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Tight staples and square spines

Apr 1, 2003 12:00 AM

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BIA honors outstanding binding and stitching

Each year, the Binding Industries Assn. International (BIA) (Chicago) recognizes exceptional binding and finishing applications with its Product of Excellence (POE) Awards. The judges rate entries on degree of difficulty, uniqueness of design, and quality of workmanship and materials, in categories ranging from folding, stitching and perfect binding to decorative techniques such as stamping and embossing. On these pages, you'll find highlights from the 2002 stitching and binding categories. Awards for the 2003 competition were just handed out at the BIA International Conference in Tampa, FL. For a complete list of winning companies and details on the 2004 event, visit

Stitching: Diecut covers

This 75,000-unit job for George Washington University showcased Bindagraphics, Inc. (Baltimore) bindery operators' ability to keep two pieces in register while drilling and diecutting. The book's cover features a rotating wheel, meant to convey three central themes. Maintaining a precise fit between the wheel and cover proved challenging during production.

Stitching: Overhangs

In addition to having a unique cover design, this annual report for Deltek was made interactive with a sheet of kiss-cut stickers. The 10,000-unit-run report, also bound by Bindagraphics, required a special cover to conceal the book's side-stitching and overhang.

Stitching: Undersized/oversized

Oxford Bookbinding Co. (Philadelphia) submitted this best-of-category winner, a corporate brochure for client Toppan. The 7,500-unit job was collated into two sections, and then side-stitched on two ends to the center board. According to the bindery, cutting had to be exact for the two sections to line up.

Adhesive binding: Flush covers

Vancouver, BC-based Pacific Bindery Services Ltd. clinched two best-of-category awards, including one for this 2,000-unit-run book, “Private Residence Club.” Sales and marketing manager Kris Bovay says the job required special handling and care because of the gathering, folding and tip-ons used. Gathering was done by hand because of the tip-ons. Book blocks were also hand-fed directly onto clamps, and then the book was perfect-bound. The 22-pt. duplex cover made obtaining a square spine particularly challenging. Pacific Bindery used polyurethane reactive glue to ensure the bind of the heavyweight, thick cover and text pages.

Adhesive binding: Stepped or indexed products

Pacific Bindery Services also submitted this winning entry, an annual report for client 4 Strategies. The 5,000-unit job's tight line-ups required careful cutting by bindery personnel. The first 24 pages had to be run as single leaves during the second pass on the perfect binder. Cutting on these pages and the cover was reportedly critical, and demanded that the horizontal rule line up accurately and consistently, that the shingles were all the same width and that leaves underneath others did not stitch out.

Adhesive binding: Diecut covers

Bindagraphics won several 2002 POE awards, including this best-of winner in the adhesive-binding category. The project, a 1,000-unit run of a promotional book for the Jane Goodall Institute, featured intricate diecutting on the cover and an extended tab for a CD-ROM insert, which required multiple passes in the bindery. The cover's slit and tab had to align perfectly for a precise closure.