Down The Rabbit Hole, Into A Book Binding World

Finally finishing my Science project, I had wanted to neatly compile my project pages together. I had also needed to print and laminate my Espoletta business card. Procrastinating, I had not given much thought to it until I went for dinner one night and happened to come across QuickBind. Intrigued, I took a look inside and saw many different kinds of machines used for book binding. Machines of various sizes and functions used for a plethora of purposes. I was amazed at all these methods just to print and bind one, simple book. I walked into the shop, determined to discover exactly how and what book binding was all about. 

QuickBind perfect binding machine
Perfect Binding machine.

How Does Book Binding Work?

Mr Alwyn Fang is the owner of QuickBind, a well-run printing and binding company. After meeting Alwyn, he explained the history of his company. He had worked with a partner for 18 long years in a prestigious book binding company, before gaining enough experience to start his own company. Due to the constant advancement of printing and binding technology, his machines had to be updated and upgraded regularly to satisfy the customers’ needs. He also mentioned that sometimes he had problems finding skilled labour. Confused, I asked, “Don’t the machines do most of the work?” This is true. Despite the common knowledge that machines nowadays do a good amount of the work, the human touch is still very much needed in this field.

Alwyn then gave me a tour of the facility as he explained the different techniques of book binding. He said, and I quote, “Book binding is basically the gathering up of pages into neat, orderly stacked papers and fixing them onto the spine of a book cover. These stacks of papers are then folded into sections and bound with either thread, glue, coils, or spine combs, depending on the technique of book binding desired.”

What Method Of Book Binding Is Most Suitable?

As I listened to his explanation about the different forms of book binding, I contemplated on which method would suit the compilation of my Science project best. As there were many methods I could choose from, I took a look at the different machines used for binding and the various examples of bound books. Menus, thesis, contracts, documents, booklets, contracts, coffee table booklets, and many other variations were those among the assorted forms of book binding I found.

1. Perfect Binding

The first book binding method I happened to see was coincidentally the most popular or common method used in book binding, perfect binding. Perfect binding is also one of, if not,  the most expensive methods of book binding. Basically, a heavy one-piece cover is laid out while folded sections of paper are glued onto the spine with a strong but flexible adhesive. According to the examples I had seen so far, perfect binding was more popularly used in manuals, catalogues, notebooks, and storybooks one can find in any bookstore. 

Book binding style: Perfect Binding
Perfect bound book.

2. Hardcover Book Binding

I decided that perfect binding was not the method suitable for my project. I moved on to the second set of examples laid out by Alwyn. Hardcover book binding too, is among the most expensive book binding methods. All the covers used for this method were, of course, hardcovers. Because hardcovers are not flexible, they are usually created with a flexible area near the spine. This allows the book to be opened and closed easily. Alwyn expertly explained that hardcover binding is done by sewing the pages together using a strong thread before applying the cover. He also added that adhesives are sometimes added for a stronger and sturdier finish. 

Book binding style: Hardcover binding.
Hardcover bound book.

3. 3-Ring Book Binding

I eventually moved on to study the next set of examples. Although 3-ring binding looked suitable for my project at first, I decided it was more suitable for seminars or sales representations. Why? The main reason for this is due to the fact that 3-ring bound books usually consist of loose-leaf pages. This allows the user to quickly index to a specific page. Pages can also very easily be added or removed, if necessary. This advantage would certainly be useful for business meetings, but not so much for a Science project.

Book Binding style: 3-Ring Binding
3-Ring bound folder.

4. Spiral Coil Book Binding

In the end, I decided I would use the spiral coil binding method to bind my project. From the moment I saw it, I knew that this would be the one most suited for my project. Not only could pages be added or removed, but as an added bonus, the book could be opened to a clear 360 degrees. This would be helpful for the person marking my project. The method was very simple. Holes were punched into the pages before a plastic or metal coil was inserted and twisted through the holes. To be sure about my decision, I asked Alwyn what this method of binding was usually used for. I learned that this method was mostly used for reports, sale presentations, proposals, guides, instruction manuals, and student projects just like mine.

Book Binding style: Spiral Coil Binding
Spiral Coil bound book.

5. Contract Book Binding

Although my search for the best binding method was complete, a huge stack of papers bound together caught my eyes. It looked thick and heavy, something I had never seen before. Out of curiosity, I asked about it, and Alwyn happily shared about it. Contract binding is primarily used in the construction or maintenance industry. The papers used are a large A0 or A1 size. How does a paper this huge fit into one book? Workers fold these pages into A4 sized neat sections before sewing them together onto the spine. These books are usually very thick and heavy because of the amount of data stored inside.

Book Binding style: Contract Binding
Contract bound book.

More About QuickBind

Apart from binding, QuickBind also provides photostat, name card printing, lamination, offset printing, banners, wallpaper, sticker printing, and especially hot stamping services.

QuickBind shop front
QuickBind shop front.

QuickBind specialises in binding menus, thesis, contracts, documents, booklets, and coffee table books, and especially contract binding. Here, at QuickBind, they do all your binding with care and professionalism. The prices are fair and very much depend on the number of pages that needs binding; usually averaging from a fair price of around $5.50 to $6.00. A regular thesis (250 pages) would take up to a good 3 days to bind; although if needed, faster service can be provided at an extra charge. Their operating hours are from 9 am to 8 pm on Mondays to Fridays, and 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays. Their regular clientele comprises students, offices, corporate training schools, companies, universities, and developers.

My Espoletta name card printed by QuickBind
My Espoletta name card.

About Lydia LEE

Bubbly, bright, and extremely friendly, a typical people-person. She reads and writes more than most people twice her age. Spends most of her leisure time with her head buried deep in books.

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