REQUEST:

Writing a RFP or RFQ for Custom 3-ring Binders? Here is a little help.

This is a guest post by Lori Owens

Sometimes you need a little help writing a Custom Binder RFP/RFQ

Writing an RFP (Request For Proposal) or an RFQ (Request for Quote) for custom printed 3-ring binders (or finding a binder option for that variable data) can be a tough undertaking. There are a lot of variables involved, from the purpose of the binder, the artwork, the size, and even the material.

Whether you are looking for a customized printed 3-ring binder or a binder that allows you to print your own labels to provide that variable data for your binder project look no farther – Corporate Image and Naked Binder can help with your needs.

What do you need to specify for your binder RFP or RFQ?

There are some basic things to consider right off. How the binder is being used will be key.  How much information is being put in, how it will be used and how it needs to represent your brand are the basic questions.

What Size Custom 3-ring Binder Do We Need?

The two key things to know here are what size paper are you putting in the binder and how much.

Is the paper US standard, half sheet or A4?  If you are in the US or Canada, generally it will be 8.5″ x 11″ paper.  If not, the chances are your binder will hold A4.

The next measurement to look for is capacity. For a custom manufacturer binder size is actually a measurement of ring capacity, and not the width of the spine of the binder.

In order to determine ring size in reviewing responses to your RFP, we have provided a quick overview of what ring size would be appropriate for your custom binder application, the table below is based on the number of sheets of 20# bond paper. As you can see D-ring binders hold more paper than Round ring binders.  If you have a larger ring size and are using tab dividers, a D-ring also holds the paper flatter on the insuring your tabs are visible.

sizing a 3-ring binder - Corporate Image

What are Our Priorities in this Custom 3-ring Binder RFP/RFQ?

Before we can quote a binder, you need to decide the look and feel of your binder. (See a gallery of 3-ring binder styles here!) How you are using it and what art and finish you want will determine whether it is a lined and cased binder or paperboard binder, or whether it will print digitally or offset.

Look and Feel of the binder – how it is used – how it fits with your brand

custom printed portfolio binder - Corporate Image

Binder Options (options list here)

  • Does your binder need to be printed in full color? Spot UV? Labels? Foil? Cloth?
  • Is a Glossy or Matte finish important?
  • Do you need variable data?
  • Does your binder need to be recyclable?

Durability

  • What specifically is the use of the binder?
  • How often are the contents likely to be referenced?
  • How long does the custom ring binder have to last?

Quantity

  • What is the likely initial order quantity?
  • How frequently would you anticipate reordering, or is this a one time project?

Budget

  • Has a budget been set for the project?

 

Production Time, Methods, and Preferences

Another key consideration you should outline in your RFP is your anticipated project date, and whether or not the “required by” date is firm. We would specify if the request is doable right away. If the required by date is flexible (or far enough out), it allows us to consider all possible options in meeting your request, and maximizing your budget.

Corporate Image and Naked Binder’s manufacturing plant is located in Des Moines, IA, we are happy to say our binders are made in the USA. This allows for a quick turnaround time and also knowing shipping costs would be less than importing binders.

Outlining these preferences in your RFP/RFQ is helpful in generating an accurate response and enabling us to find the most effective solution for your custom binder project.

How Flexible Are Your Custom Binder Specifications?
How to Spec a RFP Binder - Corporate ImageDepending on your budget for the project, it may be possible for us to meet all of your expectations and requirements and we can determine this for you right up front. There are also options that you may not have thought of which can add value to your binders while also saving you money.

These options might include ring size, type of paper, turned-edge, flush cut, bare board binder, or paperboard binders, finishes, D-ring, slant D-ring or round ring, artwork… any one of a number of variables. By indicating which specifications may be able to be modified in order to make your project work, this will provide us with the information needed in order to make a proper and accurate response.

Custom Binder Warehousing, Drop Shipping, and Fulfillment

It is important to include information in your RFP about the implementation of your binder program.

Will your binder program require drop shipping to multiple locations, either at the start of the program or throughout the year?

If you’re drop shipping, will it be “blind drop shipping” or white labeling?

Need More Help with Your Custom Binder RFP or RFQ?

Have Questions? We’re always willing to help. Please feel free to contact your sales consultant and let us help understand your project and provide the best possible solution for your binder project. We look forward to working with you! Contact us and let us give you a hand!

