Miniature Saddle Stitching

Saddle Stitching

Miniature saddle stitching is simply a saddle stitched booklet which is probably smaller than any booklet you have ever seen! We do miniature saddle stitching . . . as small as 2” from the face to the spine and 1 3/4” from top to bottom! We bind the booklets more than one up; sometimes 2 up or maybe even 4 or 5 up, depending on the size. That’s one of the reasons we have incredible speed producing miniature saddle stitched book.

Saddle Stitching -

Saddle Stitching -

The booklets are produced in one machine operation which entails:

  1. Inserting sections
  2. Applying cover if there is one
  3. Stitching
  4. Single book blade trimming booklets on all three sides.

Saddle Stitching -


These miniature booklets often require us to add further operations such as:

  • Miniature clip sealing
  • Final soft folding parallel to the spine
  • Tipping the booklets to printing carriers
  • Cellophane wrapping or shrink wrapping

Most miniature saddle stitched booklets are for the pharmaceutical or cosmetic industries. Needless to say, both of these industries are growing so we are seeing a bigger demand for miniature saddle stitched booklets! Now you know who to call when you have a need for extra small, miniature saddle stitching! Give Carol in Estimating a call at (416) 701-0111 ext. 311.

Saddle Stitching -


  • Very small and very light weight
  • Can hold a lot of information in a small piece

Saddle Stitching -


  • Fits into very, very small pharmaceutical and cosmetic boxes
  • Often more functional than a folded brochure
  • Perceived as more value added and upscale than a folded piece

Tag Stringing

What is tag stringing? Tag stringing is the completely automated process (thousands per hour), in which a machine performs the following functions in a single pass:

  1. Feeds the tag
  2. Punches a hole
  3. Pulls the string from a large cone of string and cuts it to a required length
  4. Inserts the string and ties a permanent knot
  5. Counts the tags into customer required quantities (20’s, 50’s, etc.)

Tag Stringing - Specialties Graphic Finishers

A term you might be asked by our estimator, is what is the length “hole to knot”? What this means is not how long the string is, but how long the tied string is from the knot to the tag hole. For instance, if the “hole to knot” is 3”, then if you were to cut the string and lay it out flat, it would measure 6”!

Tag Stringing - Specialties Graphic Finishers

The middle tag in the above image is a standard tag with a single panel, no die cut shaping or unusual size

Tag Stringing - Specialties Graphic Finishers

The image above shows a multi-panel tag

We have produced tags with up to 12 panels.  Some multi-paneled tags are often miniature saddle stitched booklets or “paste bound books”, (I’ll do a blog about “paste binding” in a few weeks) or miniature perfect bound books!

Tag Stringing - Specialties Graphic Finishers

The image above shows die cut tags

A large percentage of the tags we produce are die cut. As you can see in the image above, tags aren’t just limited to being round or square. They can be shapes like an orange, mango or pineapple!

Tag Stringing - Specialties Graphic Finishers

The image above shows a miniature tag

We are able to produce a wider range of miniature and oversized tags than our competition! If you have an extra small or extra-large tag in mind, give us a call!

Tag Stringing - Binding & Finishing SGFTEAM

The image above shows a star shaped tag, an example of a very difficult job to run


  • Easy to attach to bottles or retail products
  • Numerous colours of string are available
  • Various lengths and textures of string
  • Cotton or elastic string makes each job unique


  • String adds a very great amount of “value added” to the product as tags are very functional
  • Very low spoilage – often just .01%!
  • We have the largest trade “stringing capacity” in Canada


Coloured Stitching

Coloured Stitching - Specialties Graphic Finishers

The stitching is the wire stitch (or staple) in a saddle stitched book. You have probably only ever seen silver stitches (or staples). That’s pretty boring! We offer coloured stitches … 20 different colours to be exact! We’ve modified the “stitching heads” on our regular saddle stitching machines so they can bind with the colour wire. In 2015 alone, we stitched over 2,300,000 coloured saddle stitched books! The most popular colours in order are white, black, red, blue, and green. Instead of binding books with boring, silver wire that everyone has seen, try something new!

