A tradition of excellence

February 2018

Multi Bookbinding now offers an efficient solution for recycling plastic spiral, through our division Spiraplast.

Our team has developed a way to incorporate almost 20% recycled PVC in our black wire formula.

Printers, copy centers, and binding workshops can now recycle their accumulated surplus plastic spiral with this ecological method, all while recouping a few dollars. To avoid shipping costs, just add your extra boxes of plastic spiral to any binding job sent to us.

November 2017

To support the pace required by the very long runs from rotary presses that supply material in rolls, Manutention Rive-Sud has proceeded with the installation of a Demag 98.4 foot overhead crane with two electric brackets.

This addition gives us greater efficiency and reduces the risk of workplace accidents linked to the handling of rolls that can weigh more than 100lbs, and is a step in the preparation for adding automatic section feeders in 2018.

June 2017

At the 35th Gutenberg Gala on June 1st, Multi Bookbinding was awarded a 2017 Gutenberg Technical Challenge Award in the Finishing category for our work on the production of a book for our client, Novagraf Marketing.

This prestigious award was not only the result of teamwork and a mastery of binding techniques, but was also due to a well-conceived design to begin with.

To see a video (available in French only) of the winning project, visit Gala Gutenberg 2017

Do you still produce books?

As soon as I mention that my company produces books, the reaction is almost always the same: “Printing is dead…” This perception is widespread in society and heavily perpetuated by the media. It’s comforting to say that we no longer need printed products, that everything is happening online. However, the reality is quite different, and the printing industry has positioned itself differently in our lives.

There are approximately 50,000 people working in the printing industry in Canada. While this number has decreased over the past 10 years due to numerous mergers and closures of less efficient print shops, it has stabilized. In fact, today’s printing facilities operate at an unimaginable speed compared to 15 or 20 years ago, significantly reducing prices, production lead times, and the required workforce.

For most people, printing is synonymous with newspapers, books, and business cards. However, since the turn of the century, we have witnessed the evolution and growing presence of printed products that we couldn’t have envisioned before the advent of the digital age: printed cans indicating beer temperature, custom entrance mats for businesses, full personalized storefronts, small-run color books down to a single copy, labels on virtually any product, highly specialized magazines targeting niche audiences, banners and customized items at every point of sale, high-quality printed patterns on clothing or fabrics, containers of various shapes and materials printed with colors and images, fully personalized statements and invoices, catalogs tailored to your shopping habits, not to mention 3D printing, and more.

Books are still very much present, despite what the media may suggest. The digital realm is here to stay, but it has stopped growing significantly in recent years. The negative environmental impact of printed books has also decreased as people increasingly understand that they are 100% recycled and 100% recyclable, which is far from the case with our electronic gadgets.

What matters now in printing is the relevance of the product. In the past, to reduce the unit cost of a product and make it affordable, it had to be printed in large quantities. This is no longer necessary. We print the right quantity at the right time and at the best cost, completely changing the game. Just think that back in the 1980s, color separation for an 8×10-inch photo could cost up to $200. Imagine the added cost to a Sears catalog. This step has been completely eliminated for many years, along with most other pre-press production steps.

In short, when I have more than 5 minutes to present my line of work, people better understand what the printing industry is like today. A visit to our facilities or those of a modern printer always creates the same impact. People are amazed by the technology of the machines, the cleanliness of the premises, and the quality of the finished products. We are far from the time when a pressman had one car for work and another for the weekends…

What remains is the need to communicate, and the printing industry plays this role just like the web, radio, television, and whatever else will be invented in the coming years!

January 2017

Multi Bookbinding continues its growth with the purchase of the assets of Spiraplast, a producer of high-quality PVC wire for spiral-binding. Founded in 1988 by André Primeau, Spiraplast has a fleet of equipment which includes a Deltaplast D45 extruder line and 4 spiral forming machines from Renz and Bomco.

