REQUEST:

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?

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!

 


2014 HOW Design Live and Corporate Image

Thanks!

For all of you who came to HOW and saw us at booth 215 it was a pleasure to meet you and hang out!  Here are a few of our photos of HOW and Boston:

HOW Design Live - booth adornments -Corporate Image photos HOW Design Live - Corporate Image photos

Howdesignlive-CorporateImage HOWDesignLive--CorproateImageBostonCommon-Howdesignlive-corporateimage HOW-deisgn-live---tulips!-swan-boats-boston-HOW-design-live

 

 

We enjoyed meeting everyone and for those who were not there, a lot of our working conversations trended around sustainable 3-ring binders, digitally printed binders, glue-less pocket folders and the recyclable binder, folder and box options. ( If you want a small glue less pocket folder sample – let us know!)

But we also covered the weather, coffee, paper options, crazy things all you designers are working on, the US census (great meeting you all!), Iowa and a whole lot more.

Thanks for all the great talks HOW Design Live 2014!


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 info@corp-image.com.  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.


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.

Correct-bleeds-for-binder-template---Corporate-Image

 

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


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?


7 great designer projects: Marketing Materials

 Marketing materials set an emotional tone for a company, balancing the need to stand out, make a statement and supporting a brand.

custom pocket folder designs

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!


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!


Corporate Image Design Support

Create the best possible presentation packaging with a custom prototype and digital template.

If needed, one of our Corporate Image sales representatives will enlist the help of our product design team to collaborate with you on developing a custom presentation product. We’ll help you sell your idea. There’s no charge for producing an initial prototype of a custom design, built to your specifications. Multiple copies for presentations are available for a small fee.

When you’re ready to begin the final design phase of your custom binder, pocket folder or box project, we will email a template to you. This ensures that your final product will match your design and eliminates the worry about critical details like score lines, glue strips, tuck flaps and die cutting tolerances.

Don’t just take our word for it,

“At The HON Company, we needed to tell our sustainability story and worked with Corporate Image to produce a unique, environmentally friendly package. From knowing which eco-friendly materials to use, through package design, Corporate Imaged showed they really understood our needs and the importance of matching our message with the right presentation solution.”
Chad Johnson, The HON Company


A.O. Smith

Portfolio Binder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnets closures offer a unique option for custom binders

A.O. Smith designed a beautiful custom portfolio binder that incorporated magnets to close the portfolio flap so it’s flush with the cover. It is a unique way and effective way to open and close the binder and adds an interesting design element to the project. The custom printed binder also included a sales box for separate materials that was adhered to the inside cover.


A Printed Binder Liner is a Terrible Thing to Waste

 

 

 

When is a Custom Printed Binder more than just a binder? When it speaks to readers and commands their attention. When it colorfully communicates a brand, an image, a product or a message. When it translates design into reality through impeccable offset printing and master bookbinders’ craftsmanship. A Corporate Image binder is more than a binder when you take advantage of the inside of the binder.

CLICK TO READ MORE


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