The main factor in using coloured stitches is the thickness of the book. We often have to test certain jobs because sometimes for thicker books with coated stock and maybe a stiff cover, the colour is sometimes “stripped off” the stitches (staples) as they are driven through the book and crimped. In our shop, jobs requiring coloured stitches can be as small as 2” x 2” or as large to 14” x 19”. Really, the only limiting factor is booklet thickness.

Coloured Stitching - Specialties Graphic Finishers

Coloured Stitching - Specialties Graphic Finishers


  • Colours can often be coordinated with the book cover colour
  • Adds a lot of value to saddle stitched books, which are close to the bottom of the food chain in the binding world. Saddle stitching, as far as binding is concerned, is the “cheapest of the cheapest” so add colour stitching and you’ve got a unique, but inexpensive product!
  • The coloured stitches are noticeable, memorable, and distinctive
  • Colour stitching is just as durable as normal saddle stitching

Coloured Stitching - Specialties Graphic Finishers


  • Smooth to the touch – the stitches won’t catch or snag on anything
  • Books can be as small as 2” x 2” all the way up to 14” x 19”

Coloured Stitching - Specialties Graphic Finishers

Factors to Consider

  • We don’t stock all colours so there is a longer wait time for some colours
  • The main limiting factor is book thickness. When quoting a job, we may say we need to test if the book is thicker than most. Book thickness can affect how well the stitches hold.

Bolt Bound Books

By now you’ve known we do a wide range of binding styles and unusual products. This week is no exception and is about a product as unusual as box-stitched books, accordion books, elastic bound books, etc! It’s . . . Bolt Bound Books. Talk about something different and durable! As these images shows, there are several styles of bolts (many more than what are shown).

Bolt Bound Books - Specialties Graphic Finishers

Bolt Bound Books - Specialties Graphic Finishers


  • Bolts are available in Steel, Copper, Brass and Black
  • Bolts can be Rounded or Flat and can have Wide or Narrow threads
  • The final books are Durable and Sturdy

Bolt Bound Books - Specialties Graphic Finishers

Bolt Bound Books - Specialties Graphic Finishers


  • Bolt Bound books have durable binding
  • Absolutely a “stand-out” piece
  • Many designs allow the addition or removal of sheets

Bolt Bound Books - Specialties Graphic Finishers

Bolt Bound Books - Specialties Graphic Finishers

Factors to Consider

  • More costly than many other binding options
  • Bolts could scratch other surfaces (e.g. table, another book, etc.)

Turned Edge Binders


This image shows a binder with turned and stitched edges

“Turned Edge” refers to a traditional method of book binding in which a cover material is glued and wrapped around a sturdy sub-assembly, such as a chipboard casing, with the edges glued down to the inside surface of the product. With “Turned & Stitched” products we take the process one step further and sew the cover material to the sub-assembly around the perimeter of the product.



The two above images show hubbed or multi-creased spines

Our turned-edge ring binder construction and decoration capabilities are geared to meet your demanding business applications. To facilitate production, we can even provide layouts for your printed paper turned-edge wraps if you require them. Give us a call today to begin planning your next turned-edge ring binder.


The above image shows a wide range of ring styles and sizes


Decorating Options

  • Printed paper – The best option is printed paper wraps for their economy and the creative freedom they allow. When used as a turned-edge binder wrap, printed paper should be film laminated to provide ample protection.


  • Screen Printing – This option is ideal for 1 or more Pantone colors required in moderate quantities (100 to 3,000). This process can be used on wide variety of cover materials.
  • Foil Stamping – Ideal for small quantity single color jobs or when metallic graphics are required. Die costs quoted separately based on square inches of coverage.
  • Deboss/Emboss – Dies and pressure used to create a depressed (debossed) or elevated (embossed) image. Embossing requires a set of male/female dies and is much costlier and far less common than debossing.
  • Personalization – Usually done using heated 18pt loose type to transfer foil to material. This process doesn’t require dies and is economical when paired with digital printing.
  • Book Cloth – Specially-manufactured cloth wraps are available in several quality grades, colors and surface treatments to meet your design needs.
  • Faux Leather – For binders that must have an elegant appearance, faux leather provides the look without the high cost of genuine leather (which is available!).
  • Expanded Supported Vinyl – This premium class of heavy gauge vinyl has a fabric backing. This material scan be silkscreened, embossed, debossed, or foil stamped to create your own truly distinctive presentation cover.



