How to get the right custom printed 3 ring binder for you!

Choosing your 3-Ring Binder 

From Measuring Binder Rings to Styles and Strengths

The Best Custom Printed 3 ring binders - Corporate Image

Corporate Image has created 3-ring binders for the modern brand – sleek, sustainable with a huge range of options. Before you go planning window cuts, spot UV and other finishing options, make sure you have a good grasp on the basics.

What binder ring size do you need?

choosing the ring 3 ring binder rings

Learn page counts for for different 3 ring binder rings. How many pages fit in your binder depends not only on the size of a ring, but also the shape of a ring. Make sure you have the information you need to pick the vert best one for your project.

Choosing a style of binder to match what you need.

Option 1:  Presentation Binders, Paperboard Binders or Ring Folders – for page counts of 220 sheets or less:

Presentation binders are 3 ring binders that are made from paperboard. This is a heavy paper stock, generally 18pt or 24pt (for a quick look at gauging paper weights check here), The benefits of presentation / paperboard binders is that you can add pockets just like a pocket folder. The largest ring size these will take is a 1″ due to the weight of the binder contents on a paperboard spine.

These can be printed one side or two, the second side being the inside of the binder behind the pockets.  The pockets actually print with the cover and fold in.

These are ideal for conferences, meetings and medical information packets where some materials might be handed out that may not be hole-punched.

For photos and more information on paperboard presentation binders look here.

Option 2: Turned Edge, Euro Hinge or Flex Hinge Binder – For page counts of 1 to 1000

Printed sheets cased and lining over binders board, offering a wide range of printing and design options as well as being incredibly strong and long lasting. ( also known as loose leaf binders, ring binders, and a few other names)

These binders can be printed on a digital or offset press, with quantities starting at 50 (digital press).

For a binder that sees longterm or heavy use or that needs a great, sturdy in hand feel, these binders can’t be beat. Unlike a vinyl binder, the hinge is pressed directly into the board, so there are no weak spots at the hinges. The cover will not fall off in cold, heat, or with heavy use.  We had them lab tested to 250,000 flexes with out failing.

Binder styles: The world is your oyster. From portfolio flaps to landscape binders, ring-less to fully custom binders, or even POP style easel binders, you can get it with these hardcover binders.

Binder sizes: Whether you need an A4 binder (european sized), US standard (holds 8.5 x 11″ paper) or a half sheet, notebook binder, the turned edge binder is going to work for you!.

For galleries and more information on turned edge binders, go here.

                     Presentation Binders                                              Turned Edge Binders

presentation paperboard binders - Corporate Imageturned edge custom printed 3 ring binder - Corporate Image

Amazing new 3-ring binder projects – Playword

Design Project of the Week: Playworld custom 3-ring binder, pocket folder and tab dividers.

Playword and Corporate Image are a great match.

playword - sustainable equipment - great binders and folders


Playworld makes beautiful, green playground equipment. From eliminating 99.99% of PVCs from their equipment and being certified cradle to cradle, they care about children’s health and the environment. On top of being super sustainable, their playground equipment is amazing.


When we started working with them on a project we knew eco-friendly was going to be key. Since Corporate Image specializes in sustainable, green marketing pieces, we were excited.

The final pieces are a flush cut 3 ring binder with a custom die cut, a custom pocket folder with the same custom die cut as well as the most awesome set of custom tab dividers.

Sustainable and green aspects of the binder and folders:

Pocket Folder:

  • 110# Conservation (uncoated stock), printed 4 cp with soy inks and no varnish

3 Ring Binder

  • Oatmeal endleaf, 1 pms color, flush cut, no lamination

Tab Dividers

  • FSC certified stock 4cp

Playwordbinderandfolder playwordtabsets playworldbinderand-tabs

The project was beautifully designed and a job to make. From the flush cut binders to the amazingly fun tab dividers, this project was a favorite in production. That is high praise indeed. Our production crew work on some of the highest end presentation projects in the country every day and they are connoisseurs of packaging and graphic design.

Playworld tab dividers on production floor





Some jobs are just fun to run! Having all these pictures of kids playing brightened up the plant!

New Cloth Options for Your 3 Ring Binders and Boxes

There are a huge range of cloth options for 3 ring binders or boxes.

Woven materials offer another option for luxury markets, interior design and contract industry, and the financial industry. With cloth, the added durability means your materials will wear well and well as making a big visual impact.


