Choose round back binders to square away your papers

Square Back or Round Back: What works best for you?

The first decision with your binder project will be whether you want a standard square back or an ergonomic round back binder. While we are all accustomed to the shape of a square back binder and how it looks on a shelf, the rounded spine is a unique shape for a binder. But when you think about how it feels to hold a standard binder in your hand while flipping through the pages, you will probably agree that there is room for improvement. A round back binder has an architectural curve in the spine which fits the shape of your hand perfectly. This shape also creates a sophisticated look and contributes to the overall strength of the binder.

CI custom printed 3 ring binders


Strongest binder on the shelf

The hinges of the binder are pressed directly into the board which allows the opportunity for uniquely shaped spines including the round back binder. With this construction technique, you have the advantage of stronger hinges (which have been lab-tested to 250,000 openings without fail) as well as great customizing options.

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

The binder above, designed by James Maddox for Artesian Cancer Centers of Oklahoma, was awarded Best Binder in the World in 2011. According to the jury, the grooves in the spine add to the classic appearance of the product and make it a very flexible and strong binder.

Great design options for a round back binder

And the round spine does not limit your printing and finishing options. You can create a truly unique product that will stand out from the traditional square back binders.


     Small Custom Printed Binder    recycled and recyclable custom printed binders - Corporate Image


Request a Sample

Would you like to see how they feel in your hand? Or do you need a quote? Simply contact your Sales Rep to discuss how we can help you with your design projects. We look forward to hearing about your ideas!

request information and more - corporate image      Samples      contact Corporate Image

Presentation Packaging Consultants – any time, any where.

Need a consult on your presentation project? No problem. Talk to the manufacturer.

Corporate Image is available for video meetings for product design, development or just getting an idea of options to help your business.

presentation packaging manufacturer / consultant - Corporate Image

It can be hard to get all of the decision makers on a design project on the same page. The Corporate Image team can set up a video session with your team to help get a project going or smooth out details and direction of a project.

Learning sessions: Bring the team up to speed on product options.

Have a learning session for your team! This opportunity is great to keep your design team informed on the latest trends and options in anything from 3 ring binders, pocket folders, packaging, and boxes. When your team speaks with the end client, they will all have the knowledge to find the right solution easily.

Working on a project?

Get everyone on board and save the time and confusion of information being passed from team to team. This is a great option for exploring options and finishing details quickly and efficiently while tossing out ideas and getting feedback. If needed, we can have product designers and production experts involved.

From printing option, technical specifications and a range of finishing details, our knowledgable team can help you get answers. Interested in fabric options? We have 241 colors and textures! Want to see a range of ideas for boxes? We produce everything from paperboard to corrugate and set-up boxes.

Interested? Perfect. Lets set up a chat!


How to Measure a 3-ring Binder ring

3-ring binders: how big a binder do you need?

Before you look at printing, designs, window cuts and spot UV for your next presentation binder, find out how much binder you need.

recycled 3-ring binders - Corporate Image

What are you putting in your 3 ring binder?

Page Count: 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.

If your information is in protective sleeves, we will also have to make sure tab dividers and front and back binder covers fit.

Page size: Generally, in the US, parts of Mexico and a large part of Canada your paper size is going to be US standard 8.5″ x 11″.

A4 paper sizes are used in Europe and most of the rest of the world. A4 paper is 8.3″ x 11.7″ which is very similar, but the binder needs to be resized to make sure it fits correctly. If you are in the US and think the A4 size looks arbitrary, it is a much more intuitive paper sizing – with A1 half of a sheet of A0, A2 is half of A1 …. Clever.

Notebook or Halfsheet sized paper can vary, but generally a half sheet of US standard paper. The sheets are 5.5″ x 8.5″ so you get a nice small binder. These are also generally a 3 ring set-up.

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.

D-ring binders - Corporate Image

Round rings v. D-ring binders

D-ring binders

In a D-ring, the ring is shaped like a backward “D” so the paper is held evenly on the right, your tab dividers all line up and there is a clean line of paper. Some people find the harder to turn the pages quickly with a D-ring binder ( 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.

