Finishing are those activities performed on printed material after printing. Commonly finishing includes laminating, embossing, folding, etc. Binding is of course one of these finishing techniques and it involves the fastening of individual sheets together. Some of the most common binding types include the following:
Saddle Stitching is a means of binding pages together by driving staples though the centerfold of a signature or group of signatures. Many magazines, newsletters and brochures are bound by saddle-stitching and it is one of the most common binding system. Saddle stitching get increasingly less efficient as the number of pages of a publication increases (depending on the weight of the paper around 48+ pages) and it is followed in popularity by Perfect Binding (below)
Perfect Binding is a means of binding that utilises an adhesive to hold pages together. Also known as adhesive binding, this method consists in applying an adhesive to the spine of gathered pages which, when dry, keeps them securely bound. Commonly, a soft paper or paperboard cover (or paperback) is attached over the binding adhesive. Perfect bound publications have rectangular backbones and include paperback books, telephone books, catalogs, and magazines among others. As mentioned above, the publication will need a minimum number of pages (depending of paper weight approximately 48+ pages) and is a clear step up from Saddle Stitiching above.
Spiral Binding is means of mechanical binding in which pages are bound together by means of a wire or plastic coil threaded into drilled or punched holes along the binding edge of the pages. The biggest advantage of this system is that allows pages shown as singles as opposed to printer pairs or spreads as it would be the case of most stitching systems.
Comb Binding is a means of mechanical binding in which pages are bound together by means of a plastic comb. This comb consists of a plastic strip with a series of curved plastic prongs, which are inserted into drilled or punched holes along the binding edge of the pages. This method is the most affordable and usually found in offices for internal document binding.
Loop Stitching is the same process as Saddle Stitching above just that special staples are used with a round loop on the outer part. This allows publications bound by Loop Stitching to be archived in traditional ring binders/folders.
Screw Binding is a means of joining pages together by driving metal or plastic screws (sometimes bolts) sideways through the cover of a publication along the binding edge. This systems is often seen in the binding of publications with a very large number of pages or even as a way to archive receipts and other legal documents. A single screw/bolt binding is also seen often in paint swatch books or similar where the screw is drives through a corner of the document to allow the pages to fan out.
Stab Stitching, also known as Side Stitching is a means of joining pages together by driving thin metal wire (i.e. staples) through the cover of a publication along the binding edge. Side-stitching is similar to, but less often performed than, saddle-stitching. This method is not very popular, only used for some speciality publications and therefore not widely offered from printers and finishers.
Sewn Stitching, also named Case Binding, is a means of binding pages together involving the sewing of printed signatures together with thread followed by encasing the signatures between cloth-covered cardboard covers. Case binding is used for hardcover books, and comes in three different types: edition binding is the use of fully-automated equipment to bind relatively large print runs; job binding is the binding of small quantities of books which require special bindings, often including some degree of hand-work, such as leather-bound Bibles, Thesis, etc; library binding, like job binding, is used for small quantities and usually involves some degree of hand-work. Library binding is used to create specially-reinforced bindings for library usage, and library binding services also repair and rebind damaged books.