Bindery & Finishing Services: What’s Best for Your Business?

Wed Oct , 2021

In printing, bindery and finishing services refer to the value-added operations performed after the printing process is complete. Some finishing operations may be required before the printed material comes off the press, but most are executed afterwards.

If you are looking for the best bindery and finishing services, you have arrived at the right place. Here, you will learn about different kinds of each so that you can select the best option for your next order.

What Are Bindery and Finishing Services?

These are the final steps in completing your print project. They include many services, from cutting a business card to its final size to folding a tri-fold brochure. Without bindery work, no printing work is complete.

There are two ways to complete binding and finishing:

1. In-line Process: This is seen with web presses and many digital presses, where units are attached to the end of the printing press to perform the finishing operations.

2. Off-line Process: Here, finishing operations are performed separately, after the printed materials come off the press.

What Are the Different Types of Finishing Services?

There are many kinds of finishing services.

1. Cutting and Trimming: During production, the paper stock may need to be cut or trimmed multiple times for different reasons.

  • If they are too big, then they need to be trimmed before printing.
  • If multiple signatures are combined on one press sheet then they need to be cut after printing.
  • If they need to fit into the folding machines or other bindery equipment.
  • Books often need to be trimmed after folding and bonding with a three-knife cutter to cut three sides simultaneously.

2. Collating and Gathering: These help to place the folded sheets in the correct sequence. Collating helps to sort individual sheets into sets. It is used in many laser printers and copiers. The gathering process involves folded signatures. A gathering machine has up to 30 slots in which signatures are fed automatically or manually. Then it gathers the signature into a book block.

3. Folding: This involves a series of multiple right-angled folds. Some common types of folds include:

  • Half-fold
  • Accordion fold
  • Gatefold
  • French fold
  • Letter fold

Different kinds of folders are used. For example, knife folders are used for heavier stocks and buckle folders are used for lighter paper types.

4. Coating: Different types of coatings are used for different types of printing purposes.

For example, water-based coating takes time to dry, while UV coatings dry when exposed to light and heat. Different coating types include:

Varnish: This is used for protection and decorative purposes. Depending on the purpose, one can use high-gloss or matte coatings. Sometimes it is used to highlight specific pictures, logos, or text columns. It is called spot varnish.

Primers: This is used for better ink reception. You can also use it to facilitate the application of other coatings.

Barrier Coating: It is used to improve the resistance to oxygen, water, or chemicals.

Laminating: In lamination, a separate material or layer is added to the printed matter. The most common type you can see is where a print is sealed between two layers of plastic material. For example restaurant menus. It is done to make the printed material sturdy and waterproof.

Other finishing operations include:

  • Scoring and Creasing
  • Die Cutting
  • Contour Cutting
  • Kiss Cutting
  • Perforating
  • UV-Coating
  • Drilling/Punching
  • Embossing/Debossing
  • Shrink Wrapping
  • Foil Stamping
  • Edge Staining

Different Types of Binding

The process of binding is used to gather and fasten individual sheets together. It can be as simple as placing a single staple through the corner of a set of documents. The term binding is mainly associated with the creation of durable books, booklets, and magazines. There are several methods of bookbinding. Such as:

1. Spiral Binding

Spiral binding is also called coil binding. It is a very popular method to join the pages and cover of a bound document. It is used to bind a book or notebook, where a continuous spiral wire or plastic strip coils through a series of holes punched along one side of each page and the front and back covers. Black spiral binding is a standard printing service, but other colours are also available.

2. Staple Binding

Staple binding is another popular method, where pages are bound by driving staples through the center of the spine of folded sheets. It is commonly used for magazines, newsletters, and small catalogues. It is one of the cheapest binding options so has some restrictions. The other binds can accommodate hundreds of pages due to the variety of sizes, but staples are not made large enough to hold a 1” thick document.

3. Hard Binding

Hard binding is also known as case binding. It usually follows the traditional method of bookbinding, where the covers and spine are strong and very rigid while internal pages are securely bound in.

In hardback books, the covers are extended slightly further than the internal pages. The spine and cardboard used to provide the book with its longevity and durability. They should be placed in such a way that the book can lay flat on the ground. Hard binding instantly gives a book a classy look.

4. Soft Binding

The only difference between hard and soft binding is that it does not use cardboard to cover the book so is a cheaper method.

Finding a bindery service that can offer all these finishing and binding services can help make the printing process quicker and easier. The good news is that Micro Printing’s experts can help you choose a method that is right for your project’s needs. Give us a call. We are ready to help.