The above two images show binders with sleeves


  • Superior Design & Range of Materials: Unlike heat sealing, which welds two layers of vinyl or plastic together, Turned Edge construction lends itself to superior design and the use of a much wider range of materials. The image below shows a binder with an acrylic cover and cloth wrapped spine



  • Full-Color Graphics: Turned Edge binders can be printed with crisp and elaborate full-color artwork. In addition to the outside cover, the interior of the binder can also be printed in full color.


  • Enhances Creativity: Turned Edge binders don’t have seams like vinyl binders so the cover artwork can flow uninterrupted around the binder. Also, because the cover artwork wraps around the inside, a full bleed is automatic.


  • Available in Multiple Styles: In addition to ringed binders with or without pockets, the turned edge method can be used to create self-standing easel binders.


The above image shows a binder with casewrapped pockets

  • Special Sizes and Smaller Quantities: Unlike many other types of binders, turned-edge binders can be custom assembled. This allows for unique sizes as well as shorter production runs.
  • Professional Look and Feel: Turned Edge binders offer high visual appeal. Plus, they are extremely durable and well-constructed.
  • Faster Delivery Time: We can deliver these much more quickly than heat sealed vinyl binders.


The two above images show a binder with black rings


The above image shows a white binder with coordinating white rings

Anstey Bookbinding Portfolio Samples

The image above shows a red and black menu with coordinating small, red rings

Factors to Consider

  • The most common mistake is that people frequently measure the outside width of the spine rather than the inside of the ring when specifying ring sizes! Check out the sheet capacity guide below (capacities are based on 20lb bond paper).


  • Graphic Design sizing for front, spine and back of binder
  • Ring style, size and availability. See the image below for the 4 ring styles available.










PMC Die Cutting

What is PMC die cutting (aka High Die Cutting)?

First off, PMC stands for “Printing Machine Corporation” which is the leading manufacturer of the machine. It is simple a 2 to 3-inch steel die that pre-cut paper is pushed through. Paper on a pad or perfect bound book on multiple panel folders is squeezed through the die. Basically, it’s like a monster sized cookie cutter for paper. As for what it actually is, a picture is worth a thousand words! The image below shows what the actual die looks like.




If you want a perfect bound book shaped like an oval, then only a PMC machine can do it. If you want a pad with three concaved sides only a PMC machine will do it. We frequently do scores of jobs that are business size cards with four round corners.



As for alternatives to PMC/High Die Cutting, you can die-cut full individual sheets (called steel rule die-cutting), but you end up with rough nicks on each side. You can also cut cards to finished size and round corner the four corners on a round cornering machine (which EVERY bindery has), but then you end up with uneven corners. The best choice is PMC!




  • The dies are expensive and can run from $600.00 up to $3,200.00 each!
  • The dies take from one to two weeks to order
  • Smallest size the die can be is 3/4”
  • Largest size is 9” x 11” (and we have the largest size in Canada!)
  • PMC/High Die cutting coated stock doesn’t work very well. Uncoated stocks work better.

Top Feature: The edges of the finished product are even and extremely smooth!



  • Sometimes cheaper than steel rule die cutting
  • Adds a lot of value to product
  • Unique process that no other style of machine can replicate

Casewrapped Sample Presentation Boxes

Ever seen casewrapped sample presentation boxes?


Success Story

Our client came to us with the need for us to make a sample presentation box (shown above), which had to meet three requirements.

  1. Sample package had to be unique, stand out and catch attention
  2. The unit was to be multi-function and easy to use
  3. 500 units had to be produced within a certain financial budget


Once we knew the requirements, we set to work producing four prototypes, each with only slight variations. The chosen prototype used recycled components like 52” tubes of compressed board, which we cut to the required length. We cut the tubes in half to produce to half circles. After sheeting, diecutting and hand applying the wrap, we added the following components:

  • Hand formed and sewn straps made from the same wrap material and were riveted
  • Dome pieces were attached
  • Dividers were hand glued to hold different samples of fabric



Not only was our customer highly satisfied with what we produced, this highly customized project was finished on time and within budget!



Whenever we produce unique products like this, people always seem to say the same thing, “I’ve never seen anything like it!” If you’re looking for that complete “wow” effect, give us a call to see what we can do for you.


