How A Magazine Is Bound

In most cases, a magazine is typically bound with perfect binding. Many people don’t know what perfect binding is and they read magazines every day of their life. The process is rather amazing and it might be interesting to some. Some people don’t care where things come from, or how it is made, but perfect binding is pretty cool.

The first thing that has to happen before a magazine is bound is it has to be printed. Magazines are typically printed on huge sheets of paper and they are eventually folded down into things called signatures. A signature is basically a collection of pages that, when folded down, are in the proper order. There are several machines that do this specific folding process. The nice thing about this process is that it allows pages to be collated really quick and efficiently. As long as the pages are printed in the proper way, the folding process will allow the pages to be in the right order when they are cut down.

Fellowes Pulsar 300 Comb Binding Machine

The second part of the magazine binding process is the perfect binding process. In high end perfect binding machine, several thousand books can be bound an hour. There are various stations that are setup to hold the different signatures that I previously mentioned. The machine picks up a single signature from each station and puts them in the right order. Eventually the signatures are held together and ran over a grinder that roughs up the edge that is going to be bound. The edge is then run over a station with glue. After that, a cover is then applied and wrapped around the magazine. The final step in this process would be for the 3 edges, besides the binding edge, to be trimmed off. This is typically done with a 3 knife trimmer.

The above process is really interesting to see in person and the equipment used to do this is fairly amazing. The whole process is fairly streamlined so that many magazines can be produced in a short period of time. In the magazine world, this is necessary because the demand for high volumes can be really important.