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Perfect Binding

Like a paperback novel


Perfect binding image by Zepfanman.com

Example of perfect binding on a paperback book. Image from Zepfanman.com via Flickr; CC license | Printing & Finishing Glossary | Alpha Index to Full Glossary:

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A perfect bound book on desktop publishing and design.

Before and After Page Design


Method of bookbinding where a flexible adhesive attaches a paper cover to the spine of the assembled signatures is called perfect binding.

Perfect binding puts all the pages or signatures together, roughens and flattens the edge, then a flexible adhesive attaches the paper cover to the spine. Paperback novels are one example of perfect binding.

Booklets, telephone directories, and some magazines use perfect binding methods. Compared to other binding methods, perfect binding is quite durable and has a low to medium cost. It can be used with publications that are several inches thick.

A variation of traditional perfect binding is lay-flat or Eurobind binding where the cover is glued only to the sides of the spine so that a perfect bound book can lay flat when open. Also, some books may combine glue with sewn together signatures.

Do-It-Yourself Perfect Book Binding

You can bind your own books using a DIY version of perfect binding. Basically, you:
  1. clamp together the pages of your book
  2. roughen the edges of the spine a bit with some sandpaper
  3. apply a good dose of glue to the spine
  4. let the glue dry
  5. apply more glue
  6. attach a pre-folded cover over the book
There are a few finer points which are discussed in these tutorials. You'll note variations in how the perfect bound book is clamped or glued or how the cover is applied. Find the one that works for you.
  • Do It Yourself Book Binding gives you 7 steps with illustrations and glue options. Uses bits of wood and some binder clips to hold the pages together.


  • Bookbinding Demonstration (Video) uses a homemade jig to hold the book during gluing.


  • Do It Yourself Book Press covers several book binding methods including perfect binding. Scroll down (just after the hardcover binding details) to find the table of What You Need and quick illustrations of how to do a perfect bind.


  • Printing and Binding Your Own Books and Manuals includes instructions on how to build a simple bookbinding press to hold your book during gluing. Also includes the addition of a bit of tissue along the spine for adding strength and a different method of applying the cover.
Use a Binding Method That Doesn't Require Extra Steps to keep the cost down and get the job back faster.

Design With Printing in Mind to save time and money.


Also Known As: perfect bound | lay-flat | Eurobind | paperback binding

Terms Related to Perfect Binding

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