5 Signs That It’s Time for a Print Assessment

Print Assessment

Print assessment benefits

Most organizations already understand that print assessments are extremely beneficial when shopping for a new office technology vendor; print assessments provide insights into your current workflows and help optimize your print fleet. Unfortunately, many organizations only perform a print assessment when they are considering changing print vendors. This misses one of the greatest print assessment opportunities: continued optimization and cost savings. So, when should you revisit your office technology with a print assessment? Here are five signs that it’s time for a print assessment.

You haven’t been tracking device usage

If you’re in this boat, you will want to conduct a print assessment soon. If you don’t know how much you’re spending on printing, then you don’t know if you’re spending too much.

You have been with the same office technology for longer than you can remember

Even if you aren’t looking to change vendors, a fresh set of eyes can also offer additional perspectives and insights into new printing trends or cost-saving ideas. Even if you’re just revisiting strategies with your current vendor, a print assessment can help you strategize for the future.

You are outsourcing print jobs

Plenty of companies outsource large and/or color print jobs because it just isn’t cost-effective for them to invest in a high-quality color printer. We recognized this and developed our overflow copy center for companies that weren’t ready to bring that production in-house. However, what originally prevented you from investing in a high-quality color printer may not be applicable anymore. In fact, it may even be cheaper to bring some of those print jobs in-house now! Color costs have decreased dramatically and if your organization has grown in size or profitability, then an in-house device may make more sense.

Your IT Department has changed

Whether it’s a change in leadership or a department restructure, a change in your IT Department is a good indicator that is time to audit your print fleet. Doing so ensures your revised IT Department is familiar with your fleet and it allows fresh eyes to have an opportunity to examine your fleet for inefficiencies.

Your office is overflowing with paper documents

A print technology assessment isn’t all about the equipment. Our office technology experts also analyze workflows to simplify document storage. We provide solutions like OCR capabilities and document scanning technology to help your office thrive in today’s digital world.

Ready for your free print assessment? Fill out our office technology assessment form or call us at (612) 861-4000.

Three Levels of Print Software

Three Levels of Print Software

Whether it’s a simple analysis of current waste or improved document security, every organization can benefit from print software in some manner. However, with so many software solutions on the market, it’s often difficult to decipher which one is the best for your office.

We find that when you divide software solutions into three general categories based on functionality, it becomes much easier to narrow down your options. When you think of print software in this way, you’ll be in a better position to gauge whether or not a proposed solution will meet your needs.

Level One: Analysis

The first level of print management is all about measuring your current costs and production needs. No matter what your end goal, this is an important first step for any organization. While everyone wants to cut printing costs, a surprising number of businesses don’t even know how much of their budget is currently going towards print expenditures. Investing in print software solves this problem by providing the tools necessary to measure your current production and usage. With these analysis tools, you’ll be able to determine your overall print volume, optimize in-office device placement and even discern how many machines your building requires. How do you know if you’re ready for a level one software option? Consider the following three questions:

  1. Do you know how much you’re spending on printing?
  2. What’s your print volume?
  3. Are your printers being overworked or overused?

Level Two: Basic Tracking and Automation

An initial audit is a great place to start, but you’ll want to track your printing long-term if you’re really serious about slashing costs. Additional software features can be used to improve client billing procedures, restrict color printing permissions and even enforce duplex printing. In doing so, these solutions create a culture of continuous improvement and cost reduction.

Another useful facet of this level is process automation. Print software can help streamline your workflows by providing automated meter readings, service call notifications, supply alerts and remote adjustments. These capabilities save you time, prevent inopportune supply outages and keep your office running at peak efficiency. To determine if you require level two features, consider the following questions:

  1. Does your office spend a lot printing unneeded color documents?
  2. Are your employees using duplex printing or other cost-saving options whenever possible?
  3. Are you having trouble tracking your printing costs or maintaining supplies?
  4. How much print downtime can you afford?