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!

 How to measure a binder ring:





Binder rings are measured on the flat part of the D-ring and the inside diameter of a round ring from side to side.




Get exactly what you need by measuring a 3-ring binder. Spine width is not a great measure of how much paper fits in a binder, so we recommend learning to measure the rings.

Combine a Custom 3 Ring Binder and Pocket Folder for More Impact

A 3 Ring Binder and Folder Make a Great Combination

Playworld 3 ring binder and folder - Corporate Image




PlayWorld’s 3 ring binder and pocket folder highlighted their corporate commitment to sustainability as well as their commitment to fun.


Corporate Image specializes in helping you make the most of your presentation packaging needs. We are your partner in creating great impressions that make people stop and look at your materials. The bottom line is we want to help you sell more of your products and services in the marketplace.

Combining your marketing efforts into one cohesive set can be cheaper (by doing everything at once) as well as help you look more professional. Perception of your brand can help drive up your sales and repeat business. From architecture and engineering firms, to hospitals, or financial institutions, being seen as trustworthy can make a world of difference.

A pocket folder and binder offer cohesive branding

We produced this folder and binder for secondmarket, which was really stunning because of the ultra violet coating that highlighted their logos. The binder is covered with B-Cloth, which is a poly-cotton blend that looks great and has a durable finish that resists water.

For even better presentations, try combining your custom 3 ring binder and pocket folders!

Spot UV for Binders, Folders, and Boxes

UV coatings are one of the range of print finishes and textures that you can use to make your art jump off of the page (or binder). We have found that a lot of designers haven’t worked with these finishes a lot, so we are offering a little series on print finishes.

What is spot UV and how can I use it on my binders, folders, and boxes?


UV (ultraviolet) Coatings start as a clear liquid that is dried or cured with an ultra violet light. This is printed in-line on a UV press. This is often seen in a gloss or matte, though it is available in textures (like sandpaper among others). While you can flood an entire piece with UV, we most often see it used in spot coverage, highlighting text and images, or in the case of the image above, the spot UV IS the text.  Subtle, but effective.

If you are printing a pocket folder, binder or box, you are probably laminating your materials to protect the whole piece from the rough and tumble life marketing materials go through. The nice thing about spot UV is that it can be applied after the lamination offering more opportunities to pop your art even more.

Get more Information on Spot UV and see some more examples here!

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!



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!


More HOW Design Live photos

The 2014 How Design Live conference was full of information, visuals and conversation.

While we talked binders, printing, glue-less pocket folders and the finer details of corrugates, the conference had a lot to offer besides shop talk.





We met Dandy Duck, a hard drinking, world traveler if we have ever met one.

We also walked by the finish line for the Boston marathon (Boston Strong!) everyday.

And we have one photo of Jenny nearly getting arrested…

Also, really enjoyed talking to the people at Monadnock Paper, New Leap paper, Feierisen, Johnny Cupcake, Emma and so many more!









HOWdesignlineentrance Marathonfinishline-bostonstrong!







Naked Binder: The Most Eco Friendly Binders on the Planet






Naked Binder is our line of well designed, eco friendly 3-ring binders providing you with an off the shelf option for what you need.

Eco Friendly, strong and good looking 3-ring Binders

Like Corporate Image’s binders, the Naked Binder lines are strong, well crafted and designed to make a statement. Made from FSC certified 100% post consumer waste board and tested to 250,000 flexes (and that was the bare board binder), these binders offer you a sustainable option for your proposals, office supplies and storage.  All of the Naked Binder products are acid neutral, so they will not harm your papers or photos if you are storing over time.

Naked Binder is a sister company of Corporate Image that dovetails with our ideals, production and craftsmanship to offer you a full range of 3-ring binders for what ever your need, from notebook binders to pocket folders.

