Saddle Stitching refers to a very popular book binding method in which folded sheets are gathered, one inside the other and then stapled through the fold line with wire staples.
A Perfect Bound book is when book pages are glued together at the spine. The cover is usually made from a thicker cardstock and laminated or coated to protect the book. These can be supplied as a soft cover or hard cover.
The name “perfect” binding comes from the cut of the pages. All pages, including the cover, are cut to be the same size and therefore line-up “perfectly”.
Perfect Bound vs. Saddle Stitch
Staples vs. Glue. Staple-bound books tend not to be as durable as perfect bound books.
Presentation. While a saddle stitch booklet is a more appropriate binding method for certain projects, a perfect bound book is an overall more professional presentation.
Page Count. Binding also determines page count. While perfect bound books allow for about 40 to 400 pages, saddle stitch booklets only allow for about 5 to 80.
Printing on the Spine. While you can add text and design to the spine of a perfect bound book, you cannot do so with a saddle stitch booklet.
Opening Ability. A saddle stitch booklet can lie fairly flat when you open it, however, a perfect bound book does not have this capability. For this reason, saddle stitch is preferable for books in which hands-free reading is important like cookbooks or instructions.
Page Creep. When a saddle stitch booklet is folded the innermost pages will stitch out further than the outermost pages. When the pages are trimmed the innermost pages will become shorter than the outermost pages. This is something to be aware of during the saddle stitch booklet design process. Perfect binding won’t have this issue.