Square Backed Saddle Stitch Booklet vs. Perfect Bound Book

Perfect bookbinding gives your book projects a professional, “keep-worthy” look – National Geographic Magazine or a paperback version of the latest bestseller are great examples. But, not all booklets are suitable for perfect binding. In many cases, the number of pages is going to be a key factor in determining whether or not perfect bound is the right binding method for your project. Your perfect alternative? Our new square backed saddle stitch booklets. They have squared-off spines that look like perfect bound books, but they’re actually saddle stitched and held together with two staples.

Square Backed binding

Perfect Bound binding

Which technique is right for your booklet or book printing project?

When you have a choice between these two binding options, how do you know which is right for your project? That’s where our calculator comes in. It’s designed to guide you through the entire process of placing your order and includes recommendations as you go to give you the right advice for your project. There’s actually a small space in which either of these options will work for you, and that’s when your booklet is between .1” and .25” thick. The workability will depend on the paper stock and page count you choose. When considering both options, page count will be a key factor in deciding which method is best. With the saddle stitching, as page count increases so does the ‘creep’ factor, which affects the layout and print space on your book pages. Check out this blog post for more information on creep and other common booklet printing issues. If the spine is an important part of your design, meaning you want to put text or art on it, then perfect bound is your choice. With a perfect bound book, the thickness of its spine allows plenty of room for a title or artwork. The spine of a square backed booklet is too thin to incorporate text or imagery.


In general, skinnier booklets are better for square backing. Booklets measuring between .04” to .25” spine thickness can be square backed. Booklets with spines larger than .25” will need to be perfect bound. We can create perfect bound books with spines up to 2” thick. The price of your project may vary based on your specs – size, pages, quantity – but for quantities of 100 to 1,500 booklets, Smartpress.com booklet printing prices are the most competitive you’ll find for all of the custom options available. This price reduction includes perfect bound books, saddle stitch booklets, wire coil booklets, and spiral bound booklets.

Create your own

Get started on your own booklet project

Smartpress offers multiple booklet binding varieties including spiral bound, wire coil, saddle stitch and more.

create yours