Custom cloth for binders and boxes - Corporate Image Screen shot 2015-06-24 at 11.56.50 AM Screen shot 2015-06-24 at 11.56.58 AM

Imagine you binder or box covered with a beautiful  two color woven fabric. As the light changes, so does  the color of your binder or box.

This cloth, Duo,  could set  your information apart  from your competitors  and let your clients know the quality and attention to  detail in which you excel.

With our logo foil stamped onto the binder / box, you  are going to make a huge impression.




Iris cloth for boxes and binders - Corporate Image Iris cloth for boxes and binders - Corporate Image Iris cloth for boxes and binders - Corporate Image


With it’s natural texture and wide range of colors, Iris works well on 3 ring binders or set up boxes.

Cloth covered binders and boxes offer a modern feel that is deeply rooted in tradition.

This cloth foil stamps well, and is great with both deboss and embossing.




Custom cloth for 3 ring binders and boxes - corporate Image Custom cloth for 3 ring binders and boxes - corporate ImageCustom cloth for 3 ring binders and boxes - corporate Image


Space is a shimmering cloth with an iridescent coating.

If your project is about to “take off”, try wrapping your samples in a box made of this. A matching binder with your product information, will add even more “wow” factor.


Natural Cotton / Linen

Natural Cotton Linen cloth for binders and boxes - Corporate Image Natural Cotton Linen cloth for binders and boxes - Corporate Image


For a project a little closer to home, these natural cotton / linen fabrics offer elegance with nature. Uncoated fabrics with a great feel in the hand, these have made some lovely 3 ring binders. We would love to see these in a cloth covered box!

These are just a few of the cloth options you have for custom binders and boxes. With about 21 other cloth lines to choose from we are sure that you can find what you need.


Short Run Custom 3 Ring Binders

Now when you need custom 3-ring binders for a conference, meeting or proposal, you can get all of the quality with beautiful printed images.

Corporate Image has produced 3 ring binders that have won both ‘Best Binder in the World’ and ‘Best Binder in North America’. Our production team are craftspeople, producing strong, sustainable binders with better quality printing that match to detail and craftsmanship that you put into every aspect of your company.

short run custom printed binders

Low quantity custom binders are no problem.

Our short run binders are digitally printed with a high quality printer giving you full bleed images that cover the entire binder. The printed sheets are then laminated with a natural matte laminate that protects them from scuffing and water damage.

Fully cased and lined like a hardcover book, these binders look great, are stronger than any other binder.

How does this compare to a vinyl binder?

It doesn’t. Corporate Image makes recyclable binders that are non-toxic. Our printing is better, the binders last longer, don’t poison the environment or go to landfills, and they look much, much better.

When considering your brand or corporate image, consider whether a vinyl binder sums up what you are trying to say. If not, let us send you a sample to show you how much better your materials can look and feel.

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
  • Square or Round spine
  • 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. Get samples to experience the quality of our short run binders for yourself!


Half sheet notebook binders

Why a Notebook Sized Binder?

In a word:  Convenience.

Notebook binders are portable in a way that full sized binders are not. Whether you are carrying a purse, or riding to the office with a messenger bag on your bike, a half sheet notebook binder will fit.


Amazing notebook binders, Corporate Image

Custom Compact Binder Options

Binder Spine Types

Round Spine

Square Spine

Ring Sizes

3/4″ – 2″ Round or D Ring

Printing (cover and liner)

Digitally Printed (qty 350 and under)

Offset Printing (qty 250 and up)

No Printing – Bare Board Binders – Often with foil stamping

Lamination options – all of our laminates are inert and recyclable


Natural Matte

Soft Touch

Finishing Options

Foil Stamping

Spot UV

Portfolio Closures

Flush Cut (eliminates need for Lamination)

Custom Compact Notebook Binders, for more specs and information look here

For more information on compact notebook binders go here.

3 Ring Binder Liners: Add some pizzazz to your binders

The liner of a 3-ring binder is not just a blank space that the interior pages cover, it is a rich design space that adds life, information and interest to your design project.

Good things to know about 3 ring binder liners:

  1. Offset printing your binder?  Printing the liner is FREE at Corporate Image. Say you have a 4 color process cover, print the liner 4cp at no extra cost!
  2. People see the cover on the shelf, and when the binder is closed on a desk. People see the liner when they are looking at your information. The chances are they will spend a lot more time looking at the liner than the cover of your binder!

