3 Reasons We are Obsessed with Smyth Binding

You might not have realized it, but you have already seen ample Smyth-bound books. If you have ever met a hardcover book (read: “case bound” book) of any sort, you have met Smyth binding.

Talk about the past meeting the future!
A hardcover book project might not be in your future, but don’t dismiss this very trendy binding technique. While David Smyth invented it back in 1879, cutting-edge designers and brands today (yes, even Facebook) are rediscovering Smyth binding, often using a “deconstructed” (dare I say “naked”) form of it.

Why you will love Smyth Binding

1. Made to last
Smyth sewing (Smyth bound) is synonymous with quality and durability. Smyth-sewn books are durable, made to be handled a lot, and also lay open flat. Think textbooks, cookbooks, art books, Facebook’s employee handbook …

2. From small to super large page counts
The binding is done through the spine of a printed sheet (signature) so you need a minimum of 8 pages to create some sense of “spine,” but beyond that, the sky is the limit. As each signature is sewn first into itself and then to the next signature, your book can rival any “War and Peace” size novel.

3. Smyth binding is sexy (and trending)
While this binding form was originally intended to be inserted into a hard case (for protection and to create books), the latest trend is to show off the thread that binds the pages together and even use the thread color or colors as a design element.

But there are some disadvantages to Smyth binding and rules you should never, ever break. (Though some have still broken them and lived to tell the tale, creating truly inspiring examples of Smyth binding…)

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While fabulous, Smyth binding is just the tip of the print design iceberg?

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