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Bind Your Own Customized Yearbooks

For small and medium sized schools, creating a high quality customized yearbook can often be cost prohibitive. The large companies that specialize in creating yearbooks for schools are not set up to handle small runs of just a few hundred yearbooks. As a result, smaller schools either have to pay a huge premium for their yearbooks or do without. However, there is now a new option for creating yearbooks that is far more reasonable for small and medium sized high schools.

Instead of contracting with a large yearbook company, it is now possible for smaller schools to print and bind their own high quality custom yearbooks. In fact, there are several different binding systems that are available to help schools bind their own yearbooks. The two systems that are most commonly used for this application are Unibind, and Thermal Binding. All three of these binding systems allow you to create high quality hard cover year books in just minutes. Here is how…

1. The first step to binding a yearbook with any of these binding systems is to assemble and print the contents of your book. This means that your yearbook committee will need to work on assembling pictures and text, laying out the photographs in a design program and preparing to print the documents. Finally after everything has been laid out and proofed you are ready to print the contents of your book on your laser printer or high speed photocopier. You will probably want to use paper that is heavier than your standard 20lb bond and might even want to consider a glossy stock to give your books a more elegant appearance.

2. Now that you have your yearbook printed, the next step is to choose the correct size cover for your books. You can accomplish this by simply measuring the spine of your book and rounding up to the closest size. Choosing the right size of cover is very important for the functionality of your books. If you choose too large a cover there will be extra space in the spine and the bind will look sloppy. If you choose too small a cover the pages will not fit in the spine or the pages will not all come in contact with the glue and will fall out.

3. Now that you have printed the contents and selected the appropriate size of the cover, you will need to make some decisions about the look of your yearbook. A number of options are available for customizing the look of your year book cover. The cheapest option is to simply add a window to the front of the cover. However, most schools tend to opt for foil stamping on the cover. This allows schools to add a logo or a design element to the front of almost any color cover that they choose. Foil stamping can also be used on the spine of the document to imprint the year and the name of the school. For just a little bit more money than foil stamping, schools can opt for a four color process printed hard cover with fully customized artwork that is wrapped around the hard cover. This is a great option for schools but can take as long as 3 months for production.

4. Finally after your covers are customized and have arrived you are ready to bind them using your binding machine. Every binding system works a little bit different. However, the binding process for hard covers is pretty similar. Simply insert your pages into the hard cover, insert the hard cover into the machine and remove it after it has been heated. If you are binding with thermal binding you will need to put the cover into a special crimping device. Covers bound with Unibind do not require this extra step.

For most schools, the production of a single year’s yearbooks can pay for all of the equipment needed to do the binding and can cut the cost of yearbook production in more than half. Plus, it provides an opportunity for students to take ownership in the production of their yearbooks.

Submitted by:

Jeff McRitchie

Jeff McRitchie is the designer and Director of Marketing for MyBinding.com. He has written over 100 articles on binding machines, binding supplies laminating supplies,laminators, and more.




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