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We have gathered some of the better articles related to our niche for your viewing. These articles will give you a better understanding of some of the processes and operations we perform.


 
 

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Effective design and planning for Wire-O book projects

By: Frank Shear
Reprinted from New England Printer & Publisher
Issue: November 2001

Well-thought out cover designs can improve the appearance and functionality of your next Wire-O project. Although there are many possible cover styles, three of the most com mon are: Split back (separate front and back leaves), semi-concealed and fully concealed wraparound designs.

Split Back
Split-Back Covers. Attractive, twopiece split-back covers are a solid choice when battling limited budgets and quick turnaround times. As long as your book has common page dimensions, no tabs and a Wire-O diameter size of 5/e" or less, flush-cut split back covers are hard to beat. However, if thicker Wire-O is needed, design your two-piece cover with '/ft" overhang to com pensate for text page push-out. If your books need to be displayed on a shelf, recognize that split-back covers don't permit spine printing and should be avoided.

Fully-Concealed and Semi-Concealed Covers
If you need spine printing, choose a fully-concealed or semiconcealed design, either of which allows spine printing. Wraparound covers hide Wire-O binding elements without sacrificing product functionality. It's up to graphic arts service providers to help their customers design covers that are pleasant to look at, yet retain all Wire-O advantages.

Job Planning
When you experience mechanical binding problems, poor cover planning is often at the root of the problem. Before beginning production on any Wire-O cover, carefully plan your entire job. For example, if you're working on a semi?concealed book, make a bulking dummy, choose the right Wire-O size and finalize height and width dimensions before laying out your cover. Unless you have complete job information first, you run a significant risk of making a very expensive production mistake.

If split-back Wire-O pages are printed in signature form, production usually begins in a remarkably similar way to perfect binding. The signatures need to be folded. All forms must be gathered, glued (only a skim coat of glue is applied) and three-knife trimmed on a perfect binder. At this point manufacturing processes diverge. The fourth side of the book blocks must be trimmed off. Finally, the collated stack of loose sheets is punched and individual books are Wire-O bound. (See table below.)

Semi-Concealed Wire-O Cover Planning Process

DETERMINE 3:1 WIRE-O SIZES 2:1 WIRE-O SIZES
1) Wire Size For book blocks thinner than 1/2", take your book block thickness, add 1/8" and round to the nearest 1/16". For book blocks 1/2" to 7/8" thick, add 1/8" to bulk and round up to nearest 1/8".

2) Spine Width Subtract 1/16" from the wire size.

Same as 3:1
3) Cover Width +
    1/16" Overhang

Text page width, add Wire-O size, subtract 1/8". Same as 3:1, except subtract 3/16".
4) Cover Score
    Placement

Place punching score 5/16" from the nearest spine score. Same, but punching score is 1/2" away

If your project has a low page count, small quantity, or uses variably-sized leaves, different stocks, foldouts, die cuts, tabs, or bind-ins, consider a second Wire-O manufacturing method. In cases such as these, consider cutting sheets to final size and collating them on a single sheet-style collating machine prior to punching and binding. The best way to start is by involving your bindery professional early in the job planning process so you make all the right decisions and get the details right.

Scoring your covers properly is another detail that needs to be considered. Semi-concealed covers should be scored in opposing directions. Non-glued, fully-concealed six-page covers (see graphics at right) need all scores going the same way. However, if the back two panels are glued together - basically turning your cover into a four pager - an opposing fourth score now is necessary.

Fully concealed covers are more expensive than semi-concealed because they require more paper and slow down turnaround times. Longer six-page forms are more difficult to handle and frequently need to be hand punched because of their length. In contrast, fourpage, semi-concealed covers usually can be automatically punched, as long as the cover is thin enough. One advantage of leaving fully-concealed covers unglued is that extra cover copy is available for easy reference or high priced advertising.

When outsourcing your next Wire-O project, choose a post press services company with a variety of production methods at its disposal. Some desirable options are:

  • Signature gathering and gluing/single sheet collating.
  • Automatic punching/manual punching
  • Automatic wire insertion/manual wire insertion
  • Shaped closing tools/flat closing tools
  • Alternative binding methods (i.e. plastic spiral, perfect binding, saddle stitching, etc.)

    With options comes flexibility. If your bindery partner has multiple manufacturing methods available at their fingertips, you stand a better chance of getting precisely the right solution for your projects.




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