All of this equipment has now been integrated into Multi Bookbinding’s 60,000 square-foot plant. Multi Bookbinding will be offering its new product to both its existing customers as well as to those of Spiraplast, consisting of renowned binderies, copy centers, printers, and professional offices.

“We’re proud with this addition to our services. There are only two other companies that produce spirals made from PVC particles. Binderies are always under pressure to deliver in record time. Vertical integration is one solution, plus we create new jobs in our versatile team of 60 employees”, states Yvon Sauvageau, president of Multi Bookbinding since 2008.

November 2016

Multi Bookbinding announces an investment in sustainable development with the installation of a stabilization system for our power factor.

This system will result in an annual reduction of 34,000 kWh and 2,000 kg of CO2 for Multi Bookbinding.

Adding this system is part of our company’s philosophy of increasing efficiency while reducing our ecological footprint.

June 2016

Our new CMC Heliomat automatic gluer, directly from Italy, uses cold adhesive to glue the insides of binders, game boards and displays. This durable glue guarantees maximum adhesion on all types of materials and increases the shelf life of the finished product.

This new acquisition has allowed us to increase our production speed to close to 400 pieces per hour, in order to support the growth of demand in this market niche. Due to the fibre optic detection system, position tolerances have been reduced down to 1/32″.

December 2014

The start-up of our case binding department for the production of binders and display stands for the sampling industry. This follows the acquisition of the assets of K.D. Bindery in June. Moved to our plant this department is equipped with high-performance CMC Italia machines ((HSV-70, Heliomat and Ariemat).

November 2015

To support the increased volume in the production of our three-ring binders, Multi Bookbinding has begun installation of a second unit for applying rivets.

Our new Arno 105 will double our production capability and will also, due to better control of piston pressure, increase our quality.

September 2015

On September 2, Multi Bookbinding held a tour of our facilities for our industry clients. We had the opportunity to welcome 10 clients for a very busy day.

Marquis Gagné, Transcontinental Québec, LithoChic, FL Chicoine Printing House, Imprimerie de la Rive Sud et Marquis Imprimeur were our distinguished guests on this occasion.

Why do print books and magazines remain popular?

It’s been over 10 years (since January 27, 2010) since the iPad was launched by Steve Jobs. This Apple device popularized the term “e-reade”.

Electronic readers existed well before the iPad, but Apple’s impact on this market was immediate. Although it wasn’t the best e-reader, Apple dominated this market segment.

The days seemed numbered for the book and magazine market… Yet, today, we find ourselves with a flourishing industry. Although sales volumes have decreased, they have not reached a point where this market segment is no longer profitable.

“The production costs of a book or magazine have significantly decreased over the past 20 years.”

As a bookbinder, we work with many printers specializing in publishing. There have been mergers in recent years and significant investments in new equipment. This is a clear sign that there is confidence in the stability, or even growth, of sales volumes!

The production costs of a book or magazine have significantly decreased over the past 20 years. There’s no more scanning, no more assembling negatives, no more hours of press setup, layout is more automated, and printing and binding speeds have more than tripled!

 “A printed book brings great credibility to the author compared to any blog”

Print runs have significantly decreased, but the number of titles is rapidly increasing. There’s a magazine for every niche and a book for every subject. In fact, a printed book brings great credibility to the author compared to any blog. To write a blog (as I’m currently doing!), there’s no financial risk because there’s no cost involved. However, a printed book requires an investment of time and money, which eliminates many rushed publications.

Even though production costs have significantly decreased, it remains an investment! The author of a book will be associated with that book for many years, which is not the case with ephemeral blogs.

And e-books?

They have a certain market share in the world of publishing, but it stagnates between 10 and 20% of publishers’ sales, or even less in terms of profitability. The e-book is an additional format for the dissemination of a book. Previously, there were hardcover and softcover versions, then the paperback version was added. Now, the tablet version and the audio version are shaking up the three formats.

