Prepping your Print Project for Binding

Details on how print projects are finished and bound

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Setting up multi-page documents for binding saddle stitch, wire-o, perfect bound

Printing documents with multiple pages can be a stumbling block for many designers. Thinking ahead about the type of binding and finishing your project will need can avoid needing to readjust margins or spacing at the last minute. Each type of print binding has its own formulas for sizing and potential pitfalls for designers.

Below is much of our best advice for designing and printing multiple page documents. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to your CSR or sales representative.


Pro-Tips: The Successful Multi-page
Print Project

Multiple page books should be set up as separate pages in the file with .125 bleed on all four edges. The page size you select should be the finished size of your booklet.

Create the pages so the order is sequential. Do not place single pages next to each other in spreads. If you have an odd number of pages, add blank pages so your total page count is multiple of 4. Even page numbers go on the left. The cover can be set up as single pages as well.


Cedar Graphics prefers print-ready, single page PDFs. However, multiple page books may be set-up as printer spreads in the page layout program of your choice. Placing pages next to each other in spreads is acceptable, but when exporting the pdf file all pages should be separate, not sent in spreads.

For digital printing Pantone or Spot colors will be converted to a four color build. All pages should have a minimum .125 bleed and a safe area of .125 to account for trimming.


If you do choose this type of binding one thing to consider while setting up is the back gate margin. The back gate margin is the distance from the edge of the paper on the binding edge to the edge of the hole closest to the paragraph where no live copy can be placed. This is set by wire size.

Wire size is set by using a simple formula: book thickness + 3/16". This allows room for pages to turn easily.

1/4" to 9/16" wire-o is a back gate of a 1/4" of a inch.

5/8" to 1" inch wire-o is a back gate of 3/8" of a inch.


The cover needs to be setup as a four page document with the spine width included. Spine width will depend on page count and stock thickness of text pages. If your book should have a hinged score on the cover it will be .25 inches from the spine to the score. Please ensure your images and text are not too close to the spine.

If you need help calculating the spine size, please contact your CSR. Spine thickness will vary based on interior page thickness. We do not bind hardcover books in house.


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