Level Three: Advanced Features

The solutions outlined above provide a lot of general functionality that any business can benefit from. However, certain institutions have unique workflow needs that require specialized solutions. For example, healthcare facilities and human resource departments deal extensively in confidential documents. As a result, they require a software solution that will keep their documents secure. Law firms, meanwhile, need e-discovery functionality to manage evidence and court files. Here are some common advanced elements to consider when shopping for print software.

Improved Security

Confidential information is increasingly under siege. Organizations today have to strike a delicate balance between increasing digital workflows and maintaining document security. If you’re handling confidential employee files or patient charts, then you also have an obligation to keep those files secure. One way this can be achieved is through secure print release functionality. This feature allows you to print your document and then pick it up at any office device by authenticating your user credentials. Requiring you to be at the machine before your job prints ensures your confidential information won’t end up in the wrong hands.

Document Management

From lost files to mishandled documents, paper files can really drag down your business productivity. Print management software alleviates this problem by adding digital document management to your arsenal. Tools like optical character recognition will allow you to convert old files into secure digital documents. These editable files can help improve workplace collaboration, streamline the document search process and keep your information secure.

Cloud & Mobile Print

Today’s workforce is constantly on the move. How well is your print fleet keeping up? With employees increasingly working from mobile devices like tablets, phones and laptops, it’s imperative that companies have the ability to print from any device. Mobile print is a simple solution that allows users to print from their devices without complex network setups and workarounds.

Cloud print, meanwhile, enables printing from a number of Cloud-based applications, such as Office 365, Google Drive, or DropBox. It also comes with standard Cloud scanning, which allows your employees or students to quickly scan your paper files directly into Cloud applications. This function is especially beneficial for educational institutions looking to integrate learning tools like Blackboard into their daily processes.

Some questions to consider:

  1. Are you consistently printing lots of confidential documents like employee files?
  2. Do you have physical documents you’d like to store digitally?
  3. Is mobile printing important to your business?
  4. Do you create a lot of editable PDFs?
  5. Are you intensively using Cloud applications like DropBox, Blackboard or Office 365?
  6. Are you in the legal, healthcare, education fields?
  7. Do you currently have a way for employees to print from mobile devices?


Picking the right software package for your business doesn’t have to be a confusing endeavor. When you know what you need to achieve with your software, the process will suddenly become a lot less complex.

It’s also important to note that a lot of print solutions, such as PaperCut and Ricoh’s Integrated Cloud Environment, provide capabilities that straddles all three of the levels mentioned above. These software packages will allow you to monitor your fleet and access some of the advanced features outlined above without investing in multiple solutions. If, however, you are looking for specialized features like Bates stamping, a more narrow solution, like Nuance eCopy, might be a better match for what you’re trying to achieve.

In the end, these three categories provide a good baseline to start your search. Once you have considered what sort of features you’ll need, we recommend discussing what available solutions will best help you achieve your goals. As always, our office technology experts are ready to help you find the ideal solution and can be reached at 612-861-4000 or by filling our contact form.


4 Powerful Solutions to Common Small Business Problems

common small business problems

Running a Small Business Office Isn’t Easy!

When you’re small business, there’s little room for error; every lost second has the potential to negatively impact your bottom line. It’s a lot of pressure and printing issues definitely don’t make things any easier.

As a small local business ourselves, we appreciate the unique challenges that these organizations face. In fact, we’ve used our experience to develop an approach to office technology specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller organizations.

After forty years of selling copiers, printers and managed print services, we noticed that many of our small business customers were experiencing some common issues. It’s this realization that prompted us to compile the following list of four common small business obstacles and their innovative office technology solutions.

Problem: Overwhelmed by Paper Files

If you’re in a small office, then you know that storage space is at a premium. Thus, as your business expands, and you accumulate more files/documents, you’ll quickly realize how restrictive cabinets full of records can become.

Furthermore, what happens if you lose an important client file or record? In an instant your stress level could skyrocket through the roof. Whether it’s a lack of space for new files, the cost of filing cabinets or the difficulties of working collaboratively, we can all agree that paper filing systems are a mess.

