What is a "Softcover"?
Softcovers are books or magazines having a spine
That is to say, the sheets are grouped, and instead of being bound with staples, they are glued or sewn by the left side and after that the cover is added. These sewn or glued pages, depending on the type of softcover, which we will discuss below, are commonly referred to as the spine. Therefore, a paperback is made up of 3 main elements: the inner pages block (or text block), the covers and the spine.
Unlike saddle-stitching, softcover books may be rather thick . Saddle stitched booklets are thinner, having no spine.
Being specialists in softcover magazine printing, we bring our customers the most common types of softcover available on the market. Softcover magazines can be bound in 3 different ways:
- Section sewn binding. The text block is sewn together with a sewing thread, and then the cover is glued to the spine.
- Perfect binding. In this type of binding the text block is bound by gluing the sheets with a special glue. Instead of using a thread, sheets are glued. Then the cover is roughened, glued and stuck to the text block.
- PUR binding. Very similar to perfect binding, but with an important difference: the kind of glue that is used. PUR glue is super strong, way more than the one used in conventional perfect binding.
In short, section-sewn will provide the best quality to your softcover magazines: it's the most resistant binding and undoubtely the one that provides the highest quality to the magazine's finish. But it is also the most expensive, so you should think it over before agreeing to use this type of binding.
Perfect binding is the cheapest method, but it is also the least resistant and provides the lowest quality.
But let's not forget PUR binding: PUR softcovers are almost as resistant as the sewn ones, it is still a glued binding, but as the glue is very resistant you will never have problems with detached sheets. And best of all, its price is relatively lower than that of sewn magazines, so this is the most cost-effective type of binding.