Finishing Options

Printers consider a number of operations as “finishing”. Some, like embossing and foil stamping, have already been discussed in the Book Basics Case Bound section.

Some books aren’t ready to ship after binding. Some need drilling for loose-leaf binding (sometimes called “T4D3” for “trim 4 sides, drill 3 holes”.) Some soft cover books are drilled for loose-leaf, but the spine stays on the book. Either way, if you’re considering this option, you already know the cost of the binder can equal the cost of the printing. Still, it can be a cost-effective choice in the long run for books that are regularly supplemented or updated. By simply furnishing replacement pages for the supplements, the cost of re-printing the entire book with the updates is eliminated.

There are actually a number of drill patterns that can be specified, such as 5 hole, automotive drill (for auto parts store catalogs) and even a single hole drilled in the top corner of the book.

By specifying a “standard” drill pattern, you will likely have 1/4" or 5/16" diameter holes centered 3/8" from the trim side. Anything else needs to be specified.

Some designers specify round corners for their books, which is generally a manual, off-line operation for the printer. Many books that need to be carried in a pocket or tote (like travel or restaurant guides) have the outside corners rounded for ease of use while on the run.

Finally, some books and most journals that are subscription or member based will need addressing, possibly even packaging and addressing. The old method of Cheshire labels glued to the cover is still in use and cost effective for larger distribution runs. Ink-jet addressing is very popular and applied directly to the cover of the book. The area where it prints the address may need special consideration in terms of inks and coatings, so the addresser or mailer needs to be consulted before the cover is specified.

Further, there are a number of labeling/addressing programs available for the mailer based on the equipment. The file with the address list that you furnish must be compatible with their software, or you will pay a conversion fee. For more information or to have a mailer contact you, email