The Solution: Document Scanning

There is, however, a solution to your filing cabinet woes. A document scanning service makes your life easier by converting your old paper files into responsive digital documents through OCR technology. By using metadata to make these newly editable electronic files easy to search, this quickly turns into a competitive advantage.

But what happens if you need to continue to create new paper documents? Won’t your files just pile up again? Well, there’s a solution to this problem as well!

Many local document scanning companies also offer day-forward scanning. Basically, this is a long-term partnership between you and your document scanning service provider. Together you’ll specify periods of time after which the scanning partner will digitize your newly created physical records. Thus, you can keep creating your physical document and just add them to your electronic archive as you go. To learn more, visit our document scanning page.

Problem: Prying Eyes

Using a networked office printer can be a real hassle if you work in an organization that requires you print confidential or sensitive information. In healthcare and government, for example, keeping information secure isn’t merely optional, it’s usually the law.

Furthermore, company HR specialists worry about printing employee information to shared network devices. So what do you do if you want to secure your sensitive print jobs?

The Solution: Secure Print Solutions

These concerns can be mitigated through a variety of secure printing options. For example, software solutions, such as Streamline, can be outfitted to include keycard or pin authorization.

Your office technology dealer can also augment your print fleet with a number of small local office printers. Strategically placing these devices near employees with secure printing needs is an easy way to keep that important information safe.

Problem: Equipment Downtime

Eliminating equipment downtime is of tremendous importance for small businesses. Often these organizations rely on one copier/printer and if it goes down, they lose all of their print capabilities.

Unfortunately, some of the larger equipment service companies don’t understand the dire consequences of this occurrence. As a result, they take their time servicing this equipment or don’t perform adequate preventative maintenance. This results in small business customers finding themselves stuck without their devices at the most inopportune moments.

The Solution: Single-line Service Provider

The good news, however, is that you can avoid this problem by carefully choosing your service company. The key is to really emphasize quality equipment service when choosing to lease a new copier or printer.

Your first point of comparison should be the guaranteed response time. The industry standard service call response time is four hours, but companies with excellent service keep that time down to three business hours.

Also take the time to research what sort of preventative service your company provides. Many companies will service your machine when it breaks, but fail to perform any preventative maintenance. While this solves the immediate problem, it does doesn’t prevent future problems from occurring.

When comparing service departments, ask about the company’s commitment to preventative maintenance. At Metro Sales, for example, our technicians clean our customer’s machines and perform a thorough device audit with every major service call. We call this our Total Call Guarantee. If the company selling you a copier maintenance contract is worth their salt, they’ll have something similar.

Problem: Printing Costs are too High

This issue is especially problematic because most companies don’t even realize that they’re spending too much on printing. Whether it’s unnecessary project outsourcing, the wrong fleet size or just wasteful practices, there’s probably something eating away at your bottom line.

The Solution: Free Cost Analysis

So how do you discover where you’re losing money? After all, you’re already strapped for time and monitoring who’s printing what takes more time away from your core business.

The solution is a free office assessment from an experienced technology expert. These comprehensive evaluations look at your entire print strategy from top to bottom. The expert will monitor your current device usage, workflows and current outsourcing costs.

With this data in hand, they’ll be able to develop a customized proposal to meet your printing needs and minimize excess expenses. Often this includes upgrading your devices, adding additional machines or reducing your need to outsource to commercial printers.

You can even install managed print software to track your long-term costs and device usage, making budgeting your future expenses even easier.

Are you a small business looking to increase your office productivity and profitability? We’d love to hear from you! Contact our team and let us know about your unique printing needs. You can reach our technology consultants at 612-861-4000 or by filling out our information form. We look forward to hearing from you!

What is managed print services?

what is managed print services?

This is part one of our new managed print services blog series. Stay tuned as we answer questions about MPS, its benefits and some common MPS software solutions.