 


Hole Placement for 3-Ring Binders – a handy guide.

We will get calls from people asking what the hole placement is for various rings in binder – from A4 to notebook sized binders.

Until know, we didn’t have a great visual that explain it. Then we found this chart which offers an instant reference for 12 different binder ring configurations. Most of you probably don’t get as excited as we do about these things, but there it is.  We were psyched.

Find your binder ring size and the space between the rings is listed on the right:

Common 3-ring binder hole patterns and measurements

Example:

I have a half sheet notebook binder, and need to punch paper for it.  I thumb down until I find “US 3 rings for 51/2 x 81/2″ paper.

There are 3-rings and it says “(2x 2 3/4″)”. This means there are two spaces, 2-3/4″ wide.  Since it is a 3 ring set up, set up the middle ring in the center and the other two rings 2-3/4″ our from that and – voilá! –  perfectly spaced rings.

The perfect guide for hole placement in 3-ring binders.  Carry your copy with you always!

 

 


Digitally printed short run binders that will knock your socks off!

If you need custom 3-ring binders for a conference, meeting or proposal, you know that most of the options out there are slim pickings.  Perhaps you could get away with a screened vinyl binder if you had to, but does it really represent your company well?

Now you have an option that not only gives you the quality of image, but the quality of construction that shows the attention to detail and craftsmanship that you put into every aspect of your company.

short run custom printed 3-ring binders - Corporate Image

Custom Digital Binder stats and information:

  • Available in quantities from 50-350
  • Full color digital printing on cover (the whole outside of the binder)
  • Black or white liner ( the inside of the binder)
  • Ring sizes: 3/4″, 1″, 1.5″ and 2″ d-rings
  • Natural matte lamination
  • These binders are 100% recyclable
  • strong construction
  • Made with 100% FSC certified recycled post consumer waste board

The Corporate Image digital binder combines all of quality we are known for with the lower quantities you sometimes need. Call today to get samples or more information!

 


Short Run Custom 3-ring Binders – The Best 3-ring Binders at 50+!

Corporate Image is pleased and excited to announce our

all new digital printed 3-ring binders!

Now you can have all the quality, craftsmanship and recyclability but in smaller quantities.

short run custom printed 3-ring binders - Corporate Image

3 Ring Binder Specifications

Fully Cased and lined

Ring Sizes: 3/4″, 1″, 1.5″ and 2″ D-rings

Art Possibilities

Cover: Full coverage, full color

Liner: Choice of white or Black liner

Digitally Printed

Square Spines

Natural Matte lamination

Available in quantities from 50+

Ship 7-10 days from art approval.

 

Don’t forget, Digital Tab Dividers are also available!

 

Full new custom 3-ring binder FAQ page here

 


Do I need a pocket folder, a presentation binder or a 3-ring binder?

How do you decide between a pocket folder, presentation binder or a 3-ring binder?

First off I am going to assume that you know what each of these items are.  (if not, scoot down to the bottom of the post – just don’t tell anyone)

Time to talk to yourself.  If you can answer these questions, it will make your choice easier:

  1. How much paper needs to be put into my presentation?
  2. Are there a lot of variable sheets that get used a lot?
  3. Do I need the paper to be secured (i.e. not fall out ever)?
  4. How long does the marketing material need to last?
  5. Is this resource heavily used?
  6. Do I need shelf presence (does it need make itself known on a bookshelf)?

Get a 3-ring Binder -

if over 220 sheets of paper, it needs to last and or is heavily used.

The more paper you need to use and the more heavily used your information is, I would suggest a 3-ring binder.  The heavier board means it will stand up to abuse better and keep looking great. And also, the weight of all that paper risks pulling a rivet out of a presentation binder.

These are great for proposals – especially in Engineering and Construction – interior design, sample kits, car companies, and a lot of other uses.  Also ideal for conferences and important meetings. Added bonus of branding for quality, sturdiness and design possibilities.

Get a Presentation Binder -

if under 220 sheets of paper, paper needs to be locked in and/or there is some variable paper (presentation binders have pockets too!)

Presentation binders straddle the hardback 3-ring binder and a pocket folder in that they have pockets and a ring.  The paperboard is not as sturdy as a 3-ring binder, so if it is going to be heavily used over a longer period of time – consider going to the 3-ring binder.

