Plan Your Work
This section guides you in choosing the paper and planning both the inner pages and cover to produce a high quality book. Fastbind Perfect binding system means freedom from special supplies. Here we tell you what you should consider for producing unique books.
Fastbind Hot Melt EVA Technology
Fastbind’s rotary EVA perfect binding system is a modern and unique solution to better binding quality in a cost efficient way.
- The book block to be bound is inserted into the clamp equipped with stops which ensure accurate positioning and keep the block well knocked up. The clamp closes precisely to the block thickness and fixes it tightly.
- The block is rotated spine up. The patented Fastbind paper grain opening system (PGO) breaks the paper surface and opens the paper fibre to increase the surface covered with adhesive.
- The adhesive penetrates from above and is forced into the spine of the book, directly into the paper fibre and between fanned sheets providing strong adhesion.
- The book block is rotated back into the starting position. The cover is placed and pressed strongly against the book spine from two sides by the unique folding bar, automatically adjusting to the book thickness. This operation both fastens the cover to the block and presses the sheets together, making the binding stronger.
With Fastbind machines you can quickly and easily produce professional-quality hard covers and books with wrap-around covers or pads without cover. Thanks to the unique design, Fastbind machines combine high productivity required for larger print-runs with flexibility essential for smaller jobs. Fastbind equipment is exceptionally compact, silent, and easy to use.
- Designed for digital environment
- Fast - no adjustments needed
- Silent to use
- Can use almost any paper
- Virtually dustless
- User friendly
- Flexible: soft and hard covers, tape binding, lay-flat binding and pads from A6 to SRA3
- Small footprint
- High quality binding
- Cost efficient
Choosing the Paper
Pay attention to the post-printing process
- Heavy coating means difficulties for collating and binding
- For the book to be readable, the white paper shouldn't be too bright (eyes get tired), but it should still reproduce the colors as well as possible.
- Optimize the grammage and opacity (the text shouldn't show through)
- Offset, laser and inkjet printing all set their specific demands to the paper.
- Avoid too thin material as well as too thick for the cover
Pay attention to grain direction
Always, when possible, plan your print work so that the inner pages have long grain. This eases opening of the book.
The fiber direction in the cover should be in the direction of the spine. This means choosing short grain card for the cover.
The fiber direction comes originally from the paper mills process. Long grain inner sheets are easier to open as a book.
Planning the Inner Pages
Electronic collating is one of the benefits of digital printing for book production. Design your work so that you have always the same page in each printed sheet, so that you can cut them and get several ready books with no re-collating.
The grain direction
- The grain direction in the sheets should always be along the spine (long grain)
- This way the book opens flat
- The book is neat and easier to handle
Margins at the edge which will be glued
- Remember to add extra margin on the spine side.
- It is easier to read
- Minimum spine-side margin should be about 15 mm
Correct paper grain direction guarantees good openability.
A4 sized books
- For A4 books and documents, the content is usually printed straight on a A4 sized sheet so that the print out is immediately ready to be bound;
- If you print on a bigger sheet (i.e. A3 size),you will need an extra step to cut you work before binding to an A4 sized book.
A5 sized books
- A5 is a popular book format for on-demand orders. Note that it is very easy to get the wrong grain direction. If you cut A5 out of A4 sheets, you will need to order special A4 paper with short grain (so you get long grain A5).
Planning a Soft Cover
When using card available in the standard assortment of the suppliers of copier & digital printing machinery it is better to design the print work to start from the corner of the page (not middle).
This allows you to make your nipping line for i.e. A4 format to stay in one place and allow Fastbind automatic nipping system to take care of the back cover nipping (scores according the size of the spine). You can bind thicknesses from 1 page to 40 mm and the paper can be up to A4+ size (320 mm).
Size of the stock cover sheet for A4 or Letter sized book
- for A4 size: 297 x 457 mm (grain direction 297 mm)
- for Letter size: 11 x 17.7" (grain direction 11")
- thickness of the paper 160 - 260 g/m² (e.g. Executive covers are 121 lbs index)
- coating only on the outside
Positioning on the sheet for an A4 or Letter sized book
- the place to fold the front page is 210 mm from the front edge in A4 and 8½ inch (216 mm) in Letter size
- starting point is the top and front edge of the front page
Size of the cover sheet for A5 (148x210) or Statement sized book:
- 210 x 260 mm (grain direction 210 mm)
- in United States the Statement size is very close to the European A5: it is 5½ × 8½ inches which equals 140 × 216 mm. Therefore the height of the cover sheet must be accordingly bigger.
Positioning on the sheet for an A5 or Statement sized book:
- the place to fold the frontpage is 148.5 mm from the front edge. Starting point is the top and front edge of the front page.
- in Statement size the folding starts 5½" (140mm) from the front edge.
The thickness of the pages grows after digital printing. This needs to be considered when designing the cover layout. In Fastbind system the automatic thickness registration helps the designer considerably.
Front cover registration depending whether spine text is necessary – in Fastbind system one scoring line is enough – as Fastbind automatic nipping takes care of thickness. Using spine text in very thin books, however, still requires concentration while binding.
Binding Soft Covers
Three easy steps to binding soft cover books
Step 1: Inserting the cover and paper block
First insert the cover, then place the book block and align it against the paper guide. Hold the block against turntable with your left hand, push the clamp forward and lock it by lifting the clamp handle up with right hand.
Step 2: Roughening and gluing
Turn the table over by pushing the operating handle up. For thin books, apply glue once or twice. For thick books or books with coated paper, roughen the book spine 1–3 times, then apply glue 2–3 times.
Step 3: Nipping
Rotate the book block back into the starting position. Push the operating handle down firmly and hold for 5–7 seconds to press the spine and fold the cover. Pull the clamp open and remove the book by lifting the turntable slightly with the clamp handle.