Whether you’ve heard of managed print services (MPS) before or are just learning about it for the first time, we promise our new MPS series will have something for you. In this introductory article we’ll define what managed print services are, their benefits and how you can get started with one.

What is managed print services?

Managed print services is a program designed to monitor and optimize your office’s printing environment. It accomplishes this through analysis of your current equipment, gathering information about your company’s needs and providing comprehensive strategies to improve overall efficiency.

Managed print services take a long-term approach by continuously monitoring your devices and their use. In doing so, your MPS provider maximizes productivity by taking control of your printing environment. They accomplish this by performing tasks like automatically delivering toner, providing routine maintenance and studying usage data. In short, having a managed print service means you’ll spend less time worrying about your printers and more time focused on your on core business.

Managed print services generally include:

  • Conducting an assessment of your current printing environment.
  • Monitoring and optimizing your devices.
  • Delivering supplies — like paper and toner — as needed.
  • Streamlining printer access.
  • Alerting you of potential issues and offering solutions.
  • Providing advanced data about equipment.
  • Training employees on equipment use.

To learn more about managed print, visit our MPS page.

Do I need a managed print service?

So now that you know what a managed print service is, how do you determine if you need one?
While almost every organization can benefit from print management, whether or not you need MPS is largely dependent on three factors:

1. Number of employees
2. Size of printer fleet
3. Document dependence

Organizations with a large number of employees and/or printers are most likely to see immediate substantial benefits from an MPS program. This is due to the difficulties these organizations often face trying to manage a large fleet and/or ensuring that their equipment is adequate enough to meet their staff’s needs. Both tasks are time-consuming and difficult to perform without imaging equipment expertise.

Additionally, organizations that work in document intensive fields, such as law firms and healthcare groups, are also more likely to benefit financially from MPS solutions. These organizations have extensive printing needs and downtime means lost profit. If you can’t afford downtime, managing your own equipment and supplies can be an unneeded headache that really could cost your business down the road.

At the very least, every institution can benefit from a managed print consultation. Most MPS providers will conduct one free of charge and it’s a great way to gain insight into your current printing environment. At the conclusion of a managed print study, the provider will present you with device usage data and strategies to reduce your printing expenses. Therefore, regardless of your industry, an MPS study is always worthwhile.

How much will a managed print service save me?

While the answer to this question depends on your organization’s unique situation, there are some general statistics that serve as a good baseline. A recent InfoTrends study found that organizations in the legal, healthcare and financial sectors slashed their printing costs by close to one-third. Here’s the breakdown by industry:

Legal – 41 percent.
Financial – 33 percent
Healthcare – 27 percent

How can I get started with MPS?

Alright, so you’ve decided to take the next step and start shopping for print management partner; what steps should you take to get started? The first step is to contact an MPS company to gain additional insight into your printing needs. If you were to contact Metro Sales, for example, we would perform a comprehensive print study of your organization. We would do so by installing non-invasive software to monitor your device usage and gain a better understanding of where your inefficiencies lie. From there, we’d recommend devices and strategies to help reduce printing costs and improve office productivity.

What should I look for when choosing a managed print services provider?

While cost is obviously important, you should also consider many other factors when choosing an MPS solutions provider. Remember, managed print is really a partnership between two organizations; you’re trusting the MPS company to monitor usage and keep your equipment running smoothly. As such, it’s paramount that you truly feel comfortable with your MPS partner.

To that effect, we recommend that you learn as much about the MPS company as possible. Ask for their relevant industry experience and industry specific references. In this way, you can get an accurate read on how well suited they are to deal with your sector’s unique demands.

Finally, consider any additional solutions you may wish to enact. Government organizations, for example, often desire secure printing solutions. Print quotas, meanwhile, are very popular among educators. Take some time to study some of the more common software options and make a list of the features you’d like to implement. This will definitely help streamline the shopping process.

