Van Huizen | Specifications


We have developed this page to educate the user in binding terminology, standards and guidelines that are used throughout the industry, tips for printers and most importantly to answer any questions you might have concerning binding options. [top of page]


Before folding there is a very important process called imposition. What this process involves is making sure that the numbers on the inside form will back up the page numbers on the outside form. If this process has been done correctly you will have a signature in order. For e.g. page 1 will followed 2, 2 followed 3, 3 followed 4 etc. Prepress operators can eliminate incorrect page sequencing by creating a dummy (a folded version of the signatures with the correct page sequencing) even if they are using an imposition program it is always good to refer to the dummy to eliminate any mistakes and to use it as a reference when comparing the imposition on the computer to your own results. By taking these precautions, mistakes can be avoided or caught before going to print. A bindery does not want to call the printer to tell them that the job had incorrect page sequencing therefore the signatures will have to be reprinted. [top of page]

Types of Books & Folds

These are types of books that binders encounter on a daily basis. It must be noted that when stating the dimensions of the book one must always state the size of the book by the width then the height.


There are many common folds that the binder encounters on a daily basis. There are:

4 page-1

4 page-2

6 page-2

8 page-1

8 page-2

8 page-3

8 page-4

10 page-1

12 page-1

12 page-2

12 page-3

16 page-1

16 page-2

16 page-3

16 page-4

16 page-5

24 page-232 page-1

double cover-1


map folding-1

semi gate fold-1

16 page-6

16 page-7

24 page-1

*Signatures over 8 pages may need to have a perforation on the head of the section depending on the weight and finish of the paper stock. This allows air to escape when the signature is being folded. If the spine or head of the section is not perforated when the signature is folded a crease may appear at the top of the page. [top of page]

Grain Issues

To produce the best quality book possible, you should always ensure the grain of the paper (text and cover) runs parallel to the spine. This allows the pages of the book to fall open unlike the “mousetrap effect” which occurs if the book is printed against the grain and, when forced open, the spine or back of the book cracks and breaks. A large number of paperback books are made against the grain to allow the books to be used only once or twice before breaking. [top of page]

Requirements for Smythe Sewing

For Smythe Sewing, the sections for the text have to be a minimum of 16 pages in length with a 1/4” lip on the high folios (page numbers). The high folio lip is also required for saddle stitching but the page sequence is altered to allow for the collating of each section minimum of 4 pages per section.

Case Bound Books

case bound books

Half Bindings & Quarter Bindings

Half bindings and quarter bindings

1. This style of cover is called half binding. The center section of the cover is made with a contrast to the spine and corners by using two different colours or textures of materials. The binding is on the spine and corners, where functional wear usually occurs.

2. The other type of half binding is when the fore edge and the spine are bound with a different material, from the center section of the cover.

3. Quarter binding is most often used when the book to be case bound is in a long, upright format.

4. Full bound is the most popular binding style used today. The cover is made using one piece of material completely covering the entire cover for a uniformed finish. [top of page]



These are examples of different styles of ribs that we offer for case bound books.

Ribs & Caps

An example of ribs and caps is shown below. Caps are added to the head and foot of a book to add more strength to the spine.

Ribs and caps