Many healthcare information packets use presentation binders for a few reasons: It only gets heavy use for a limited period of time, pockets allow extra information to be easily stored and the rings hold the important information in place.

Get a Pocket Folder -

if you have a smaller amount of paper that may need to be accessed out of order.

Sometimes a pocket folder is the ideal thing.  Great branding possibilities, easy to cary and organizes all of your papers in a flash.

We have seen a lot of these in healthcare and financial information packets, and for anything that just needs to hold less, but important, paper.

 

Definitions!

Pocket Folders

eco friendly Two_Pocket_Folder - Naked BinderPrinted or plain 18pt or 22pt paper with pockets that is folded so the pockets are on the inside. Usually with 1 or 2 pockets that can be horizontal or vertical.  All this brings a huge amount of variations of pocket styles, capacity pockets…

 

 

 

Presentation Binder:

presentation binders - paperboard binders - Corporate ImagePrinted or plain 18pt or 22pt paperboard with or without pockets, folded with a spine that holds a 3-ring mechanism.  Sort of a hybrid between a pocket folder and a binder.

 

 

 

3-ring Binder

custom eco friendly 3-ring binders - Corporate ImageA heavy recycled board (in our case 94pt to 110pt and 100% post consumer waste) that can be bare, wrapped in cloth or printed paper sheets with a 3-ring mechanism to hold various amounts of paper. We case and line our binders like a hardcover book. Why?  So they are the strongest 3-ring binders in the world.


Why is your Custom Printed 3-ring Binder Falling Apart?

You just ordered custom 3-ring binders and you are ready to do your marketing – so why are they falling apart when you use them?

Traditionally, 3-ring binders are made sort of like books.

basic book construction -

This is where the book comparison ends. In a poorly made 3-ring binder front board, back board and spine board are held together by either a small piece of vinyl, paper or cloth.  Other options we are going to discuss involve using one piece of board and wither routing a spine into the board or flexing the spine directly into the whole board.

Vinyl Binders. The Weakest Hinge.

vinyl binder spine - why your binder breaks

The reason vinyl binders break is simple. Even in the heavy duty vinyl binders (shown here) the hinge, the part of the binder that gets the most stress, is a very small thin piece of vinyl.

With perfect weather conditions, this is a recipe for disaster; when it is cold, left it in the sun or left in fluorescent light  vinyl gets brittle. Since most of you are not using your binders in a cave, that means the hinge of the cover is going to fail.

If you get the regular vinyl binders it is good to know that to save money, that vinyl has been getting thinner and thinner for a long time, and so weaker and weaker.

Any binder made this way is going to have problems. Whether the hinge is made of paper, vinyl or some sort of spine tape these will fall apart at the seams.

 

 

Routed 3-ring binders. A bit better.

Why your binder falls apart_ routed binders

A better construction is a single board construction.  One version of this take your board and routs out about half of the board to that the hinge flexes more easily.

While stronger than a vinyl hinge, you are still counting on 1/16th of an inch of recycled paper to hold your cover on.  This hinge is still going to fail, but is not so dependent on the weather.

 

Flexed Single Board Construction. The Strongest 3-ring Binder.

The strongest 3-ring binder construction - Corporate Image

The best and strongest 3-ring binder is made from one piece of board and the hinge is flexed directly into the board – nothing is shaved off or cut, so there are no weaker parts of the binder.

Corporate Image only constructs our 3-ring binders this way to insure sustainability – a binder that breaks before its useful life is over is a waste of resources, money and the time it takes to get another.

We have lab tested our bare board binder  to 250,000 flexes without failure.  That is 20 uses a day for 34 years.  Not bad.

 

A well made 3 ring binder will not fall apart at the hinges.  When you are specing 3-ring binders for your marketing or in-house use keep in mind how they are made. A well made 3-ring binder can save you money since you don’t have to replace them as often and, really, how does it reflect on your company if your marketing materials are held together by duct tape?


The Best Way to Open a 3-Ring Binder

As ubiquitous as they are, how to open a ring binder still seems like a mystery.

 

CI custom printed 3 ring bindersWe stole this from our sister company Naked Binder, but it seems like it is something people need to know, so thanks Naked Binder!

The first thing most people do is grab the center ring and yank the rings open.  This certainly works and in some cases is the only way.

 

What is the best way to open a ring binder?

