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Blog | Perfect Binding Books

Book Printing Companies in Chicago

Perfect Bound Book Printing is the widely used process used for creating paperbacks, graphic novels, photo books, magazines, and manuals. Perfect bound books are also called ‘soft cover books’. You’ll find these books everywhere – including drug stores, airports, libraries, and bookshops. When compared to hardcover (casebound) books, perfect bound books are less expensive and easier to produce. Perfect binding offers professional book printing that’s durable, economical, and produced quickly.

Perfect Bound Book Binding

A digital file containing the fonts, body text and images is sent to the pre-press department for review. Next, a pre-press professional examines the file and makes any corrections necessary prior to printing. Once the file is ready, a digital proof is sent to the client for approval. After approval, the file is sent to the press department and scheduled for printing. After the books (and covers) are printed, the books are ready for binding.

Perfect Bound Books Chicago

The pages of the book are cut at the spine using a milling blade to prepare it for binding. Once the spine is cut, a hot glue gets applied to the pages. Next, the cover is glued to the pages along the spine. After the glue has dried, the remaining three sides of the book are trimmed. This results in a finished book with “perfect” edges, hence the name “perfect bound.” The process of binding pages using glue is the same for perfect bound magazine printing.

Perfect bound books are often made using digital printing for short-runs. These books are a great solution for new authors, self-publishers, photographers (coffee table books), illustrators (graphic novels), corporations (manuals & guides), and merchants (product catalogs). Another benefit of printing perfect bound books is the ability to print on the spine. You can include the book title, author, or any other pertinent information such as the ISBN or your website URL.


Some benefits of perfect bound books are:

  • Cost Effective
  • Fast Turn-Around Times
  • Weigh Less, Takes up Less Room
  • Customizable Full-Color Covers (3D Raised, Metallic Foils)
  • Quick Short-Run Book Printing

You can select one of the standard sizes, or send us your required dimensions.
Some popular perfect bound book sizes are:

  • 6″ x 6″
  • 6.625 ” x 10.25″
  • 8.5″ x 11″

Perfect Bound vs Saddle Stitch

If you’re wondering what the perfect binding minimum pages is – here’s a few factors to consider when planning your project. Some commercial printers follow the rule that anything under 48 pages is saddle-stitched, and books over 96 pages get perfect bound. An easy way to think of it is that – saddle-stitching as books that are stapled, and perfect bound books are glued.

saddle stitched books chicago

Q: What’s considered too small for perfect binding?
A: We typically use saddle stitching on pieces measuring less than a 1/4″ inch thick.

Q: How big can perfect bound books be?
A: The number of book pages will vary – depending on the thickness of the paper. At the spine, our perfect bound books can measure approximately 2” inches.

Cons – Unlike hardcover books, saddle-stich and perfect bound books don’t lay flat.
Pros – Saddle stitching is cheaper than perfect bound book printing and works best for brochures and small catalogs.

Perfect bound books can be assembled the rate at 200 per hour (sometimes more). This type of printing is considered “Print-On-Demand.” Authors like not having to meet a minimum quantity or having to store boxes of books. This reduces risk and lowers the entry point for aspiring authors and illustrators looking to self-publish their own books.

Custom Books

Get noticed and entice more readers with our custom book cover options. Using visual effects increases engagement with potential buyers, and helps you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. With our custom digital cover effects, you can look like a NYT bestseller without breaking the bank. You’ll be amazed at the visual appeal your book will receive by adding some of our custom visual effects.

Some popular custom book cover options:

  • Digital Spot UV Varnished Covers
  • Metallic Foil Effect Covers (Raised or Flat)
  • 3D Raised Textures
  • Raised Tactile Patterns
  • Gloss, Matte & Soft Touch Finishing

When you need an expert printer for your book printing and binding,

we’re here to help. With over fifty years experience, our customer service and production capabilities are unrivaled. Whether you need saddle-stitched brochures or a perfect bound booklet, we’ll help you look great – no matter what your goals are. As one of the top Chicago commercial printers, we’ve become the trusted marketing partner for businesses just like yours.

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Send us a Quote Request or Give us a Call Today at: 1-708-343-0448