The loose leaf binder has been around since about 1860, and since then the design has had only minor changes. During the latter half of the 20th century the vinyl binder came about, billed as a cheaper modern version of the 3 ring binder.
Since those days, we have discovered that vinyl binders not only fall apart quickly, but are impossible to recycle and actually toxic.
Corporate Image started manufacturing 3 ring loose leaf binders 30 years ago and wanted to do better than what was already on the market. They designed some of the first turned edge flex hinge or European hinged binders ever made in the US.
Because the hinge of the binder is pressed directly into the board, these loose leaf binders are super strong. The covers will never just fall off with normal use or because it is cold. Also, these binders could have offset printed covers and liners allowing the artwork to be a fine piece of art.
Over the last 30 years, Corporate Image has pushed sustainability, using soy inks and 100% post consumer waste board, and design, creating a huge range of custom options for 3 ring binders.
From portfolio closures, round spines, custom window cuts, special finishes and sustainable materials, Corporate Image has pushed the loose leaf 3 ring binder into the 21st century and created a binder for the modern brand.
CMA Star Awards – 2014
The annual Construction Marketing STAR awards honor marketing excellence of construction industry professionals across a broad range of functional marketing disciplines.
Simonton Windows – Star level
An amazing corrugated box with inserts, a 3-ring binder and product pages. One neatly packaged sample kit shows window samples and all of you options.
Universal Forest Products – Eôtek – Super Star level
This ringless tri fold portfolio binder is being used as a sample kit for Eotek siding. Their smart use of spot UV on the photos really pops the elements of this piece.
WT Shade – Super Star level
Add a beautiful cloth, foil stamping, finger pull and printed liner and you get an amazing FSC certified 3 ring binder that won a Super Star award.
Corporate Image is the best binder and print manufacturer in North America and has won international awards for our products. Our team works with you to create exceptional presentation materials. Whether you are looking for custom pocket folders, sales boxes and presentation kits, 3 ring binders or a whole lot more, we can help you stand out and get noticed.
We can help you reach your target audience with full-scale printing and packaging solutions.
The marketing tools you hand people act as stand in for your company. Well crafted, thoughtful, strong materials feel good in the hand, appeal to their sense of style and build confidence in your brand.
Our customers have won awards nationally and internationally from “Best Binder in the World”, numerous Addy awards, GDUSA Packaging awards and Construction Marketing awards. The awards they win are just the added benefit to the strength their presentation materials bring to their business.
Whether you need offset and digital printing, Corporate Image can get you exactly what you need. Our in-house package designers work side by side with print and production professionals every day to insure you get the exact product you need. We create templates and mock-ups based on your specifications so you can check and double check how your product works and feels.
Our product line runs from
Our team acts as an extension of your team. Our staff have an incredible depth of knowledge in print, packaging and product design. From sales, design, pre-press, press operators and everyone who touches your product our main concern is helping you get exactly what you want, when you need it. We listen to you to make your life easier.
Corporate Image takes sustainability seriously. For over 30 years, we have created world class products which are 100% recyclable, with no vinyls, no plastics. The binders board we use in our 3 ring binders is 100% post consumer waste and we can FSC certify your project if you wish. We also print with soy inks! We can help you meet or exceed your sustainability goals.
If you are looking to up your 3 ring binder game, look into a cloth binder.
A cloth binder offers a sense of elegance and permanence that you don’t find in plastic or vinyl binders. Plastic and vinyl project a feeling of impermanence, cost cutting as well as being toxic.
Cloth binder options:
Color. and lots of it.
Why not merge the beauty of cloth with the branding of print? With printed spine wraps your 3 ring binder can have it all.
This binder is a great example of a print and cloth mix. A printed spine wrap visually pops next to the classic look of the foils stamped cloth.
The brand is supported and enhanced by the contrast.
Foil stamping is on cloth offers a range of options and colors allowing you to match corporate colors and logos. Sometimes subtle, sometimes bold, foil stamping gives a unique look for your binder.
The benefits of cloth go beyond looks and feel. Book cloths are incredibly durable making a cloth binder stronger than almost any other binder you can find. The cloth binder you make today can easily still be in use (and looking great) 30 years from now. How do we know? We use our own product and Corporate Image is 30 years old.
If you are considering using a 3 ring binder to represent your company, a cloth binder gives you a feel, look and branding that is unique. Contact us to learn more!
