Box Stitch Binding

Edge Painted Printing - Case Binding

I recently did a video about face printed books that are printed by a printer on an offset or digital press.  This video describes the process of printing the head and/or face and/or the foot of a finished bound book after the book is bound.  The books can be either perfect bound or hard/case bound.

The “printing” is done first by die cutting a “stencil” of a pattern or logo or words.  The “stencil” is placed over the area to be printed and the outer surface is either spray painted or the “ink” is applied with a roller.  There are literally scores of colours to choose from, the range of patterns and sizes and type fonts are endless.  Book “edge painting” is much more expensive than press printing the edge copy or patterns but…edge “printing” is much more precise, detailed, colourful, vivid and memorable than press sheet print “edging.”


What is box stitch binding?

A box-stitched book is one in which the cover is stitched directly to the book. The goal is to show off the box stitch as a design feature, rather than hide or ignore the stitching. A box stitched book can look vintage, professional and funky.

Box Stitch Binding

Mini history lesson

Until about 20 years ago, all boxes in a bindery were stitched on the bottom, before packing with books. Boxes were stitched in vast quantities, using big machinery. Enter the hand-held tape gun … the big machines became obsolete and most box stitchers were scrapped … including the ones we had.

Back to today … there’s now a demand for box-stitched books (not boxes!). We searched high and low and bought a classic box stitcher. We now box stitch books … another service for our design-minded clients.

Box Stitch Binding


  • Books may have 1,2, 3 or 4 stitches per book
  • Stitches are metal, 1 ¼” long x 1/8” wide
  • Edge of stitches are rounded
  • Colours: bronze (possibly aluminum)
  • Metal is stitched into two pre-drilled holes, so no tearing or puncturing problems
  • Maximum book thickness 3/4”

Box Stitch Binding



  • Innovative, unique stand-out design component
  • Another tool in your design toolbox to create distinctive branding for your client
  • Functionality: highly durable
  • Perfect bound book falling apart after it has been produced? Box stitch it as a work-around.

Box Stitch Binding

Factors to consider

  • No timeline problems
  • We have the box stitch metal in stock at all times and we have the machine on our premises
  • Box stitching more expensive compared to binding methods such as side sewing, riveting or eyeletting


2480 Lawrence Ave E Toronto, ON M1P 2R7 Canada