose sheets together. They are generally available in brass or nickel-plated (silver). For additional colour-branding you can always consider coating these, but it is worth noting that with time it might gradually chip away.


3. Comb binding

In practice, comb binding is fairly similar to wire binding. This process sees a machine punch a row of small holes along the edge of the book, to later have a plastic ‘comb’ be pushed through the holes to create binding.


4. Half Canadian binding

Similarly, to number 5 on the list, half Canadian binding, sees cross overs with wire binding. The difference lies in the cover having a spine. This leaves the wire bound through the back cover, which will have two additional crease folds.


5. Coptic Binding

It is a type of thread sewing binding, which is considered to have originated in ancient Egypt. In this technique, pages are sewn through their folds, attached to one another and again sewn through two loose covered boards. This results in a ‘chain-like stitch’ across the spine. A designer can play here very much with the colours of the threads to make the final item more eye catching.


6. Japanese binding

Japanese binding is another example of thread sewing binding, but this time finds its origins in the eastern hemisphere. It allows for the flexibility of soft or hard back cover, which attaches to the text block with decorative stitching. Furthermore, it can have an exposed or concealed stitching. The latter is produced by turning in the edge of the cover boards to create a hinge, so that the book is later sewn from the inside. It is important to note that this finishing requires a large margin and is best used in large or landscape items.


7. Binding tape

Binding tape, in other words knows as cloth bookbinders’ tape can serve as an accessory to your design. Most often is white, but does not need to be, and it’s function is to cover the spine. The text block is then glues to the inside back cover in order to enable the front cover to open flat and reveal the tape. This can be further customised with printing finishes as screen printing.


We hope that you have found part 1 and part 2 posts handy! We would love to hear your feedback and stories on using a range of binding techniques. Which ones are favourite and which ones stand out most in your opinion?

Do let us know, and please feel free to get in touch, with any questions on colours, materials, finishes and production.