PrintNinja - online printing made easy for creators

Our customer service team has helped deliver more than seven million pieces to happy customers around the world. Lean more about that team and quote your printing project today!

Perfect Binding

In perfect binding (also known as softcover binding), pages are folded, gathered, sewn, and glued into a cover to form a squared-off spine. At our domestic facility, pages are printed, cut and then fed into a perfect binding machine. The perfect binder, will take both the cover and the interior pages at the same time, roughens one edge of the interior pages and then applies glue, ensuring a fit with the cover that is strong. Perfect binding is the preferred binding method for graphic novels, trade paperbacks, softcover children’s books, coloring books, catalogs, literary journals, and quarterly magazines. Keep reading to learn more about how PrintNinja’s superior softcover binding method will ensure your softcover book is built to last.

Softcover Perfect Binding Design and Production Example

What Is Perfect Binding?

In traditional perfect binding, like at our U.S. based print facility, sheets are printed, cut, and assembled into their proper page order. From there, the side of the book block is cut off, and the pages are glued into a cover to form a squared-off spine.

Overseas, PrintNinja uses a more sophisticated method, where instead of cutting the book block, the pages are smyth sewn together before being glued into the cover. This methodology provides a far more durable finished product, since the pages are both sewn and glued, and the books can open much flatter, so much less content is lost in the gutter between pages.

Perfect Binding Cover Design Considerations

Keep in mind that production of perfect bound books includes a score running down the binding edge of your front and back cover – about 10mm away from the spine. This is to create a sturdier binding and avoid a ragged crease when bending back the covers. 

Because the book block is glued into the cover, perfect bound books have a 10 millimeters area on the inside covers that will be glued to the first and last inside pages. It’s important to keep that in mind when designing your inside covers, because artwork may be lost in the glued area. Given this, important text and artwork should be kept at least 10mm away from the trim line on the binding side of the inside covers and first and last interior page.

Design a softcover children's book, Perfect Binding Inside Cover Glued


You can see more information and visuals highlighting the above on this page here!

Cover Design

Because perfect bound projects have a spine width that varies based on number of pages and paper weight, every perfect bound cover has different size requirements. You can use our perfect binding cover template guide to design your cover, where you can also find our automated template generator.

PrintNinja Tip
After being sent to press, most perfect bound projects take approximately two weeks to manufacture, after which they are shipped out to you via your chosen shipping method. Learn more about turnaround time.

Perfect Binding Interior Page Considerations

Be mindful that due to the nature of perfect bound books, content that is very close to the binding area may be obscured. Please keep any important text and artwork .40”away from the bound edge (the center of the page for two-page spreads) to be fully visible.

You can see more information and visuals highlighting the above on this page here!

Ready to Get Started?

You’d be surprised just how many options you can quote instantly on our book pricing calculator. Save a quote today so you can lock in your perfect bound book price for 90 days.

Get Your Price

Freshly updated customer reviews from TrustPilot