At issue here are the forces acting on one ring of the mechanism.  That ring that you are forcing apart is a piece of not super strong metal especially in your average vinyl binder.

Eventually, the rings bend a bit so they don’t connect anymore.  This causes paper to slip out or tear and you to tear your hair out and the binder  to be tossed.

Not okay.

 

D_Ring_Detail

Don’t panic! There are alternatives.

Many if not most binder rings have what are called boosters – those tabs at the top and bottom of the binder ring mechanism. These are put there to solve this exact problem.  If your open your binder with the boosters, no rings bend and that binder will last you a lot longer (well if you are using a vinyl binder not much longer unless you have duct tape to hold the cover on…)

The boosters are the small tabs you can see here right at the end of the binder.

On some binders there is a simple booster, but most still have two.

Simply push the two tabs out and down and there will be no ring bending. All your problems are solved, your worries are over and the world is suddenly a better place.

Or at least, you know the best way to open a 3-ring binder ring…

On the other hand, if you are using vinyl binders, when you need to replace those next week when the cover falls off, talk to us.  We can help you.


Eco Friendly and Custom – a better 3-ring binder

For years everyone used vinyl binders.  Sure they fall apart, but what options are there?

Corporate Image has been making eco friendly 3-ring binders for 25 years.

No vinyl and 100% recyclable using FSC certified materials. On top of that, unlike vinyl, These binders can be offset printed, meaning that your artwork has never looked so good.

Beautiful roundback Custom Printed Binder - Corporate Image

 

How is this binder eco friendly?

  • Binders board used is FSC certified 100% post consumer waste
  • Papers used are FSC certified and have varying amounts of recycled content (depending on spec)
  • Printed with Soy inks
  • Lamination is inert
  • Long lasting: tested to 250,000 flexes, lamination protects printing
  • 100% recyclable

Go here to find out more about our 3-ring binders, pocket folders, boxes and tab dividers!

Why do we have issues with vinyl?

It is toxic to make, use and impossible to get recycled.  It may be technically recyclable, but we have not found one city or community recycler who will touch it.  More here.


Half Sheet Notebook Binders – all the beauty with half the paper

A Notebook binder offers you a unique branding opportunity: All the information you want your customer to have in a portable fit-in-briefcase size.

Amazing notebook binders, Corporate Image

In this age of portable gadgets where a phone is the new laptop computer, asking people to carry a full size binder can be a bit much.  And yet, there are times that having your information in a binder is the only way to insure  both branded shelf presence and the immediacy of print.

Enter the Half Sheet Notebook binder, a 3 ring binder that uses half sheet sized paper.  Small, portable and fully customizable, the notebook binder is something people will carry with them, use and re-use.

Half sheet Notebook Binders, for more specs and information look here

For the Corporate Image 3-ring Binder Design Resource check here.


New Design Resource for Custom 3-ring Binders

Are you designing a 3-ring binder for a client or your business? Now you have a resource that covers custom 3-ring binders from binder styles to options.

CI custom printed 3 ring bindersThe more you know about a 3-ring binder and how to customize it, the easier it will be to explain it to your boss, client, or designer.

Well designed binders are beautiful and help boost your brand while organizing your materials. We put together a 3-ring binder resource to make finding the right binder ring, binder materials and styles easier. That way you can concentrate on the award winning designs.

Check out the custom binder resources.  Let us know if we missed anything – we are always looking to make your life easier!

Need to know the difference between a portfolio binder and easel binder or a round back binder?  Deciding on bare board , cloth or a printed 3-ring binder? How eco friendly a three ring binder can I get?  Try 3-ring Binder Styles.

Wondering about what your options for customizing your 3-ring binder?  3-ring Binder Options will have what you need from printing and foil options to the differences in round and D rings.

Know more and look like a genius to your clients!  Check out the 3-ring Binder Design Resource Guide today!


Engineers, Architects and Sweet’s Companies Choose Corporate Image Binders

Custom Printed Binder

When is a binder more than a binder?

When Rocky Mountain Hardware adds graphics to the cover of their custom binder, it becomes something much more. It becomes a valuable resource to help people discover the possibilities in architectural hardware and find the perfect solution for their project. People form an immediate impression from the images and design of the artwork, which can compel them to pick up the binder from among others on the shelf. That’s the name of the game…to get your brand noticed. Corporate Image‘s part is to help convey a sense of quality and durability from a construction standpoint. We take our client’s design and help them create a presentation package, whether it be a custom binder, pocket folder, or custom box, that communicates the best attributes of their brand.


