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What's the Difference Between Saddle-Stitched and Perfect Bound Brochures?

Published on 13th August 2020

When it’s time to put together a new brochure, one of the first decisions you have to make will be about the type of binding used to hold the pages together. There are two options available – saddle-stitch and perfect bound but what’s the difference? We explain everything you need to know below.


This is ideal for brochures and magazines with a page count ranging from 8 to 48. Anything beyond this point is more suitable for perfect bound, as the stitching will not be strong enough to keep the pages firmly in position.

The technique involves stapling together full sheets of paper in the centre. Along with the cover, the brochure is then folded in half along the staple line. This can be a more cost effective binding option as no glue is required during the process, with turnaround times also usually faster – although this will depend on quantities and any special finishes that may be required.

Perfect Bound

Brochures, catalogues and books with a page count higher than 48 will usually benefit from using a perfect bound finish. However, perfect bound can be used on materials that have as little as 20 pages, with a maximum limit of 400. This produces a thick, hard-edged spine which the pages are glued to, creating a polished, high-end look.

The spine on a perfect bound brochure is also part of the cover, so this has to be taken into account during the design stage. As a result there are no seams between the spine and the front cover, which creates the smooth, premium finish seen on the outside of the brochure.

Important questions to ask about your brochure

Before you commit to a certain type of binding, there are some key questions to ask that will help you make the right decision:

How many pages do you need?

As mentioned above, we can print saddle-stitch brochures between 8 and 48 pages for brochures of any size. You must ensure the page count is also in multiples of 4 to allow for the folding of the paper. Perfect bound is available for brochures between 20 and 400 pages.

What will the brochure be used for?

The different binding techniques also mean the brochure responds differently when interacting with readers. For example, saddle-stitched booklets can be opened flat and stay open, which may correspond to the type of content you want people to engage with. Meanwhile, you can print on the spine of a perfect bound book which offers more branding opportunities. With a perfect bound spine, readers will also need to hold the brochure in some form to stop it from closing when not in use.

What is your budget?

Saddle-stitched brochures tend to be cheaper and are ideal for smaller print runs. Perfect bound usually costs more due to the PUR glue used, but can prove to be just as cost effective, depending on your objectives and what sort of return you expect to see from your campaign.

At Printech Express, we specialise in business printing for businesses across the UK. We can provide both saddle-stitched and perfect bound brochure printing in a variety of sizes and finishes, matching your exact requirements. Our friendly team can talk you through all the printing options via Live Chat or over the phone on 01245 506066.

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