Naked Binders are perfect for proposals, conferences, meetings, archives or office binders, thees binders are easily labeled, written on, screen printed or even letter pressed if you need them customized.

Black eco friendly 3-ring bindersRecycled and Recyclable 3-ring binders



Naked Binder, eco friendly and proud 3-ring binders, pocket folders and tab dividers!

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?

CD / DVD Packaging Ideas

 Multimedia PackagingMultimedia Packaging

Multimedia packaging from Corporate Image can be customized for your project

Packaging your multimedia efficiently, safely and stylishly means exploring new design solutions that can offer your business unparalleled effectiveness. Multimedia packages from Corporate Image include simple CD/DVD sleeves and perforated zip-strip envelope CD/DVD mailers. All are affordable and functional. And because these packages are paper-based, not plastic, they can be printed to coordinate with other collateral such as folders, binders and brochures. If you need to coordinate a CD/DVD holder into a 3 Ring Binder, consider our options for custom binders. Corporations understand the packaging can be just as important as the contents and demand materials that stand out and get noticed.

Colleges and Universities Choose Corporate Image for Custom Folders and Binders

wwRice University Custom Binder

When image counts, put your best folder or binder forward

You only have one chance to make a good impression and we want to help make it count. Our presentation folders and binders combine your artwork with our superior printing, product design and production processes to deliver products that will stand out and be noticed. Whether you’re communicating your message to students, prospective students, faculty or alumni, an attractive presentation can make the difference between resonating with your audience and being overlooked. Corporate Image makes it easy to create effective presentation materials, starting with our friendly and knowledgeable product specialists. We’ll help you find the best product for your project with the help of our in-house product designer, who can send you a mock-up for your review. Then, to make it easy to submit your artwork, we’ll send you a template in which you can place your art and return to us. After we inspect it, we’ll send you a final proof for approval before we print and produce your job.

Sumptuous Cloth Binders

Cloth Binder

Mix and match cloth with full color printing

Corporate Image has one of the largest selections of binding and packaging fabric in North America. We stock 10 varieties of cloth cover materials. This offers over 200 color and texture choices. We also stock bonded leather and acrylic coated paper, as well as organic cotton, and a cotton/linen blend. Our newest cover material is the Verona series, a natural rayon/viscose cloth which comes from Holland in 37 brilliant colors. These fabrics are widely used in Europe for books, binders, packaging and photo books. Cloth may be decorated with debossing or hot foil stamping. Many of Corporate Image‘s cover materials are 100% cotton with aqueous acrylic coatings. All of our fabrics can be found on our parent  website LBS.

Why would you choose a cloth 3-ring binder?

By far a cloth binder is the strongest 3-ring binder you will find.  Book cloth is made to last, even with constant use, you can find cloth covered books that look great 30-50 years after they were made.  With excellent color choices and high durability, a cloth binder can offer you the best value for your brand. If you make a product that lasts (such as Toyota), this binder will reinforce the notion of your brand as a well made, high quality product.

Types of Cloth for your 3-ring binder

You have a range of cloth options from the Verona Naturals, natural cotton-linen cloths to fabrics with a subtle sparkle. No matter what your need, we have you covered – including both leather and faux leathers.

How We Make Your Custom Printed Job Easier

Corporate Image Staff

Quality begins with our team

Corporate Image has been delivering quality presentation products for over 30 years to companies, ad agencies and graphic design firms around the United States. We couldn’t have earned our reputation if not for the outstanding team members who help to assure your job is done right. From sales and customer service to prepress and package design to the printing press and production, we are fortunate to have talented and experienced employees like Veronica on our team.

As part of our prepress department, Veronica reviews the client’s artwork for accuracy and to see that the project will print smoothly and at the highest quality level. Veronica’s expertise is one of the things that insures that your Custom 3-ring binder or sample kit job will go smoothly and exceed your expectations.

We are dedicated to creating custom pocket folders, binders and boxes that will stand out in the marketplace and help your company succeed. Call 1-800-247-8194 to speak to a Corporate Image Team Member!


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