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Saddle Stitch Booklets

Kyle Irwin

What is a Saddle Stitch Booklet?

Image of Printworks branded saddle stitch booklet.

Saddle stitch binding is a fast, professional looking booklet binding process that is used from instruction manuals, to theatre event programs. The beauty of saddle stitch booklets is that binding takes only a few seconds to produce high quality, affordable booklets.

Saddle stitch booklets are perfect for anyone looking for a binding option that is more attractive than wire spiral or plastic comb binding, while still being affordable. Similarly, saddle stitch is much more affordable than perfect binding, and much faster to produce. While there are plenty of applications for other binding options, saddle stitch binding remains the go-to binding solution for affordable booklet printing.

So what exactly is saddle stitch binding? Imagine you have five sheets of regular old white computer paper (8.5 x 11). By taking these five sheets of paper, folding them in half (hamburger-style), and stapling the sheets together at the spine, you’ve created a saddle stitch booklet (albeit, a sad blank one).

Image collage depicting how a saddle stitch booklet is made.

Imagine again that you now only have one sheet of paper. By folding it in half, you have a front cover (page 1), two inside pages (page 2 and 3), as well as the back cover (page 4). This means that each sheet of paper equals 4 pages. In our original example, our booklet had five folded sheets, which results in a 20 page booklet.

This being said, one limitation of saddle stitch binding is that your page count must always be in multiples of 4, otherwise your booklet will have blank pages. For instance, if you design 21 pages, your saddle stitch booklet would require six folded sheets, resulting in a 24 page booklet, with three blank pages. To remedy this, one can either omit one page, resulting in a full 20 page booklet, or come up with three additional pages to fill out a 24 page booklet. Easy!

Check out our deep dive on how to design for saddle stitch printing to learn more!