Here at the Embellishing Group, we’re meticulous about finish. We constantly search for new techniques to improve the quality of the products we produce, and go to great lengths to make sure that every detail of your project is as perfectly presented as it can be.
Some of the techniques we use are more traditional, and others are cutting-edge, but they’re all tried and tested to achieve beautiful print.
This month we’re introducing the first in a series of articles that describes some of those techniques, and how we use them. In this first instalment we’re going to look at ‘Concertina Bind’, an exciting innovation in book and brochure binding that allows images to be printed across two pages without losing any of their effect.
Why Other Binding Methods Just Don’t Cut It
A perpetual source of frustration for designers, agencies and developers alike when producing a brochure or book is the loss of part of an image, floorplan or render in the ‘gutter’ caused by the spine. This frustration is only heightened when the pages on either side don’t match up—something which happens far too often for our liking.
Traditionally, one of the following binding methods would have been used, but unfortunately these all have their flaws, as we’re about to see.
Not so ‘Perfect’ Binding
When books or brochures are ‘Perfect Bound’, groups of folded pages are cut along the fold and then glued to the spine. You’ll have seen this technique used on books, magazines and brochures.
This method, however, creates a pronounced gutter in the middle of the page, where up to a quarter of an inch of an image is lost. As you can imagine, the reader loses a lot of the effect of a two-page image when part of it disappears into a trough halfway across the page & doesn’t lie flat.
‘PUR Binding’ uses polyurethane reactive adhesive to stick the pages to the spine, much in the way that perfect binding does. This adhesive is super strong and flexible, and creates a hard wearing finish. When it comes to printing across two pages, however, it suffers from the same problem as perfect binding— a defined gutter which doesn’t lie flat.
The Saddle Stitch
‘Saddle Stitch’ is the most common and economical method of binding. It’s the one you’ll have seen in some magazines, booklets and brochures. The pages are folded in the middle and two or more pieces of wire (or staples) are punched through and bent over to hold the pages tightly. It’s a simple but effective system. However, it doesn’t create an elegant finish and is limited to a small number of pages, as well as being a weaker bind and thus liable to fall apart.
Finally, Singer Sewn
‘Singer Sewn’ is exactly what it sounds like—the pages are sewn together along the fold, through the spine so that the stitch is visible on the outside. This style is often used on high end journals, and is effective and elegant.
It does, however, have its limitations, for example it can only be used on books or brochures that have only one section. While it does offer a good option for two-page image spreads, it cannot rival our newest method of binding, as we’re about to show you.
Enter, Concertina Bind
So, those are just some of the ways that books, journals or brochures can be bound. But, as we mentioned, here at the Embellishing Group we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to make our end product as precise and perfect as possible. That’s why we have now launched ‘Concertina Bind’.
This layflat binding technology allows you to include a continuous single page across an entire spread so that your image, floorplan or render is completely uninterrupted by the spine. Gutters and mismatched pages are a thing of the past. The concertina bind method makes having a full-spread, high-quality ‘flat’ image possible, creating a flawless effect for the viewer.
The Secret to Perfect Images
So, how does it work? Basically, the way the binding is constructed means that when you open a page the book is able to open fully, thus presenting the two pages as one continuous surface (hence the term layflat binding). This is achieved by having an inner ‘floating’ spine, in addition to the spine of the outer cover. This inner spine can move freely to allow total flexibility—see the image below.
The internal pages are laminated together to form a hinged spine. The inner block is then glued firmly to the cover using the first and last leaves, allowing it to move freely.
As the reader flips the pages, the surface that is presented is always able to lie flat. Two-page images flow seamlessly across the publication. This layflat binding method is ideal for property and luxury brand brochures and basically any situation where quality and presentation of images is a priority.
An Unrivalled Attention to Detail
So, there you have it—Concertina Binding, just one of the clever methods proudly used by the Embellishing Group to deliver beautiful print to our customers.
Next month, in the second article in the ‘Methods of Achieving Beautiful Print’ series, we’ll look at the art of edge gilding—a way to add a wonderfully decorative touch to any publication. We look forward to seeing you there.
Are you interested in exploring the options Concertina Bind could bring to your next project?