Bindery 101 Is a Requirement Even in the Digital Age

A few weeks ago, a discussion was started on one of the print and finishing groups on LinkedIN with a message that asked, “Should print sales and marketing people work in the bindery as part of their overall training?” Of course, you can guess what the majority opinion was. YES!.

I’ll go further than that. In our short-run digital print marketplace, even people working in the “digital bindery” should be re-educated from time to time. What do I mean? Well, lots of bindery systems these days are highly automated. You can set the job parameters in a few seconds. But you’re still working with paper, and paper is an organic material.

  • In which direction does the grain run?
  • What about the substrate type and weight? How does that affect operations such as folding, adhesive binding, diecutting and saddlestitching?
  • Can you bind a book with the pages running grain-short (as opposed to grain-long)? Which adhesive is best to use?

What about impositions?

  • How will the imposition affect the fold?
  • When do I need to crease the substrate before folding?
  • How much “extra” room do I need for a bound, or stitched product?

The point is, bindery expertise is critical in the overall planning of a printed job. This is especially true in the all-digital environment because the years of experience that you will find in a commercial print bindery may be missing in the digital world.

So when the client submits the job, put the finished product up there as a priority. And if you can, hire an experienced “bindroid” to be part of your team. The expertise one brings can mean the difference between turning out perfect products time after time, or dealing with a high rate of costly do-overs.

Don has worked in technical support, sales, engineering, and management during a career in both the commercial offset and digital finishing sectors. He is the North American representative for IBIS Bindery Systems, Ltd. of The United Kingdom.
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  • djsartdesign

    Very good advice!