Corporate Image is a binder manufacturer that has set the bar for quality 3-ring binders.
With international awards like Best Binder in the World and Best Binder in North America, Corporate Image is a Midwest printer/manufacturer with world class quality.
So how do we make our amazing, strong, award winning 3-ring Binders? Click here and see for yourself!
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.
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
Binder Options (options list here)
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?
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!
As the holidays approach, be careful with scheduling your presentation jobs!
Corporate Image will be closed on Monday May 26th to celebrate Memorial Day.
If you have a tight deadline for a job in house, a 3-ring binder coming in or a quick turning presentation package, let us know so we can get you what you need on time.
A digitally printed binder allows you to make your binders in quantities of 50 and up, which is great for proposals, meetings and conference information binders.
There are a few differences in how the artwork is treated and how they need to be submitted that we should discuss.
1. Formats for submitting
2. Corrections to artwork
Formats for submitting your artwork:
We ask that your binder art be submitted in PDF format. This insures that your art doesn’t shift, modify or lose elements when sending us the files.
What is a PDF file? Glad you asked. We turn to Wikipedia:
Since the art work is encapsulated in one file, what we print is exactly what you designed and sent. How do you find where to output a PDF file? Good question. In the Adobe design suite you should look where you save your files:
Corrections to design / art files
Remember that whole PDF thing? This means if there is an error when we open your file (art is misplaced in relation to the template, we noticed something mis-spelled… something like that), we will let you know what is wrong and you will need to correct it.
Double check everything before sending files to save time. Also keep your work files until the job is done. I am sure you do anyway in case a client calls and needs a later version with some changes, but we still wanted to mention it.
Layout of your Digitally Printed Binder
Turned Edge = The part of the cover that gets folded into the inside of a binder.
Any artwork that runs to the end of the turn-in should probably not have text that needs to be read, but continues your design into the binder. All text that needs to be read on the cover should be at least 1/8″ away from the “edge of binder” line. There can be 1/16th of an inch shift of the cover in manufacturing the binder, so if text is too close to the edge there is a possibility it will get lost.
I am going to refer you to How to Use a Binder Template #1 on this one, but wanted to re-iterate: In North America you read a book spine by placing your right ear on your shoulder, in Europe the left ear to shoulder. Check it out to make sure you are right. We don’t know who your customers are, so can’t second guess you.
This series will continue so keep an eye out and email us your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For the subject “Hey! I have a question!”
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:
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.
Printed 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…
A 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.
So you have your 3-ring binder template and you are ready to create a masterpiece of art and branding that will make your client go crazy with happiness.
So where should you pull those bleeds out to?
What are bleeds in printing? Let us refer to Wikipedia:
Make sense? Manufacturing and printing is amazingly exact, but there are tolerances. The 1/8″ bleed allows for slight inconsistencies in printing, trimming, casing and lining your 3-ring binder to insure your art looks great.
If you are used to designing for the internet, consider this like the differences in how browsers read your code. You have to adjust for that too.
Here is what you will see. For simplicity, we are working on a 3-ring binder liner template. In example one, the art is pulled up to the cut line for the edge of the binder. If there is the tiniest variation anywhere in the process, you may get a small white strip on the right side of your liner. Blah. Click the pictures to see them larger.
If you pull your image out to the 1/8″ bleed line – all is good and your 3-ring binder liner will always look good.
Paying attention to your bleeds when working on a custom 3-ring binder or pocket folder will not only make your client happy, but also you (not rushing around to redo the art) and your manufacturer (us!).
Spread happiness. Pay attention to bleeds!
In case you are wondering, the photo is from the Des Moines Pappajohn Sculpture Garden which is rather amazing.
Corporate Image is proud to announce that three of our clients have won 2014 American Package Design Awards
Congratulations to Prestige Tuxedo, HealthPartners and Meyocks Group / Delta Dental of Iowa!
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
Marketing materials set an emotional tone for a company, balancing the need to stand out, make a statement and supporting a brand.
Seeing how other designers have solved problems can spark you on your way to making your already great project better. From corrugate boxes to a set of 3-ring binders explaining corrugates, custom pocket folders and marketing kits for flooring, these designers faced projects with innovative, creative thinking.
Check out our 7 Great Designer Projects and get ideas on where your next project will go!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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