What is the Difference Between Perfect Bound and Saddle Stitch and Which is Better for my Publication?

Both perfect bound and saddle stitch is commonly used in commercial printing. These binding methods each have their own merits. Learn about the different types of commercial printing to decide which method will be best for your project.

Perfect Bound

Perfect bound is a commercial printing method in which the pages are glued to the spine of the book. The perfect bound method is popular due to its professional aesthetic. It will last for a long time and is great for books that will be kept for many years. Perfect bound is also able to hold more pages than saddle stitch.

Saddle Stitch

Saddle stitch is a commercial printing method in which folded sheets are stapled through the spine. It is usually less than 60 pages to avoid “shingling” or “page creep,” which happens when the inner pages of a publication extend further out than the outer pages when folded. When the publication is trimmed the outer pages extend further out than the inner pages. One advantage of saddle stitch printing is that the majority of commercial printers do it in-house, this results in quicker turnaround time. Saddle stitch printing works best for commercial printing projects that have fewer pages. Saddle stitch is the most affordable of all binding options and it is also the most commonly used method. One disadvantage of saddle stitch is that the spine is not printable and may be more difficult to identify when it is in a bookshelf. Saddle stitch is perfect for publications with a short life that will be only kept for a few days such as catalogs, or small books for events.

Saddle stitch works best for projects that are less than 60 pages. Ask your commercial printer what their page limits are for perfect bound and saddle stitch and what they recommend for your specific project.