3 ring binder liners - a visual feast for no extra cost



All of the Corporate Image 3 ring binders are 100% recyclable and printed with soy inks on FSC certified papers. Our sustainable 3 ring binders are strong, long lasting, and winning design awards all over the country! See More!

The Indian motorcycle dealer guide 3 ring binders

An Iowan motorcycle manufacturer, design firm and 3 ring binder manufacturer walk into a bar…

Indian Motorcycle and Performance Marketing created a dealers guide as classic and elegant as their motorcycles.

2015 Indian Scout Motorcycle - Corporate Image


Check out the binders and get more information here!


Choosing the right 3 ring Binder – from ring size to styles

Corporate Image has created 3-ring binder for the modern brand – sleek, sustainable with a huge range of options. Before you go planning window cuts, spot UV and other finishing options, make sure you have a good grasp on the basics.

What are you putting in your 3 ring binder?

Before you make any other decisions or hunt through hundreds of pictures of 3 ring binders, find out how many pages and other materials you need. This will clarify ring size, which gives a clear picture of what style of binder, 3-ring mechanism and how strong your binder needs to be.

Knowing the page count of your materials (and whether it vary) is key to determining ring size. Adding pamphlets, samples or give-aways, USB drives or other objects lets you know how large the spine of the binder might need to be.


How many sheets of paper does a binder ring hold?

This depends on what style of ring you choose. A D-ring and a round ring hold the paper differently and have different benefits.

how to measure a 3 ring binder ring - corporate image

D-ring binders

In a D-ring, the paper is held evenly on the right, meaning that your tab dividers all line up and there is a clean line of paper. Some people find the harder to turn the pages than a round ring ( though a slant D-ring solves this problem).  A D-ring always mounts on the back panel of a binder – not the spine – so the paper rests on the flat part of the ring when it is closed. This makes the cover a little wider. If you need a small ring, it is good to know there is no 1/2″ D-ring.

  • 3/4″ D-ring holds up to 150 sheets of paper
  • 1″ D-ring holds up to 220 sheets of paper
  • 1.5″ D-ring holds up to 350 sheets of paper
  • 2″ D-ring holds up to 450 sheets of paper
  • 2.5″ D-ring holds up to 550 sheets of paper

Round ring binders (O ring)

A round ring can mount on the spine of a binder, so the covers, front and back, are a little shorter. It is easy to turn pages since it is a continuous curve. The issue with seeing tab dividers toward the bottom of the stack of information is negligible in smaller rings and up to you to decide if it is an issue in large rings. A lot of people don’t see it as a problem. For people with small paper needs – you can get a 1/2″ O ring binder!

  • 3/4″ O-ring holds up to 130 sheets of paper
  • 1″ O-ring holds up to 170 sheets of paper
  • 1.5″ O-ring holds up to 250 sheets of paper
  • 2″ O-ring holds up to 350 sheets of paper
  • 2.5″ O-ring holds up to 450 sheets of paper

For more information on rings and styles of 3 ring binders click here!

Future of looseleaf binder manufacturing…is in Iowa.

US looseleaf binder manufacturer - Corporate Image


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.

loose leaf binder with post closure - corporate image

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.

see more about where the loose leaf binder is going here!




Cloth and foil stamped 3 ring binder wins CMA STAR Award

The Construction Marketing STAR Awards for 2014 were just released and Corporate Image clients won a four of them!

Corporate Image created this cloth and foil stamped binder for WT Shade and they won at the Super STAR level – the highest level possible.

This cloth 3 ring binder is spectacular. It is clean and easy to read, the color makes it stand out on a shelf at the architects office, and the finger pull makes it easy to get off of a crowded shelf. This binder was FSC certified.

  • Cloth: Verona ABLAZE 680 (a book cloth available through LBS)
  • Ring: 1.5″ chrome D-ring
  • Foil: white gloss (cover)
  • Printing: 4 color proces (liner)

WT shade - cloth and foil stamped binder with a finger pull

cloth and foil stamped 3 ring binder




Who is WT Shade? (old site here)

We supply window coverings that provide natural lighting solutions that are innovative and superior in quality. We strive to provide our customers and end users with informed service that is responsive, respectful and resourceful. 

Windowtex was established in 1977 and over the years has become an industry and technology leader in sun control roller shade systems. 

