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What is the Best Page Count for Saddle Stitch Binding?

examples of Saddle Stitch Binding

Our guess is you were probably hoping the answer to this question would be quick and unconditional. But there is a little explaining that needs to be done first. So, if you can hold off knowing the answer until you read a few more paragraphs, we believe your patience will pay off.

There is an absolute Minimum number of pages that can be Saddle Stitched

The saddle stitch binding method uses wire staples to secure folded sheets of paper together. This means the minimum number of folded sheets that can be bound is two (2).

Because a saddle-stitched book is created from folded sheets, each folded sheet creates 4 pages of the book. Thus, 8 pages is the minimum that can be bound (2 folded sheets x 4 pages per sheet). This translates to an 8-page self-cover book (where the entire book is constructed from the exact type and thickness of paper) or a 4-page plus cover book.

Now that we know the Minimum page count, what is the Maximum page count?

We are now leaving the world of absolutes and entering the realm of "it depends." The maximum page count depends on the binding equipment of the printer you choose as well as the thickness of the pages and cover you select.

It is not uncommon for binding staples to be able to pierce through books with over 100 pages. But that does not mean this high number of pages will be practical or the "best" page count for a specific project. Too much bulk at the spine may cause the pages to partially spring open from the extra tension and prevent the book from lying flat.

Can you finally tell us which page count is Best for Saddle Stitch binding?

The best page count for a given saddle stitch book project is the one that allows the book to have the proper function and appearance. Once bound, the book should lie flat and look professional.

a stack of catlogs

This means saddle stitch books that use a typical text weight of 50# to 70# for the pages and a typical cover weight of 80# or 100#, should bind together well, lie flat, and function properly up to a maximum page count of 60 pages.

So, for most booklet projects, it is safe to say that the best page count for saddle stitch binding is between 8 and 60 pages

Once a saddle stitched book exceeds 60 pages, it is time to have a discussion with your printer. Depending on your paper choices and the book's dimensions, choosing another binding method - such as perfect binding, spiral coil binding, wire-o binding, or comb binding - might yield a better result.

Again, anything 60 pages or under produces a nice, flat saddle-stitched book. If you can live with some "puffiness" near the spine, then additional pages might not be an issue for your particular project.

By the way, the page count for any Saddle Stitched book must be a multiple of four

As mentioned, saddle-stitched books are made from folded sheets and each folded sheet creates four pages of the book. Thus, the page count of any saddle stitch book must be a multiple of 4.

For example, saddle stitch books can be created with 16 pages, 28 pages, or 52 pages. However, saddle stitched books cannot be created with 14 pages, 27 pages, or 50 pages (because these page counts aren't multiples of 4).

If you have a saddle-stitched book project and would like a quote, call Color Vision Printing at 800-543-6299. Or, if you already know your specifications, simply click here to submit a quote request.

Color Vision manufactures all types of softcover books. In addition to saddle-stitching, we offer perfect binding, spiral coil binding and more, so we look forward to working with you on your next book project!

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