How a Stapled Book Is Made

How a Stapled Book Is Made

Read Time: 4 Minutes


08 Dec 2023

What Are Stapled Books?

Stapled books are bound using a simple and effective binding method whereby the pages are secured using lightweight and discreet staples along the book's spine. Bound using staples, stapled booklets are suited to smaller and shorter publications.

Our range of stapled books are ideal for creating cost-effective and smaller books, magazines, catalogues and brochures. With an option for fewer pages than our other book binding methods, stapled booklets are the perfect choice for businesses who are looking to create a quality book but with a budget in mind.

The flexible and thin nature of stapled binding ensures that the book is able to open and lay flatter compared to other binding methods such as perfect bound. Lightweight and compact, stapled booklets are the perfect choice for businesses looking to easily share and distribute their book material.


How Are Stapled Books Printed?

Our stapled books require a keen eye for detail which is where our team of book binding experts come in. On hand to distil their years of printing experience into your next project, our team are dedicated to perfecting your stapled book’s finish.


The Printing Process


Step 1: Pre-press

At instantprint, we understand that books are complex, requiring true attention to detail. Before sending to print, our skilled studio team will get to know your artwork, checking the specifications in detail and preparing your file for print using our rigorous and free 10 point artwork check.


Step 2: Printing

Machines: Nanographic, Litho and Digital
Your design will be sent down to our factory where our skilled operators will begin printing your design onto your chosen paper stock. Here, your inner pages will be printed as well as your cover.

In our factory, you’ll find the best of the best when it comes to our equipment. Printed on our state-of-the-art machines, your book’s artwork is brought to life.

Your artwork is printed on one big sheet of paper. When we print in 4-page signatures it means that consecutively, 2 pages of your artwork are printed on one side and another 2 on the other.

A signature is a configuration printers use to lay out a book’s pages on a press sheet so that after folding they are in the correct order. A press sheet refers to the full-size sheet that is fed into our printers where multiple designs or jobs are printed before being folded or cut. Signatures are for inner pages and only takes into consideration your book cover if your book is self-cover (same stock on inners as covers).

A 36pp stapled book has 32 inside pages plus a 4pp cover, which will be printed, trimmed and delivered to the Horizon Stichliner.


Step 3: Embellishment and Lamination

Machine: MGI JETvarnish / Autobond Laminators
At this stage, if you have opted for any embellishment or lamination on your book’s cover, this will also be added.

Utilising our MGI JETvarnish, this machine can add spot UV or foil to your book’s cover. If you need premium-looking print, this is the machine to thank. You can read more about spot UV and foil in our blog here.

For lamination, our Autobond Laminators are able to offer a range of solutions from matt to gloss. The heated chrome rollers of our Autobond Laminators help create a strong smooth seal to both sides of your print in one pass. Learn more about lamination and the different types in our blog here.


Step 4: Trimming

Once the pages have been printed they are guillotined to ensure they’re trimmed to the correct size required for the stitching process on our Horizon Stichliner, we will usually leave an extra 3mm as the books will be trimmed again to your specified size e.g. A5, after being stitched.



The Binding Process

Machine: Horizon StitchLiner

Before we begin printing your books, our team will send one test through the Horizon StitchLiner to be collated, folded, stapled and trimmed. This book will then be cross-referenced against your artwork PDF to ensure the pages have been printed in the correct order before printing the full quantity.

Step 1: Collating and Stacking

Machine: Horizon Collater and Horizon Stacker
When your design has been trimmed it is brought to the Horizon StitchLiner where the individual sheets of your book are put into our collation tower. Each section or page of your book is placed into one of our bins. Our collater will then take one 4-page section from each bin before being fed into the stacker to form your book in order.

The Horizon Stacker is attached inline to the Collater via the Horizon Sub Accumulator Conveyor belt, here the collated sheets are brought together ready to be folded.


Step 2: Folding

Machine: Horizon Accumulator/Folder
After being collated and brought together in the intended chronological order, the pages are then folded on the Horizon Folder.


Step 3: Stapling

Machine: Horizon Saddle Stitcher
The collated and now folded pages move down the machine to the saddles stitcher. Here, the book’s pages are bound together using staples which run across the book’s spine. 

Did you know? Our staples aren’t a standard size, a length of wire is fed into our Saddle Stitcher and each staple is cut to size for every single book order, depending on the the quantity of pages and the thickness of the stock, ensuring maximum strength. 

The staples are inserted into the spine of the book to bind the page, passing through the folded crease from the outside before being clinched shut in the centremost pages.


Step 4: Trimming

Machine: Horizon Three Knife Trimmer
Once the book is stapled, it passes through the machine to our inline Horizon Three Knife Trimmer. The finished book is then trimmed along three sides, not the spine, to ensure the final pages are neat and consistent.


Step 5: Trimming

Once complete, our expert team will take time to check over your finished product to make sure it meets our high standards. We’ll measure your book on every side to ensure accuracy after trimming as well as checking that all of the artwork is in order and all images and text are lined up.

Your booklets will then be sent to our dispatch team who will carefully package your print ready to be collected by our couriers and shipped to your business.


What Machines Are Stapled Books Produced On?

Landa S10P

When printing staple bound books, we’ll use the Landa! We’re the proud owners of the UK’s first nanographic press – a new printing technology that is set to revolutionise our industry. The Landa helps us combine the methodology of lithographic offset printing with a digital operating system, which means your print gets the best of both worlds.


Horizon StitchLiners

Our stapled books are bound on our Horizon SitchLiners. All StitchLiners start with their collation towers, where 4-page sections are fed into the machine before being squared up in the machine’s accumulator before being folded, stitched using staples and then trimmed on the machine’s inline trimmer. In Conclusion


In Conclusion

Stapled books are the go-to choice for businesses looking to create small and simple yet effective and impactful publications. Featuring a lightweight finish, stapled books are ideal if you’re looking for a book that’s easy to distribute and hand out.


About the Author

Hi, I’m Ally and I’m instantprint’s PR Lead. I enjoy writing content to help small businesses succeed and inspire them to get creative with their print marketing.