perfect binding book stack

What is perfect binding?

Perfect binding is a method of binding books with a soft card cover, using a strong, flexible PUR adhesive to glue the pages into a square spine.

perfect binding book spine

A nice square spine!

When saddle-stitching a book, once you get up to 40pp it may start to get a bit too thick for the stapling method. Perfect binding is a great alternative, and can elevate your publication to look more professional without being super expensive.


Perfect binding vs saddle stitching

We know that for saddle-stitching, the number of pages has to be a multiple of four. However, if you are using the perfect binding method, it only needs to be a multiple of 2 (because front and back).

There is one requirement for number of pages, which is that the spine needs to be at least thick enough to create a spine. This can be worked around by using a thicker paper stock for your text pages.


When to use perfect binding

Common uses for perfect binding are magazines, annual reports, novels, corporate brochures, family history books, property information memorandums, and coffee table books.

Remember, the pages are glued into the spine, so the book won’t sit open flat. While it looks great, it is not the┬ámost convenient binding method for a cookbook.

perfect binding book open

This book only opens flat in the centre.


Setting up artwork for perfect binding

When setting up your cover artwork for the perfect binding method, don’t forget the spine! You will know the size of the spine when you know how many pages there are, and what stock you will be using. We will always provide a mock-up for a booklet, to ensure any last minute changes like this can be made.

A tip: leave the spine area on the inside of the cover blank – this is the glue trap. Keeping this area free of ink ensures a solid bond. If you do include any print here nobody will be able to see it anyway. You know, because of the glue.


MJ Printing are experts at perfect binding. We even do perfect binding for other printers.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of holding your own finished book in your hands! If you have a book project that you are working on, we would be happy to help. It is our favourite kind of project to work on. Drop us a line at or call (03) 9544 9055.