Signature sewn vs. Side sewn books

When you start planning out your book, we recommend you take a moment to consider how it will be bound. The method of sewing you choose will affect how your reader experiences your book, but fear not! We're here to help you decide what the best option will be for your design. The two main methods of sewing are "signature" and "side".

Signature Sewn

Side Sewn

When a book is said to be side sewn, it is implied that the text block does not consist of individual signatures, but that all of the individual pages are sewn through at once along the binding edge. Side sewn books are simpler to prepare than signature-sewn books, but they do not open completely flat and you can expect to lose some of your page in the gutter. We sew 3/16” from the binding edge, so you will lose between 1/4" and 3/8” in the gutter, depending on the drape of your paper. Artwork or text may need to be spaced appropriately so it can remain visible. It is important that the grain direction of the paper runs parallel to the spine for greatest paper flexibility.


Please Read!

Here's a PDF version of The Key's handy informational handout.

Inside you will find helpful tips and guidelines on the book making process.

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For further information, please contact us via phone or email.