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Perfect Binding

Softcover Perfect Binding Design and Production Example

In perfect binding (also known as softcover binding), pages are folded, gathered, sewn, and glued into a cover to form a squared-off spine.  Perfect binding is the preferred binding method for graphic novels, trade paperbacks, softcover children’s books, coloring books, catalogs, literary journals, and quarterly magazines.

How Perfect Binding is Made

In traditional perfect binding, sheets are printed, folded, and assembled into their proper page order.  From there, the side of the book block is cut off, and the pages are glued into a cover to form a squared-off spine.

However, this methodology leads to perfect bound books that don’t open flat, and with pages that can fall out over time.

PrintNinja uses a more sophisticated method, where instead of cutting the book block, the pages are smyth sewn together before being glued into the cover.  This methodology provides a far more durable finished product, since the pages are both sewn and glued, and the books can open much flatter, so much less content is lost in the gutter between pages.

Design Considerations

It’s important to note that because the book block is glued into the cover, perfect bound books have 10 millimeters of area on their inside covers that will be glued to the first (and last) inside page, as in the below picture:

Perfect Binding Inside Cover Glued

This means that all artwork on the inside covers, as well as the first and last inside page, should be kept at least 10mm away from the spine.

Cover Design: Because perfect bound projects have a spine width that varies based on number of pages and paper weight, every perfect bound cover has different size requirements.  You can use our perfect binding cover template to design your cover.

Production Time

After being sent to press, perfect bound projects take approximately two weeks to manufacture, after which they are shipped out to you via your chosen shipping method.  Be sure to check our turnaround time page to see how much time your project will take based on your proofing and shipping options.