Readers appreciate the tangible aspect of a printed book or magazine. They often mention the smell of the paper, the pleasure of flipping through the pages, the ease of sharing their favorite books, not to mention the ability to annotate margins, highlight passages, cut out articles, and fold corners of important pages. In short, the physical object is cherished.

There’s also the incomparable quality. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a magazine from the 1990s, you’ll notice a significant difference in terms of print quality, number of images, paper quality, and precision of binding. The progress is undeniable.

In conclusion, there’s also the environmental impact to consider. People now better understand that paper is a recycled and recyclable product made from wood, a renewable plant resource. Electronic gadgets, on the other hand, are not and continue to accumulate at an ever-faster pace of obsolescence.


April 2015

Increased control over our production environment has been obtained with the addition of a humidity regulating system, Carel, using German technology. It ensures that a level of 44% humidity is maintained during the cold season. This controlled humidity level eliminates static, reduces the movement of dust, and, above all, keeps the paper pliable and flat, leading to increased quality in our production and higher productivity.

March 2015

In order to showcase the addition of our new services (spiral binding, Wire-O binding, and sample-card production), Multi Bookbinding has re-done its website. We took the opportunity to review our content indexing and update the search engine optimization. A newly-added and very interesting section is our blog, where we will publish articles on a regular basis. Multi Bookbinding is now more than ever present on the web!

The 4 Binding Methods for Magazines and Books

Multi-Reliure introduces you to the four recognized methods for binding a volume using thermal binding. In this article, you will learn to differentiate them and recognize their particularities. This way, you’ll better understand thermal binding production, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

1. The classic method (Perfect binding)
Documents (volumes or magazines) are produced, assembled, and glued using a hot melt EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) adhesive. The preparation of the spine involves sawing 1/8 inch at the spine. This type of thermal binding is the most common in the industry.

The perforations in the middle are used only as an aid in folding.

The perforations in the middle are used only as an aid in folding.

The 0.125″ section that will be ground off during binding.

The 0.125″ section that will be ground off during binding.

− Offers a cost-effective production
− Allows for rapid production
− Ideal for magazines or fast-consumption type documents
− Presents a beautiful finished product for the cost (good value for money)

− More fragile at the spine and may be used for the most common productions, not requiring long-term consultations
− Limited lifespan
− Sensitive to thermal changes; the adhesive can reactivate or break in very cold or very hot temperatures

2. The notch binding method
Documents (volumes or magazines) are produced, assembled, and glued using a hot melt EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) adhesive without trimming at the spine. It involves a mechanical perforation of the assembled booklet at the back. This type of thermal binding is the industry’s second most common method.

Notched signature. There is no grind-off before binding.

Notched signature. There is no grind-off before binding.

It is more than a simple perforation; excess paper is removed to allow the glue to flow through.

It is more than a simple perforation; excess paper is removed to allow the glue to flow through.

− Very strong as a product
− Provides a better result than other methods when images span two pages (spreads) since there’s no need to compensate for sawing the booklet
− Requires less space on a press sheet, thus allowing the possibility to modify the paper format to optimize production
− Allows cost savings in printing if the paper is optimized. The production cost is the same as for the classic method

− Requires great precision during folding, as any variation will make the perforations visible
− Limited lifespan
− Sensitive to thermal changes; the adhesive can reactivate or break in very cold or very hot temperatures

3. The PUR adhesive (polyurethane glue) method
This thermal binding method has become very popular since 2005 and is widely used. This type of adhesive is really flexible and very strong. The binding is produced using the classic method but with this very powerful glue. PUR adhesive has revolutionized the binding and printing industry.

− Much more flexible and stronger than hot EVA glue
− Offers the same production speed as a classic thermal binding
− Uses a stable adhesive that cannot reactivate in heat or break in cold
− Ideal for glossy paper works bound with pages against the grain

− The cost is on average 5 to 10% higher than the classic method (regarding the binding cost, not the overall product cost)
−Requires a longer drying time
−Fragile during the first 24 hours after production in urgent cases (and God knows we often produce in a hurry!)