Curious about what managed print services could do for your organization? We’re offering a free office technology consultation to help you find out. Request one today by calling us at 612-861-4000 or filling out our consultation form. Thanks for reading and we’re looking forward to helping you improve your office!

Have a question you’d like us to answer about MPS? Leave a comment below and we’ll gladly provide an answer.

What Are the Benefits of a Document Management System?

Document Management System

Thanks to modern technology, productivity has never been higher. Innovations like laptops, email and even social media have all contributed to heightened employee output. They’ve done so by increasing the speed at which employees can collaborate in a world that is now conducting more business globally. And while business usage of these advances has become almost universal, there is still one productivity tool that remains underutilized – document management systems.

Going paperless has become a cliché of sorts. A motto companies trot out when they want to sound modern or cutting edge. However, the statistics show that most companies are still relying on traditional document filing. Recent surveys show that only 18 percent of businesses have gone paperless.

An astounding 82 percent of businesses are still relying on a physical filing system to keep track of at least some of their vital records. While this practice has worked up until now, the companies that continue to lean on physical filing will face a severe disadvantage in the future global economy.

Telecommuting, global consultancies and lowered travel barriers all make the ability to collaborate critical for future business success. In order to thrive in this new environment it is important that businesses learn to adapt and become more flexible. That’s where an electronic document management system comes into play.

What is a document management system?

A document management system (DMS) is a modern approach to file storage that utilizes imaging technology to digitize and organize paper files. Documents and records are scanned onto a hard drive or cloud via backfile or day-forward scanning and converted responsive documents.

This is achieved by using a technology known as optical character recognition. This is the same technology that Project Gutenberg uses to digitize books. While these documents are not technically native digital files, they can be managed, organized, searched and edited in a similar way. A document management system, then, can be thought of like a robust and portable filing cabinet.

Why paper filing hurts your bottom line

At this point I’m sure many of you are thinking: Well document management systems sound nice, but my paper filing system isn’t really costing me anything. Going paperless or converting even some of my files would be way more expensive.

Unfortunately, recent studies indicate that your physical filing system may be costing you a lot. According to one recent industry examination, companies spend about 20 dollars to find a single misfiled document and around 120 dollars to recreate a record that has been lost. And chances are good that if you’ve lost one document, it probably isn’t the first or even the last. The same source estimates that the average company loses between 2 and 5 percent of their files on any given day. That’s a cost that can really add up when you’re talking about a larger organization.

And the costs aren’t just financial. Keeping paper records also costs companies in both time and employee productivity.

How physical documents hinder employee productivity

While keeping paper records is no doubt expensive financially, companies have to consider the effect on employee productivity as well. Consider the following statistics from Konica Minolta:

  • Employees spend 25 hours recreating misplaced documents each year.
  • 10 to 12 percent of documents are not found during an employee’s first search attempt.
  • The average employee will spend 400 hours looking for physical documents.
  • It takes 10 minutes to find, copy and re-file a document.
  • The average document is copied 19 times.

Wow, those are some pretty ugly numbers. And that’s before you consider the drag that keeping physical files places on employee productivity outside the office. Say, for example, you have an employee stuck at an airport, sick at home or working remotely. If you’re keeping only paper files, then your employees might be missing vital resources needed to perform their jobs.

How does document management help?

Alright, so traditional filing methods are ineffective, but how does a document management system fix it?

Search and accessibility

When our document scanning department converts physical records into digital formats, they use optical character recognition to ensure that the files are searchable and accessible for users. OCR technology allows files to be searched by characteristics such as name and keyword. Gone are the 400 employee hours dedicated to manually searching through filing cabinets!


OCR technology also transforms documents into responsive electronic files that can be edited from any authorized workstation. This means that employees can continue to work on and adjust these documents without taking paper documents from filing cabinets or out of the office. Significantly, this will help with employee productivity and minimize the risk of losing a document. This is especially beneficial for records that are used by multiple employees.

