The binder: How it’s made

Document binder file folders stack in shelves

A binder is a stationery essential. The most popular binders are made from cardboard parts sealed in a specific substrate (the industry word for material) like vinyl, in either A5, A4 or A3 size with either two, three or four rings.

Today, binders can be casemade, encapsulated, made from leather or custom branded. To understand the potential of a binder and the best material to select, let’s take a detailed look at the binder and how it’s made.

Before the preparation starts

Before starting the manufacturing process of a binder, you will need to decide what you will use it for, as this will define the material, ring mechanism and size of the binder.

All these factors, plus the customisation and branding requirements, will influence how we will assemble the binder.

Book binder working in a workshop

Preparing the binding materials

A binder starts as a single piece of cardboard. We program our machines to cut the individual parts from the single sheet that we will then assemble into a binder with an outer material.

Once we cut the raw pieces of board, we begin the customisation of the binder. The outer binding material can be custom branded and made from PVC, vinyl, leather or other custom casebound materials. This stage is also where we make the bespoke pockets and sleeves as per the customer’s specifications.

Book binder working in a warehouse

Binder assembly

Once we have cut and prepped all the components, it’s time for assembly.

We assemble each customised binder using a bespoke template marked and laid out on an assembly table or machine bench. This process requires meticulous accuracy as errors during this preparation will make an entire manufacturing run unusable.

Once we have assembled all the components and have creased them for easy bending, it’s time to turn up the heat. The heating process bonds the external material with the cardboard framework. We remove excess materials and move the binder to ring assembly.

Vintage wooden ring binder

Put a ring on it

Binders are available in two, three or four rings. These come in polished metal, gold or powder coated in black. The ring selection will be based on the intended use of the binder. Two and four-ring binders are most common and the rings are either round, D-shaped or arch lever. We attach round ring mechanisms on the inside of the binder, whereas we rivet D-shaped and arch levers to the outside of the binder.

Depending on the selection, we punch the binder and attach its ring mechanism.

Your custom binder check list

We’ve put together some questions to ask yourself when choosing a custom binder:

  • What will you use the custom binder for?
  • Will it be in an office setting/conference/hotel/ restaurant/workshop?
  • Who will be using the binder?
  • Will it get dirty?
  • Where will you be storing it? In a bookshelf in an office? On a table in a hotel room? In a hot factory?
  • How many pages will it need to accommodate? This will determine the size of the metals and the spine.
  • What sort of graphics are you looking for?
  • Are you looking for detailed print or simple logos?
  • What is the budget?
  • What is the quantity needed?
  • Do you want your binder to embody a certain idea, feeling or quality?

Have more questions? Then contact one of our custom branding experts to help you.

Read more custom-branded product articles.

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