4. The Smyth Sewn method
This production method allows for the creation of high-quality works and is used for publications such as dictionaries, Bibles, product catalogs, and high-quality books. This bound product is significantly superior in all aspects. The documents are assembled without trimming at the spine. They are sewn mechanically using a thread, ensuring unparalleled lifespan and strength.

Bookblock sewn with nylon thread.

Book block sewn with nylon thread.

The thread is visible in the middle of the signature, and may also show the rise of the glue.

The thread is visible in the middle of the signature, and may also show the rise of the glue.

− Impossible to see pages detach from the volume
− Increased flexibility
− Stronger in all respects

− Requires a longer production time, as collating, assembling, and sewing are additional steps before thermal binding
− The cost for binding is about 50% higher than the classic method
− Sewing thread visible at the center of the booklets

Note: The cost of binding in the complete production of a document (volume, magazine, etc.) represents an average of 5% of the total cost of the retail price if ALL costs (design, printing, binding, transport, etc.) are included. Binding is an often overlooked element that, however, adds value and offers a superior product when well-chosen. Contact us for more information on the many advantages of our production methods. One of our specialists will help you make the best decision based on your real needs and budget.

Adapt your design for perfect binding!

Despite all the options available to enhance the flexibility of a work, including PUR adhesive, sewing, freehand binding (Layflat or Otabind), and respecting the grain direction, a work bound with adhesive (thermal binding) has certain constraints.

Too often, we see designs poorly adapted to the type of binding. Texts ending up 1/8 inch from the spine, Spreads (images or text flowing between two consecutive pages) with important details and titles in the joint, or folios 1/16 inch from the cut.

When a job is bound on a gluer, there may be dozens of signatures assembled at the same time. All these signatures (sections or booklets) have experienced some variation in folding and/or assembly. Certain adjustments must be made with a three-sided knife to avoid cutting into the folios or clearing the Spreads. When the design is well executed, these adjustments are not noticeable, but if the design leaves no room for maneuver, everyone can see it!

Make sure that the information in the center is not critical to prevent the reader from feeling the need to undo the binding to see the missing detail!

It is easy to see how the cover hides the first page of the volume. The gluing is generally 3/8 inch (9 mm).

It is preferable to keep a margin of about 0.75 inch (19 mm) for a comfortable consultation without constraints caused by the binding.

It is not advisable to put text that overlaps two pages. The compensation varies too much depending on the rise of the glue, the position of the pages in the volume, the type of glue, the type of paper, etc.

In some cases, a bad design can lead to incomprehensible words and force the reader to break the volume to read properly…

Do not hesitate to have your design validated by a binder specializing in thermal binding.

July 2014

Relocation of the mechanical binding (spiral binding and Wire-O binding) division from Alternative Bindery. After acquiring the assets of this business, we arranged space to accommodate a large fleet of equipment and specialized production team. The installation of a Bielomatik gives Multi Bookbinding a definite advantage in the production of Wire-O bound and metal spiral works, since this machine drills and inserts in a single step! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weQlEyaNVvc

April 2014

INVESTMENT. (St-Maurice Hebdo)

Multi Bookbinding has just completed two important transactions. The acquisition of K.D. Bindery and Alternative Bindery will not only consolidate the company in the binding industry, but also add ten employees to their staff.

“We have acquired the assets of two business, K.D. Bindery and Alternative Bindery. This is part of our revival plan,” explained Yvon Sauvageau, General Manager of Multi Bookbinding, when reached by Hebdo last week. These two acquisitions represent an investment amounting to $800,000.

Read more…

January 2014

Addition of an automatic jogger, the POLAR RA-4, on the POLAR 115, our main cutter. This automatic jogger prepares new material for the cutter while the operator is cutting sheets. The precise alignment of the material to be cut and the improved cutting accuracy lay the foundation for obtaining a high-quality uniform end-product. The air exhaust system improves the formation of lifts from the reams to be cut and gives perfect alignment on the press side-guide.

