Spiral binding, wire binding, comb binding, and coil binding. What to use, and what to avoid.
Wire binding, comb binding, coil binding, and spiral binding are all ways to bind papers, booklets, and books. But, the average person needs more information about each style. Try searching for clip art for binding styles. A lot of images are have incorrect names, so let’s give you the correct definitions as well as examples.
We want to help authors print quality books. Different binding styles for quality books are available. Let’s talk about it!
When self-publishers ask about wire binding, we think they may mean Wire-O binding. It is a registered brand. However, coil binding and spiral binding can also be manufactured with wire. You can see how this could be a source of confusion!
Wire-O binding comes in a number of colors, thicknesses of the twin wire binding, the overall circumference of the binding. We will advise you, as we want to make sure the binding is appropriate for your title. The popular gold color is no problem, nor is black, white, silver, blue, red, and more … Just ask us!
Standard Wire-O books are bound without a spine. They have a front cover and back cover, but no spine. Be careful here, as if you plan on getting your books into bookstores, most will require a spine that display the title of the book. This is so it can be easily display on bookshelves.
The semi-concealed Wire-O binding does have a spine. The wires may be seen on the spine itself, or move to the back cover.
The concealed binding has a spine too. The text pages are completely inside the cover, whether it be soft cover or hardcover.
A coil binding is a type of spiral binding, but instead of a wire like you would see on a school paper notebook. The coil we use is thicker and sturdier. We prefer Wire-O book binding, as semi-concealed and concealed to allow for a title on the spine. We want to please bookstores!
You know the cheap spiral binding like you find in school notebooks? We don’t manufacture them, and we don’t bind our books using this type of binding. We do a very nice coil or Wire-O binding though.
Plastic Comb binding
GBC comb binding to be specific. Please don’t use it! This is a means of binding single document pages together. It is not part of our professional book manufacturing. If you truly want this kind of binding, go down to your local office supply store or quick print shop. They will be able to do a GBC binding. The machine is relatively inexpensive, so you can buy your own, if you care to do it yourself. It is fine if you need to duplicate a small number of booklets to pass out at the office.
But, be aware that comb binding does not easily allow for type on the spine, which is a requirement in most bookstores. Can you get type on the spine? Sometimes, but by the time you pay for the set-up and production of a number of documents, it may be the same cost to print high-quality books on press, and have a traditional binding. Our minimum book run is 1,000 hardcover or 2,000 soft cover books.
Always check our pricing. Because of our low unit cost, it is sometimes possible to get nearly twice as many books for the same unit cost as printed in the USA. However, we seldom print in the USA any longer. It’s not only a matter of price, but also our quality s superior with the select cadre of printers we use in Asia (never China.)