What is Presentation Packaging?

Presentation Packagin

Great presentation products and outstanding design equal success!

Over the years, Corporate Image has operated as a niche business in the printing industry. The company started over 30 years ago with an order for one million folders from a local insurance company, which has since grown into the Principal Financial Group. It wasn’t long after that when the owner visited Europe and discovered a new manufacturing process for 3 ring binders that featured beautiful full-color printing, a simplified production process and was environmentally friendly. The industry had changed since vinyl binders were banned in Europe because they were not recyclable. He brought the equipment and idea back to Des Moines, Iowa where he started making binders with a typical square back and a new round back style, which was a European design. We named them FlexHinge Binders, because the board from which they were made featured a series of creases in the spine that made a very strong, but flexible hinge. In fact, they were so strong that an independent lab tested the hinges and found they could be flexed over 250,000 times without breaking. Sales Boxes and Custom Boxes were later added to the binder and folder products to complete the line of Presentation Products we offer today.

Presentation Packaging helps companies stand out so their brand gets noticed and in turn contributes to their success. The process begins by creating artwork for one of our products, which is typically handled by a graphic designer. Once, we receive and review the art, a proof is created that is sent to the customer for approval. Once, it has been approved, we print, produce and ship the piece within 10 working days. All of the printing and manufacturing is done in our Des Moines facility, so we can control the production processes in order to guarantee you will be happy with the quality of your project and with our service.


Furniture Company Turns to Corporate Image for Custom Binder and Tabs.

 Full color graphics beautifully showcases furniture

Palu’s custom binder with a square back effectively shows off their attractive line of furniture. When you see their eye-catching binder and tab dividers, you know immediately that it is from a high-end manufacturer making you want to look inside. Truly, this is a case of judging a product by it’s cover and Palu has succeeded in creating a binder that out competes the competition for attention on the shelf. Corporate Image‘s custom binders, folders and boxes are designed for maximum impact and a printed product gives presence which is an important advantage CLICK TO READ MORE


Choosing the Right Ring Size for Your Binder

Figuring out what size binder you need can be a problem.

In the big box stores, 3-ring binders are sold by spine width.  While this tells you a lot about how much room it takes up on a shelf, it doesn’t tell you how much paper it holds.  Depending on how much room there is outside of the ring and what shape the ring is, the paper the binder carries could vary by 150 sheets.

Types of binder rings:

Generally, round rings are mounted on the spine of Square Back Binders and on the back cover of Round Back Binders.  They don’t hold as much paper as a D-ring, but some people find them easier when turning the paper.

D-Rings are mounted on the back cover of both round and square back binders. They offer greater page capacity and help paper lie flat and align evenly in the binder.  If you want to read all of your tab dividers, a d-ring will show them all as the paper stacks vertically.  In a round ring, the paper stacks in roughly the arc of the ring.

If the D-ring is appealing but you worry about easy turning of pages, try a slant D.  This offers the cleanly stacked sheets and all of the capacity, but with a much easier page flip.

How to measure a binder ring

If you are trying to match a previous binder, on a D-ring binder you measure the flat part of the ring, on a round ring you measure the diameter of the circle.  We have a handy chart here which can help with figuring that out.

So how large will the spine of the binder be with a 1″ D-Ring?

This will vary a bit based on what  type of spine you get and style of binder.  For a general look, we can look at Naked Binder, the “off the shelf” brand of Corporate Image (don’t know them?  Check them out!).  Their binder dimensions are as follows:

Binder Dimensions

1″ D-ring Binder

  • Spine 1-3/4″
  • Height 11-5/8″
  • Width 10-15/16″

1.5″ D-ring Binder 

  • Spine 2.5″
  • Height 11-5/8″
  • 
Width 11-3/8″

2″ D-ring Binder

  • Spine 2-7/8″
  • 
Height 11-5/8″
  • Width 12-1/16″

2.5″ D-ring Binder

  • Spine 3-3/8″
  • Height 11-5/8″
  • 
Width 12.5″

That should give a good idea of how a ring fits into a binder. Good luck sizing your next binder project and if you need any help, please feel free to call us!


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