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A stack of Perfect Bound Books

Perfect Binding

Perfect Binding uses a Strong Adhesive

Perfect Binding is one of the most widely used book-binding methods for creating softcover books. The cover and pages of a perfect-bound book are bound together at the spine using a hot-melt adhesive that is both durable and flexible.

A person opening a Perfect Bound Magazine

Perfect Bound Books
Overview & Applications

The cover of a perfect bound book is generally made from heavier card stock, whereas the pages are usually a lighter text weight. Also, the cover often has an optional clear coat or laminate applied. This not only helps improve the book's appearance, it also prolongs the life of the book by reducing scuffs and wear.

Unlike all other softcover binding styles, the perfect binding method creates books that have a flat spine. In most cases, this allows the spine to be printed with the book's title and other information.

Perfect Binding is ideal for a wide variety of books and publications, including manuals, catalogs, novels, journals, directories, handbooks, magazines, and any other bound document that is more than 1/8" in thickness.

A Perfect Bound Book with a Flexible Spine

PUR is the Best Glue for Perfect Bound Books

Color Vision uses only PUR glue in its perfect binding process. PUR glue (polyurethane reactive) is far superior to the traditional EVA glue (ethylene vinyl acetate) used by many other book printers.

PUR glue offers significantly better adhesion and bonds securely to virtually all surfaces, including UV-coated, laminated, and synthetic stocks. PUR also offers lasting durability and remains strong and flexible, even when subject to extreme heat or cold.

The Perfect Binding Process

A female hand holding a stack of Pages

The page block is assembled

After the pages of the book are printed, they are assembled into a tight stack. This stack is often referred to as the page block.

A Book Binding Machine

The page block is prepared for gluing

The page block is placed into a machine that uses rotating blades to grind notches or "rough up" the spinal edge of the page block. This exposes more paper fibers so the glue can form a strong bond.

A machine gluing the Cover on a Softcover Book

The page block is centered within the cover

The same machine then applies glue along the spinal edge of the page block and it is affixed to the center of the inside cover.

Two Perfect Bound Books about to be Trimmed

The cover is wrapped around the page block

The book's cover, scored and creased to fit neatly around the spine, is then wrapped tightly over the page block and held in place by the glue.

A man with a stack of Perfect Bound Books

Trimming creates crisp "perfect" edges

Once the glue cures, each book is trimmed along its three open sides to create straight "perfect" edges. This feature is where perfect binding derives its name.

What are the Benefits of Perfect Binding?

Printing On The Spine

Perfect Binding is the only softcover book process that creates a flat, square spine which can be printed upon.

Works for Most Page Counts

Though not suitable for extremely low page counts, the Perfect Binding method works very well for the vast majority of book projects.

Professional Appearance

Perfect Bound books look very clean and finished. All edges are trimmed straight, all surfaces are flat, and all corners are square.


Perfect Binding is a very affordable binding style, especially when compared to Hardbound books.

Stacks Well

Perfect Bound books are very uniform in thickness. This attribute allows for tidy and well-organized stacking and display, whether placed on a desk, table, shelf, or in a bookcase.

Long Lasting

The spine is firm and a strong glue holds the pages intact.

Short, medium, or long runs

The Perfect Binding method can be used for production runs of any length.

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