Windowtex is committed to on-going innovation by developing our own proprietary technologies and products including unique hardware systems and electronic controls for motorized systems. Operating from a 30,000 sq. ft facility in Garden City Park, NY, Windowtex is equipped with state-of-the-art fabric cutting, heat-sealing equipment, production software, and all the other major tools necessary to produce top-of-the-line solar shading products. 

For an industry that works with beautiful fabrics, choosing a cloth 3 ring binder makes perfect sense. It is easy to see why this won the CMA Super STAR award!

Why Corporate Image for your Printing and Packaging Needs?

We can help you reach your target audience with full-scale printing and packaging solutions.

CI custom printed 3 ring binders


Print matters.

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

  • 3 Ring Binders – A4, US standard, landscape, notebook and small sizes, and larger sizes
    • options: Cloth wrapped binders, bare board, printed cased, presentation and lined binders, foil, spot UV, portfolio closures and more!
    • Tab Dividers – Match your binder with beautiful index tab dividers.
  • Pocket Folders – From our 25 best pocket folders designed for maximum flexibility to our huge range of custom folders
    • 1 and 2 pocket folders, tri fold folders, four flap enclosures, portfolio closures, built in USB holders and much more!
  • Packaging and Boxes – Paperboard and corrugate boxes for anything you need
    • Slip cases, tuck lock, mailers, sample kits, and much much more.
  • Custom Sample kits, POP displays, Menu options, Gift boxes – get the quality you deserve with the design help you want!


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.

Contact us to get ideas, start a project and get the team in action for you.

Looking for a 3 Ring Binder and Presentation Material manufacturer?

What should you expect from a 3-ring binder manufacturer.


Presentation and 3 ring binder manufacturers are not all alike. If you are new to the game of ordering custom printed products, we’d like to give you a few ideas of what to look for in your print manufacturer.

Innovations… Styles… Options… Strengths….

Print and presentation packaging vary heavily from job to job – many of the questions may be best answered or collaborated on with your printer. Digital or offset printing, 4 color process or 4 cp plus a spot color, the best closure for cost, strength or looks (bearing in mind that what is best for one is not always best for another).  Many times your project becomes a collaborative venture as you get input from the product designers, production and sales reps, which results in a fantastic product.

Innovation from your manufacturer is also important. Knowing the capabilities best and what has worked over a large range of products allows your manufacturer to be proactive in finding you solution.

Customer Service

Your sales team will help you navigate your process from start to finish so you want them responsive, knowledgable and able to listen.  Any printer worth their salt should be able to provide samples, estimates, mock-ups for new products, templates, proofs and double check your art.

Design Support

Does your print manufacturer have product designers on staff who can create products to your specifications and work with you to get exactly what you need? Even standard products are designed. Make sure your manufacturer is not just copying a template they found on the internet.

An example: Our product designers create for strength, looks, ease of use and to work with your materials. Even in something as seemingly simple as pocket folders, we re-designed the top 25 pocket folders so you know exactly which envelope they fit in, greatest range of pages, longevity and simplicity.


Clear accounting guidelines save you time and headaches.  From credit policies to payment terms, get clear information.

Available to you.

Can you reach your representative when you need them? This can lower your stress by more than a little.

Corporate Image, quality printing and manufacturing

Learn more about how Corporate Image works with you here. If you have a question or want to discuss a project, give us a call. Cynde will be more than happy to answer your call and connect you with the right person to take care of your needs. Ask for samples or quotes here!

Our office hours are:
Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm CST

888.262.3839 FAX


Cloth 3 Ring Binders: Classy, strong and tactile.

If you are looking to up your 3 ring binder game, look into a cloth binder.

cloth 3 ring binders - Corporate Image


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.

B-cloth, Pearl Linen and Verona Naturals are three options for wrapping your binder (b-cloth shown below)

color options for your cloth 3 ring binders - Corporate Image


Why not merge the beauty of cloth with the branding of print? With printed spine wraps your 3 ring binder can have it all.

Printed Spine Wrap and Cloth Binder





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.

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.

cloth binder options - foil stamping - Corporate Image


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!

How do you manufacture the best 3 ring binders in the world? We can tell you!

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!

How to make the worlds best 3-ring binder - Corporate Image

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?


  • 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?


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


  • 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


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!



Are we proud of our digitally printed binders? Yes we are.

