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Pease Bindery
111 Oakcreek Drive
Lincoln, NE 68528
Phone: (402) 476-1303
Fax: (402) 476-2978



Signature Layouts Hold the Key to Binding Success

Pease Bindery recently hosted a Webinar on pagination, signature layout and folding differences between perfect binding and Smyth sewing. Here is some of the material we covered in that Webinar to guide you in planning your next job.

Uniform signature layouts are critical to the success of any case bound, Smyth-sewn or perfect binding project. Variance in size will increase costs and turnaround times and make the entire project unnecessarily difficult.

For Smyth-sewn signatures, thread is sewn through the spine fold of a signature and from signature to signature.

Smyth-Sewn Signatures
Smyth sewn books are both strong and flexible. In this time-proven manufacturing process, thread is used to sew each signature through its spine fold, and then a crochet-like stitch is made, binding the signature to the previous signature.

  • There is potential for air to get trapped inside the signatures during the folding process. This can potentially cause gussetting or wrinkling of the paper in unwanted areas.
  • Perforating signatures allows air to escape during the folding process.
  • Smyth-sewn signatures perforations must never be on the spine, rather the head or foot, wherever the next to last fold occurs
  • Pease recommends a 50/50 paper-to-perforation wheel leaving enough paper to maintain signature integrity.
  • Signatures require either a closed head or 1/2" low-folio lip so it can be placed on our Aster sewer's saddle.
  • When press size permits, Pease recommends using as many 16- or 32-page signatures as possible to reduce costs and turnaround times.
  • Pease customers can save money by nesting 8-page signatures into 16s and 16s into 32s. Nested signatures require a 1/2" low-folio lip.
In perfect binding, glue is applied to the ground off edge of the book block to form the signature.

Perfect Binding Signatures
Perfect binding is a popular adhesive binding method. Keep these suggestions in mind for your perfect binding jobs:

  • 1/8” grind-off margin is required at the spine. The grind off process is critical because it roughs up the paper fibers creating more surface area for better glue adhesion.
  • Include an additional 3/16” margin at the spine of your copy. 1/8” is for grind-off and 1/16” is for readability. (Without this, closest copy to the spine may “disappear” into the spine)
  • Perfect bound signatures may be perfed at the head, foot and spine. (The integrity of the signature is not as important as in Smyth sewing, so please use the perforation wheel that makes your equipment most efficient.)
  • Signature layouts can be folded flush end-to-end. Minimizing signature count to perfect binder pocket capability will reduce costs.

If you’d like a complete copy of these Webinar slides, please e-mail us at Hopefully, you’ll be able to attend one in the near future.

The Pease Advantage
Pease Bindery differentiates itself by offering customers a truly personal level of service. These tips are an example of the pre-planning help we're more than happy to offer customers on their Smyth sewn, perfect binding and related projects. Give us a call today to discuss your next important book project.

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