The benefits of doing a project like this is that we were able to use many recycled materials. These recycled tubes have proven to be highly durable and after a lot of use, show minimal signs of wear.

For a sample of this product please email me at with your phone number, as we need to discuss the best way to get the sample to you.

Step Cutting, Corner Cutting and Face Cutting

What are step cutting, corner cutting and face cutting?

Step Cutting
The three different operations start with a bound book—perfect bound or saddle stitched, for example. We have rare machines that “cuts” away portion of paper from the face or corner of the bound book. The following diagrams illustrate the numerous styles we can do for you.


  • Diagram 4 above shows a step cut, which is by far the most common type
  • Diagram 5 shows a double step cut
  • Diagram 3 shows a corner cut
  • Diagram 6 shows a face cut
  • Diagrams 1, 2 & 7 have combinations step cuts, corner cuts and face cuts



  • All indexing (step cutting) is page-specific
  • All indexing is done with products that are already bound and trimmed
  • Indexing can also be done with spiral wire, Wire-O or loose leaf products




  • Fast and easy location of information within the book
  • Increased book usage
  • Increased perception of overall brand, value and quality
  • Greater visual impact
  • No die cutting or fold0out tab needed, which drastically reduces the cost

Exposed Smyth Sewn Books

What are “exposed Smyth sewn” books?

I saw the first exposed Smyth sewn books only four years ago. The photo below is the first exposed Smyth Sewn book we bound.


What is the difference between this binding style and a regular Smyth sewn hard cover book? The difference is that there is no material covering the sewing on the spine and the spine is generously covered with cold glue.


As with a regular Smyth sewn book, several different colours of threads can be used. Exposed Smyth binding really shows off the different thread colours

Is this binding method a fad or a trend? I’m not sure BUT we are certainly seeing a lot of them.



  • Hard cover on front and back of book
  • Cover thickness up to 120pt
  • Flush 3-side trimmed; cover does not overhang on three sides like a regular case bound book
  • Thread exposed in spine
  • No title/printing on spine




  • When the book is open, it lies as flat as a case bound book
  • It’s eye catching!
  • Looks handmade, natural …
  • Can be cheaper than a case bound book



Factors to consider

  • Think about what will be printed, foil stamped, embossed, debossed, screen printed or mounted on the front and back covers. We’ve seen all 5 processes used, sometimes in combinations
  • Let us specify the board to be used. This benefits you in two ways. The board we choose is warp resistant and will work with whatever ‘print’ method you choose



Gilding of cards or books (never saddle-stitched ones) involves the heated application of coloured foil to the sanded edges of a book or single cards. Think of a book, like a Bible, which often has gilded edges.


Success story

A printer wanted us to gild perfect bound books with black foil. All foil gilding requires the sanding off of 1/32” of the surfaces (face, head and foot) to be gilded. We communicated with the client to make allowances for the sand when trimming the books. This job was a learning curve for us because I thought “black” was black! Apparently, there are several different blacks. Because of this, we then had to establish whether the printer (and ultimate customer) wanted a matte or shiny black. In the end, they chose shiny. The job was delivered on time and with the full count … absolutely no rejects!



  • From a functional standpoint, the foil protects the printed piece from environmental issues such as acidity, dampness and the natural oils of the human hand



  • Foil gilding dresses up a book or card set, in a classical and timeless way
  • Gilt edges on a book or card speak of prestige, trust and quality
  • In recent times, we’ve seen foil edge gilding make a major comeback and it’s no longer a finish reserved for leather case bound books.
  • Designers are now combining or adding this unique finishing process with other design elements.
  • Even though foil gilding is still unusual and differentiates a product, we produce gilded jobs on a regular basis.




  • Until recently, gold was basically the only colour that could be used … NOT NOW!
  • We can now foil gild scores of colours. About 75% of the colours that can be foil stamped on a flat sheet we can now foil gild. Keep this in mind when designing with corporate colours (think IBM blue, Scotiabank red, CN Rail orange, etc.).


Factors to consider

  • Time! These jobs don’t happen over night, so plan ahead.
  • We have to source your preferred colour of foil from any one of six suppliers
  • We may have to test a variety of foils for the best result … sometimes as many as four times for a job
  • Count on about a 4-5% spoilage rate
  • Gilding might be relatively expensive but this cost for the right project can be more than worthwhile!