Increased employee collaboration

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”

– Steve Jobs

A DMS also increases employee collaboration. Instead of employees printing off multiple documents and comparing notes later, they can now simultaneously work with one shared file. This cuts down on the time and physical resources previously dedicated to making physical copies.

Bonus: Security

While not necessarily a solution to any of the problems we outlined above, a DMS is also a great way to increase the security of your files. A document management system encrypts data on a secure hard drive or cloud which makes your files difficult to steal.

Cloud storage is also an excellent way of safeguarding against potential disaster. For example, if a fire burns down your office, the documents will still be safe on the cloud.

Are you at risk?

70 percent of businesses would fail in three weeks if a disaster destroyed their records.

Take our free document risk assessment and find out

7 Essential Bind Styles To Make Your Presentations More Effective

Twin Loop Bind

Binding Matters

A couple of years ago I attended a conference where a speaker was giving an insightful, albeit complicated, keynote presentation. Due to the complexity of the subject matter, the presenter was obviously sensitive to the concern that she might overwhelm or confuse her audience. To mitigate this risk she decided to provide all conference participants with a beautiful saddle-stitched booklet. All the relevant information was included in outline form and the presenter even incorporated some colorful graphs and charts to assist the visual learners in the crowd.

It seemed like she had truly thought of everything. The information was clearly summarized in the durable little guide and it was a nice looking souvenir. To make the book look even more professional she had even placed her company name and logo right on the front cover.

As she wrapped up her speech, she revealed that there was an added bonus for those of us who had closely followed along. In the center of our booklets there was a blank diagram about the subject matter of her session. The first five of us to fill it out would receive a gift card to a popular local restaurant. Wow, I thought, what a great way to end a presentation! 

We all flipped to the middle of our books and began furiously marking up the chart. However, as we finished, I realized that there was a problem. While it was true that the book was beautiful and professional looking, the page that the diagram was on was attached to another page. Thus, to remove it, we’d have to destroy the booklet.

Admittedly, it was probably an entertaining scene for anyone watching. Around fifty conference goers delicately trying to pull that one page out of the book without taking the other half of the paper with it only to throw their hands up in frustration when the booklet fell apart anyway.

So What?

While admittedly innocuous, this story demonstrates an important point; bindery shouldn’t be just an afterthought. Imagine, that instead of a room of interested industry professionals, the crowd was packed with potential customers. The last thing you’d want is to do anything to frustrate them. 

And it happens all the time. Pitches, presentation and even portfolios have all been ruined by poor binding choice. The problem? If you’ve ever been locked in a competitive process to win a customer then you understand that you can’t afford to overlook any detail, no matter how small.

It is, however, easy to prevent this from occurring. That’s why we’ve created a brief binding cheat sheet below. Use this and you’ll never have to worry about choosing the wrong bind ever again. So read on and discover the seven essential bind styles you need to know.

Coil Bind

Coil Bind

You probably already interact with coil bound materials every day without even realizing it. This variation is used extensively for publications such as directories, brand strategy playbooks and even cookbooks. With such widespread use it’s not surprising that they are among the most recognizable styles discussed here.

The method of coil binding involves taking a single piece of plastic and winding it through several small holes punched into the printed pages. The coil is then cut and crimped on the edges to finish. The advantage to this method is that it creates a sturdy and flexible spine that allows pages to open freely.

Additionally, the coils can vary in length, thickness and color. This level of diversity makes coil binds perfect for odd sized materials and creative agencies. However, there are some trade offs to consider when looking at coil binds. While affordable, they obviously don’t have the same professional feel that a VeloBind or perfect bind might and aren’t nearly as permanent.

Recommended Uses

  • Brand playbooks
  • Directories
  • Manuals
  • Notebooks
  • Conference presentations
  • Creative marketing pitches

Perfect Bind

Perfect Bind

Have you ever thought about self-publishing a book? If so, this style is perfect for you. (You’re right, that pun wasn’t funny. I promise there won’t be any more.) Kidding aside, perfect binds look and function exactly like a paperback book.

