There are several ways of binding books. However, there are two major types of binding, namely the mechanical or loose-leaf binding method and the conventional or permanent binding method. Graphic artists who would want to specialize in book publishing must know these traditional methods of book production.
1. Mechanical or loose-leaf binding method
In this binding method, loose sheets of papers together with the covers are held together by the use of plastic grip spine, plastic comb, post or ring binder etc. Holes are punched at the spine of the collated sheets together with the covers and the plastic or metallic rings are inserted through the created holes to hold the sheets and covers together. The binding processes in this category allow sheets to be removed or added without affecting the remaining sheets. Another characteristic of this binding type is that it opens flat. Examples of binding techniques under this type include Spiral wire, Ring, Comb, Post etc. The process is the same in all the techniques mentioned under it. However, the type of coil that is inserted at the spine edge points out the differences. The general process has been explained below:
Tools and materials: loose sheets of paper, hardboard (covers), trimming knife, bodkin, hammer, universal pliers.
1. Collate or arrange the loose sheets and covers together.
2. Trim all the four edges of the collated sheets for them to have equal width and height.
3. Punch or create holes of even spacing at the spine edge of the collated sheets.
4. Insert the spiral wire, plastic ring, comb or post binder through the holes and clip it at the back.
5. The book is ready for use.
2. Conventional or Permanent binding method
In this binding method, the loose sheets and the covers are held together by the use of adhesives, staples or thread. Unlike the mechanical type of binding, sheets cannot be removed or added after the binding has been done. Removal of a sheet after the binding would affect the remaining sheets. Examples of binding techniques under this category include Saddle or Single-section stitching, Side stitching, perfect binding and the edition or multi-section binding.
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