Saddle Stitch Binding FAQ
Printing booklets for the first time? Find answers here.
Is printing booklets with staples affordable?
Saddle-stitch binding uses staples to print high-quality, cheap booklets. The edges of the pages are face-trimmed to create a smooth book edge, and the booklets come off the press ready to box and ship out.
Because there is little (if any) hand finishing involved, saddle-stitch books are typically the most affordable way to bind your booklet, catalog or newsletter.
What are saddle stitch booklets?
Saddle-stitch binding creates 4 printed pages out of each individual sheet of paper. For 8.5x11 stapled booklets, 2 pages are printed on each side of an 11x17 sheet, creating 4 - 8.5x11 pages out of each. The booklet printer folds the sheets, nests them together and staples them through the fold, or saddle. Because the folding and stapling is done by machine, this keeps the costs low. This makes saddle-stitch printing ideal for material such as product catalogs, magazines, newsletters, student publications, event guides and more.
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Why do saddle-stitch booklet page counts go in 4's?
This is because of the way saddle-stitch booklets are printed.
Picture an 8-page stapled booklet which is sized 8.5x11. If you were to open to the center spread and pull out the staples, you would see that the booklet is actually only made from 2 - 11x17 sheets. Because each 11x17 sheet produces 4 - 8.5x11 pages (2 on each side), this is the only way pages can be counted.
If your booklet page count doesn't quite reach a multiple of 4, you can add more content or just add blank pages to get there.
Companies like DocuCopies.com, who are printing hundreds of thousands of sheets per day or more, are able to negotiate a much lower click rate than local walk-in copy shops because of the volume. This means we can charge you less.
Do you print 4-page stapled booklets?
Because a 4-page booklet is only 1 sheet folded in half, we categorize this product under Newsletters and Brochures:
4-Page Half Fold Newsletters
What paper should I use to avoid see-through to the backside?
To absolutely avoid show-through in your printed booklet, we recommend either of the 32/80# Text options or heavier. In our experience this is a safe choice for booklets printed with photos, graphics and text alike.
For booklets where most of the content is text, most people are happy with the 28/70# Text Smooth. This is a mid-weight paper and has minimal show-through, which is much less noticeable with text-oriented pages where the text is more or less aligned back-to-ba3k.
Will I receive a digital proof before you print my booklets?
In most cases, we do not automatically send a digital proof. If you do want a digital proof first, no problem! Just request this in the Job Notes. The reason for this is that the vast majority of files are setup correctly and require no reformatting or proofing. Most customers also want their job as fast as possible. Unfortunately with email, there is always the risk that the digital proof could end up in the Spam, Junk or Promotions folder, which is more likely to cause a delay in production than it is to stop a misprint from occurring.
But there are some cases in which we must receive proof approval before we can print. This includes:
- Files which are not uploaded as JPG, PNG or PDF
- Any time we make file edits at your request
- If we happen to notice something that looks "wrong" but aren't sure
Is there a limit for saddle-stitch binding page count?
Because of the way saddle-stitch booklets are printed, there are page-count limitations due to the thickness of the paper and length of the staples. The page limit for your booklets will depend on the paper you select.
Our thinnest paper for saddle-stitch booklets is the 20/50# Bond, which will allow up to 180 pages.
Higher quality paper like the 32/80# Gloss is capped at 48 pages, while middle-weight papers fall in between.
Can you mail my printed booklets?
Yes we can. Select a Bulk Mailing option on the order form and upload your mailing list (Excel or CSV) with your files. If you need them folded in half and tabbed closed, this requires a custom quote: please fill in your job details to the best of your ability (including Bulk Mailing) and click "Save as Quote." Then you can email us and let us know you need pricing for folding and tabbing.