Square Backed Saddle Stitch Booklet vs. Perfect Bound Book

In online printing, a perfect bound spine gives your book projects a professional, “keep-worthy” look – National Geographic Magazine or a paperback version of the latest bestseller are great examples. But not all custom booklets are suitable for perfect binding.

In many cases, the number of pages is going to be a key factor in determining whether or not a Perfect Bound Booklet is the right format for your online printing project. Your perfect alternative? Our Saddle Stitch Booklets with a square backing. They have squared-off spines that mimic perfect bound books, but are actually saddle stitched and held together with two staples.

Which technique is right for your booklet or book printing project?

When you have a choice between these two binding options, how do you know which is right for your project? That’s where our calculator comes in. It’s designed to guide you through the entire process of placing your order and includes recommendations for our online printing services as you go.

There’s actually a small space in which either of these options will work for you: your booklet must be between .1” and .25” thick. The workability will depend on the paper stock and page count you choose. When considering both options, page count will be a key factor in deciding which method is best. With saddle stitching, as page count increases so does the creep, which affects the layout and print space on your book pages.

If you want to print your own booklet with text or art on the spine, then perfect bound is your choice. With a perfect bound book, the thickness of its spine allows plenty of room for a title or artwork. The spine of a square backed booklet is too thin to incorporate text or imagery.


In general, slimmer booklets are better for square backing. Booklets with a spine thickness measuring between .04” to .25” can be square-backed. Booklets with spines larger than .25” will need to be perfect bound. We can create perfect bound books with spines up to 2” thick.

The price of your project may vary based on your specs – size, pages, quantity – but for quantities of 100 to 1,500 booklets, Smartpress is the online printer with the most competitive booklet printing prices and custom options.


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Smartpress offers multiple booklet binding varieties including spiral bound, wire coil, saddle stitch and more.

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