 If you want a beautiful, strong custom 3-ring binder, but need small quantities, do we have an option for you!

This binder for the Des Moines Art Festival (an excellent Arts Festival by the way) was designed by Kayli Kunkel and just came off the line yesterday.  When we got a look at it, we were excited.  When the Art Festival saw it – well lets say they were very pleased:

The Binders look awesome – WOW! Those are really going to have an impact. Thank you so much!

Steven King – executive director

Check them out for yourselves!

a custom digital binder - Corporate Image

des moines arts festival 3-ring binder - Corporate Image


2″ D-ring binders

100% recyclable

Digitally printed cover, white liner

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!


Using a 3-ring Binder Template #3: Digital Binders

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

3. layout

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:

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present documents in a manner independent of application softwarehardware, and operating systems.[1] Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it. In 1991, Adobe Systems co-founderJohn Warnock outlined a system called “Camelot”[2] that evolved into PDF.

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:

Outputing  PDFs for your digital binder art

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.

Custom Binder - Using a binder template - corporate Image    How to use a custom binder template - Corporate Image This is what it looks like with a white liner

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.

Spine Text

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  For the subject “Hey! I have a question!”

Short Run Digital Binders! Beautiful, strong and you can get 50!

Short run, digtially-printed-binders


For when you only need 50 or more 3-ring binders but still need all the quality, Corporate Image has developed a solution for you.

Available from 50 binders and up, we have developed a fully cased and lined 3-ring binder combining high quality digital printing and the craftsmanship that Corporate Image is famous for.

The best binders in the world, now at 50+ quantities

Learn more here and on our FAQ page.

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


Using a 3-Ring Binder Template #2: Common Errors – Bleeds

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:

Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colors can extend into the bleed area. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.

It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper/card so, to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the paper/card down to the required finished size. Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended beyond the trim line to give a bleed.[1]

Bleeds in the USA generally are 1/8 of an inch from where the cut is to be made. Bleeds in the UK and Europe generally are 2 to 5mm from where the cut is to be made. This can vary from one print company to another. Some printers ask for specific sizes; most of these companies place the specific demands on their website or offer templates that are already set to their required bleed settings.

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.

Designing your 3-ring binder - using full bleeds - Corporate Image

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.

Yoshitomo Nara (Japanese, born 1959)
White Ghost, 2010 (detail)
Painted stainless steel and fiberglass
12 x 12 feet
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections

Custom 3-ring Binders should be recyclable, recycled and eco friendly

Your company marketing materials, including your 3-ring binders,  should match your quality, strength, look and values.

Amazing notebook binders, Corporate Image

Our Materials

Corporate Image offers you the best quality 3-ring binders from printing, craftsmanship while also creating an eco friendly binder that is 100% recyclable.  We start with FSC certified 100% post consumer waste board, print with soy inks on FSC certified papers and produce binders that are 100% recyclable.

Why get a recyclable binder?

There are many reasons.

Better Marketing Materials.  

With superior offset and digital printing, stronger construction and great craftsmanship, the 3-ring binder you get from Corporate Image looks better, works better and lasts longer. It is a clear statement of your company values and who you are.

Your environment.

You and your company believe that we all need to do more to protect the environment.  Each small step towards reducing toxics in our offices and landfills add up.

Vinyl binders are toxic – from creating the vinyl and binder, to off-gassing on the shelf to creating issues in landfill.  The vinyl is not recyclable anywhere in the US at this point. With so many being made still, this is an issue for landfill operators especially if there are fires (about 9000 landfill fires a year in the US)

Save money.

Many corporations are pushing to go greener because it saves  money. One of our binders will last longer and look better – meaning that your marketing materials are in great shape in your clients hands for longer. If you need to dispose of the binders, ours are 100% recyclable meaning no toxic waste permits which you need for large amounts of vinyl binders.

Corporate Image believes that your custom 3-ring binders can be more than a way to store paper.  We see them as a branding tool, a marketing presentation piece that sets you apart from the rest.  From the craftsmanship we put in at our midwestern production plant to the eco-friendly recycled binder materials, we give you a 3-ring binder that aligns with your values.

American Package Design Awards

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!

Award winning 3-ring binder and corrugated box - Corporate Image

Award winning Marketing kit - Corporate ImageAward winning spiral bound binder - Corporate Image

Learn More Here


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?

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS



enter email address to stay connected