Saddle-Stitch Booklet Printing

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What is Saddle Stitch Book Binding?

In the printing industry, Saddle Stitching refers to a very popular book binding method in which folded sheets are gathered together one inside the other and then stapled through the fold line with wire staples. The staples pass through the folded crease from the outside and are clinched between the centermost pages. Two staples are commonly used but larger books may require more staples along the spine.

This binding method not only ensures the integrity of the book but also facilitates seamless page-turning. Most of the time, the cover is made from heavier paper than what is used for the inside pages. Despite its straightforward nature, the outcome is a professionally finished document that exudes a polished and refined appearance.

Why is it called Saddle Stitching?

Saddle Stitching may sound like an odd name for a book-binding process that places wire staples through sheets of paper, but in the printing industry, stapling is commonly called Stitching. Also, the collated sheets are draped over a Saddle-like apparatus during the stapling/stitching process, hence the name Saddle Stitching.

Saddle Stitch Book Binding Applications 

a person holding a book


a person holding a book


a man showing a woman something on a paper


text, letter


a notebook with a spiral bound page


a person painting on a table

Coloring Books


Comic Books

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The Saddle Stitch Process

To help illustrate this bindery process, let's use a Saddle Stitched booklet with a finished page size of 8.5 x 11 as an example. The pages and cover of this booklet would be made from 11x 17 sheets that are folded in half to 8.5 x 11. The folded sheets would be nested one inside the other and then stapled together along the folded crease or spine. Each 11 x 17 sheet folded in half creates four pages of the book. By its nature, Saddle Stitching requires the book's page count to be in multiples of four. Remember this during your book layout to avoid any unplanned blank pages.

The Saddle Stitching bindery operation occurs after the pages and cover have been printed, partially folded and nested together. After being joined by staples, the cover and pages of the book are folded tighter together. Some thicker Saddle Stitched books are trimmed along the edge opposite the spine to keep the pages uniform and neat in appearance. Books and other documents that are commonly Saddle Stitched include programs, wall calendars, booklets, newsletters, pamphlets, direct mailers, comic books, thinner magazines and catalogs.

How to Print a Saddle Stitch Book in 7 Easy Steps

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1. Gather your content and information

Start by collecting all of the content and images you've prepared for your project. This ensures you have everything ready for the next steps.

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2. Design Your Project

Arrange your project content into a print-ready PDF file. Pay attention to the layout, making sure it's correct and engaging.

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3. Give Us The Specifications

Fill in the details of your project including binding type, size, quantity, page count, ink color, and paper type on the provided quote form to receive an accurate estimate.

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4. Upload Your Work

Once your PDF is ready and meets the printing requirements, we'll upload it using the designated form.

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5. Proofing

After submission, we will review your file. We will then send you a PDF proof for your approval or any necessary revisions

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6. Printing Approval

Once you approve the PDF proof, the printing of your project will be scheduled.

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7. Delivery

After printing, your project will be delivered to your doorstep, ready for you to enjoy and distribute

Benefits of Saddle-Stitch Binding

It is the least expensive binding method.

The turn-around time is generally quite fast.

It can be used for very short production runs…for example, 200 books.

This method works very well for lower page counts.

Books can be made with a heavier weight cover or as “Self Cover” books. Self Cover means the cover is the same weight of paper as the interior pages.

It allows for books to be made in a wide range of sizes – small like a pocket guide or large like a road atlas.

Books can be hole-punched along the spine for insertion into a ringed binder.

Relatively easy to design and can accommodate artwork or images that span two adjacent pages (crossover images).

Adds minimal bulk or weight to the printing, so it is especially good for pieces that will be mailed.