5 Tips for producing a quality book!

We know the creation of a book is the result of a lot of hard work. However, as bookbinders, we see that this hard work is often ruined by questionable choices at the design stage. Some simple basic good framework can change this, though. Here are five tips for producing a book within the rules of the art and make your book more attractive and enjoyable to read!


1- Choose the correct grain direction:

This is probably the most underestimated factor when choosing a printer. The customer requests a price (the best!) and then compares prices without ever suspecting (due to a lack of knowledge and good advice) that the grain direction of the pages has a major impact on the finished product. This is even more important when working with thicker paper. The grain direction of the paper affects the flexibility of a book. If you examine a book whose pages or cover have been printed on stock with the incorrect grain direction required for binding, you will find a very rigid product whose pages don’t want to stay open. The wrong grain direction can also cause the loosening of some pages in the book, causing them to fall out. This is an important consideration.

It is often more expensive to print books with the correct grain direction for binding, since the printer has to impose signatures of 12 pages instead of 16 pages, thus resulting in more plates and press set-ups. However, with the choice of tools at the disposal of printers today, it is often possible to print without breaking the budget. It is also equally possible to design the book in landscape format, which changes the orientation of the grain.


2- Choose the right type of binding:

  • Paperback Binding: very quick production and the least expensive, but limited to the number of pages that can be gathered and bound.
  • Perfect Binding: fast production, square spine ideal for visible placement of important library information, with the possibility of adding two-page inserts. Allows the binding of several hundred pages per volume, and there are different options for strength (PUR glue, hot glue, sewn sections.)
  • Case Binding: hard cover (between 50 – 120 points), high-quality appearance, often sewn, square or round spines, with endpapers. Offers many added-value options with the addition of leathers, textured materials, stamping and dust-jackets.
  • Spiral and Wire-O Binding: offers the option to mix several different types of stock within the same document, allows 180° opening, and the grain direction is less important. Several color choices of spiral and many types of spine formats (exposed, semi-exposed, and hidden). Slow production, requires more time and better schedule preparation to allow for busy periods and heavy workloads. Very useful for agendas./li>


3- Think about the graphic design elements

Avoid placing images in two-page spreads (cross-overs) with important details or elements in the middle of the spread. There isn’t a magical formula to ensure that the image will be perfectly seen without forcing open the binding and potentially breaking the spine. This can be even more disastrous with text spreading across two pages. In perfect binding, don’t forget to adjust the images on the inside front and inside back covers to compensate for the side glue, which can hide up to 0.5″ of the image.

Note: We suggest that you consult with your printer to get their recommendations in order to produce a final product that will meet your expectations.


4- Think about the durability required for the book

There are works which require superior durability due to their long shelf life or use (cookbooks, religious works, dictionaries, school books, catalogs, yearbooks, etc.). To ensure the durability of the book, there are three factors to consider – the grain direction, the type of glue (EVA or PUR) and sewing. Binding a sewn catalog can cost up to 40% more compared to a catalog produced with hot glue (EVA), but sewing is the only method which guarantees the durability of the binding. There isn’t any possibility of the pages coming loose, which can happen when using only glue. Before eliminating the option of sewing, ask yourself this question: how much does this 40% increase in binding cost actually represent in the total production of the work (including design, typesetting, photography, printing, distribution, etc.)? Is it worth it to invest this amount and thus have the assurance that the book will stand up to its specified use?

Of course!


5- Consider the time

Each type of binding requires a different production time. Once completion dates are set, they are difficult to move with a full production schedule. People think about the timelines needed to correct proofs and to print, but often underestimate the time needed for the chosen binding method. Certain types of bindings, such as case binding or mechanical binding (plastic spiral), require up to 8 – 10 working days for production. Errors in binding are very costly and have major consequences on the final product. You have to allow the necessary time and take into account the busy periods in the industry. We suggest you follow our blog to keep well informed on this subject!

Until next time!