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Here are some tips to ensure a great looking product when perfect binding.Perfect binding sample.

SGM defaults:


  1. Folded signatures should be perfed and uniform in size unless otherwise stated in quote.
  2. For maximum signature strength, final fold perfs should allow air to blow out and yet not tear apart on gathering line.  Test this by pulling on the outside pages of sig.  If the outside pages pull off, the perfs are either to close or to large and will not collate automatically.
  3. Smaller sigs, such as 2 page signatures, should be avoided.  Smaller page count signatures (2 pagers if a must, 4 or 6 pagers) should be placed in the middle of the book, never the first or last signatures.  Remember 6 page sigs are wrap folds, not accordion.
  4. Grain direction on text should be grain long (running head to foot).
  5. Smaller page count sigs tend to "stick" to larger sigs with static electricity.  This causes a problem when jogging the sigs in the binder.  Either eliminate small page count sigs or prepare for extra spoilage and increased inspection times. 
  6. All text sheets should be free of ink or coatings up to 3/16" from spine edge.
  7. Have sig markers printed on spine fold.
  8. Sig size should be book size plus:
        1/8" Grind off
        1/8" Head trim
        1/8" Foot trim
        1/8" Face trim


  1. Things to remember when laying out cover:  The text size will have and additional 1/8" head and foot trim, plus and additional 1/8" glue trap head and foot.
    To avoid up-charges, all perfect bind covers must have glue traps.
  2. Covers with heavy ink coverage, especially blue, red and dark green, are prone to scuffing.  Use appropriate lay flat laminate, varnish or coatings on the outside cover to lessen chances of damage during production and shipping.
  3. Use a coated one-side cover if a coated cover is requested.   The interaction between the glue and a coating is unpredictable.  Uncoated covers provide the strongest possible adhesion.
  4. Additionally, do not print, laminate, varnish, UV or Aqueous coat in the spine and hinge score area. The hinge score area extends " on each side of the spine area.  The interaction between the glue and a coating is unpredictable.  Call one of our reps if you have a coating question.
  5. Please call if you are digitally copying your cover.  Some digital copiers apply fuser oil to both sides of the cover stock even when only printing one side. Fuser oil will cause glue adhesion problems.
  6. For thin books, a lightweight cover of 8 point or less is recommended.  This gives the cover maximum flexibility.
  7. We can hinge score books over 1/8" thick.  All books below 1/8" thick will not have a hinge score.
  8. For best perfect binging results covers and text should be printed grain-long (this means grain runs parallel to spine and hinge scores).  This gives the book maximum page pull strength and also helps prevent cover from ripping when three side trimmed.  Grain-short text reduces the books page pull strength.  Grain-short covers crack more easily.

Typical cover layout.


  1. Shrink-wrap the finished books.  This will provide the best protection while shipping (transit scuffing) and gives your product a fresh professional finished look.
  2. Use an oversized slip sheet to get the best pricing on copied book block perfect binding.  Click here for slip sheet information.  Don't forget to mention this with your quotation.

Click here to see our perfect binders specs.


Plastic SpiralMetal SpiralDouble Loop WirePerfect BindingHard CoverHot Tape BindVelo BindingScrew PostPaddingComb BindingEyelet.Saddle StitchingTabsSUPERCOIL
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SGM Bindery, Inc. / 7120 Rutherford Road / Baltimore, MD 21244
410.944.7660,  Fax 410.944.5707
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