During the binding process a flexible adhesive strip is used to attach a paper cover to the spine. The product is then pressed together and excess paper is trimmed off.

Sturdy and durable, perfect binds look and feel exactly like a paperback book. They’re easy to stack and have a distinctive professional quality. However, because they don’t lie flat when open and their pages cannot be easily removed, they shouldn’t be used for traditional presentations.

Recommended Uses

  • Self-published books
  • Telephone directories
  • Permanent training manuals
  • Internal corporate materials

Twin Loop

Wire Bind (Twin Loop Bind)

Trying to achieve a modern or futuristic feel? Say hello to the wire bind. Also known as a twin loop bind, this style is extremely popular with creative agencies and marketing firms. Wire binds utilize a “C” shape spine to hold their pages together. Documents slide onto the wire spine, which is clamped closed to keep them in place.

As a result, wire bound materials will lie completely flat when open and their pages can be rotated 360 degrees. These two features make them excellent choices for desktop calendars or content guides.

In addition to all of the advantages possessed by coil binds, twin loop binds also last slightly longer due to their extra support rings. While this makes the pages a bit harder to remove, it is definitely beneficial for agencies that want the affordability of a coil bind with a more polished aesthetic.

Recommended Uses

  • Calendars
  • Marketing presentations
  • Strategy guides
  • Corporate pitches



Professional, modern and elegant. These are the three adjectives that best describe the VeloBind style. The VeloBind system starts by punching a number of holes along the edge of a book. A strip of plastic with protruding comb like pieces of plastic is then placed on the top of the book. These comb-like protrusion (called tines) are inserted through the punched holes and another plastic strip that is placed on the back of the book. The work is then held together by a special machine while the extra tine length is trimmed and the tips are melted to seal the bind.

While VeloBinds can be removed, it is difficult to do so without proper equipment. Thus, we recommend VeloBinds for permanent hardcover materials such as legal document books. Additionally, while VeloBinds stack and store easily, they do not lie flat when open.

Recommended Uses

  • Financial Reports
  • Smaller Booklets
  • Legal Document Collections

Tape Bind

Tape Binding

A tape bind takes a hot cloth adhesive strip and wraps it around one side of the printed material. What’s beneficial about this technique is that it requires no hole punch and the finished product will lie flat as a result. This characteristic makes it easy to stack, mail or file. It’s definitely one of the more affordable ways to create a polished looking publication.

Recommended Uses

  • Training materials
  • Bulk conference materials
  • Workbooks
  • Anthologies

Saddle Stitch Booklet

Saddle-stitched Booklet

Saddle-stitched booklets are an affordable and versatile option for presentation or marketing materials. This method uses staples to hold pages together on their fold. However, the main drawbacks are that pages are not easy to remove (as I learned the hard way) and that the total number of pages that can be included is very limited. That being said, they are great for sleek promotional materials and guides.

Recommended Uses

  • Promotional material
  • Slim yearbooks
  • Event programs
  • Tiny booklets
  • Magazines
  • Brochures

Comb Bind

Comb Bind

The final major binding technique covered here is called comb binding. This method uses a round plastic spine with tiny rings that are inserted through pre-punched holes. Once the rings close the spine will rest against the document.

This method is advantageous because it can be used for various sizes and hardcover finishes. The true benefit, however, is that the spine can be reopened in the future to add or remove pages. Thus, it is a cost-effective solution for materials that will need to be updated over time. Like coil binds, the spine color can be customized to add a bit of pizzazz.

Recommended Uses

  • Workbooks
  • Employee handbooks
  • Constantly updated directories
  • Conference materials
  • Any commonly updated publisher
  • Reference materials

Now What?

Now that you have an overview of the more common binding styles, why not try one out on your next project? Our accomplished document services department is always ready to help and answer any questions that you may have. Just fill our free project quote form or give us a call at (612) 798-1362.

Looking for another service? Visit our binding services page to view a comprehensive list of our offerings.