Case Study – Professor Puzzle Product Catalogue with PUR binding

PUR bound Product brochure

Who doesn’t love a good puzzle. Well there is something for everyone in Professor Puzzle’s new printed catalogue. A 210 x 210mm brochure with PUR binding is much less corporate than the standard A4 but still a very economical size and works perfectly for this range of products.

A double page spread in the completed brochure with PUR binding by Bristol Printer, Apple Colour

A double page spread in the completed brochure with PUR binding by Bristol Printer, Apple Colour


The Brief

Spec: Product catalogue printed 4 colour process on the litho press, 210 x 210mm, PUR binding with a matt laminate cover

2 versions: UK version- 2000 off – 84 pages, International version – 1000 off- 60 pages

Turnaround time: 5 days


How we did it

Notes from Prepress

This black cover is printed in a 4 colour black which is perfect given it is going to be laminated.(In some instances to make a black look darker we generally advise to add a 50-60% cyan underneath the solid black which makes it more dense and shiny) .  The pages are positioned up on the sheets by Lester using the imposition software, to make sure that all the pages appear in the right position once folded into sections. (On the more complicated jobs, with many sections we often make up a low res positional proof to check the pagination(running order) of the brochure pages, prior to printing.)

Loading the plates into the litho press for a section of the brochure that will be using PUR binding at Bristol Printer Apple Colour

Loading the plates into the litho press for a section of the brochure

Once the proofs are approved the plates are prepared in prepress ready to be loaded into the press. A plate is required for each colour (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black)) for each side of each sheet.


On the Press

Once the plates are loaded into the press the machine is put through a ‘Make Ready ‘process which includes checking the position of the print and the colour.

“Lamination was certainly a consideration when setting up the colour on the press for this job.  Once applied, the lamination on the cover will tone down the black colour and make it look slightly grey” says Steve, Printer,  so the finishing of a job must always be thought through while the job is on the press. Steve opts to increase the ink by 5% to help with the density of the black and also applying a slightly heavier ink helps eliminate any dust particles on the paper which is very important when printing a solid colour. “And of course the  colours fade when they dry”. So much to think about! Good job Steve’s been doing it over 30 years st this Bristol printers.

Checking the colours at the Bristol Printer Apple Colour, during the Make Ready stage before the PUR binding

Checking the colours at the Bristol Printer Apple Colour, during the ‘Make Ready’ process.

Happy with the ‘Make Ready’, the litho machine is now run at 8000 sheets an hour to print a run of 1000 copies  (The machine can run up to 15,000 sheets an hour on a long run). Once this side of the sheet has been printed it’s over to John to flip the paper ready to load back into the machine and print the other side.




The reverse of the sheet is then printed. Steve checks that the print on the front and back align and can make adjustments to the position of the ink or the paper, (misalignment can be caused by the paper not being cut square, paper not being loaded properly or paper stretch from being made wet with ink, and then being pulled through the machine and then heated to dry.) It’s all in a days work on the factory floor


The flat sheets are trimmed before they are folded, but only slightly, still leaving a border around the print before it is passed through to folding.

Bristol Printer, Andy trimming the flat sheets of the printed brochure before it goes through to folding and then PUR binding

Bristol Printer, Andy trimming the flat sheets before they go through to folding and then PUR binding

After setting up the folding machine, it is like magic.  Flat sheets in one end and folded sections out of the other.  It is difficult to see this happening on the machine as it is all hidden by big chunks of metal, but literally it picks up a flat sheet, feeds it into the machine and it Z folded and then folded in half  to create a 12 page section.  These pages remain as sections throughout the binding process, it is not until the very end that the folded edges are removed and the pages become single leaves when the 3 sides of the brochure are trimmed after the PUR binding is complete.(Any sections less than 12 pages need to be positioned as the penultimate section to strengthen the binding.)

While the text is being folded the cover is laminated with a matt laminate to make the cover look flat and this will improve it’s durable. 

What is lamination?

Lamination is where a plastic coating is applied to the papers surface to protect it or to achieve a certain finish. Lamination is not completed on the litho press but done as a separate process as part of finishing. You can choose from a number of lamination finishes. the standard finished are matt, silk, Gloss and soft touch, or some more textured finishes like grain lamination which needs to be completed by a specialist.



Bristol Printer prepares printed sections of text are checked before loading into the PUR binder.

Printed sections of text are checked before loading into the PUR binder.

Next comes the binding. Binding machines are always bigger and more complex than you think. So much to be done as part of an inline process, they take up a lot of room in the factory.  The machine being used can hold up to 8 sections at a time, but for the International version of the Professor Puzzle brochure, we are just going to use 5 sections.

 In simple terms, this is the process if you are PUR binding a brochure: You load the sections in order at one end, the machine takes one of each of the sections and collates it into a book, it cuts off the spine edge, applies the glue in 3 positions, scores and attaches the cover, and then once bound the whole brochure is trimmed on the 3 remaining sides and a bound brochure comes out the other end.  

Sounds simple but there is a lot of set up involved, and whether a run of 100 of a run of half a million copies is needed, it requires the same set up.

What is pur binding?

Pur binding is ideal for anything with over a 3mm spine using paper with a maximum weight of 200gsm. The glue takes 24 hours to dry and once try is a solid fix to hold all the text pages and cover in place. It is durable and perfect for brochures which are going to be referenced regularly.


It is not until the binding is complete that the brochure has the 3 edges trimmed by a large guillotine ( that is safely hidden behind some safety Perspex.) All the trimmings are sucked up a duct and transported to the recycle bin, keeping it all tidy.

Finished Brochure with PUR binding by Bristol Printer, Apple Colour

The finished brochure

The brochures are boxed and allowed to cure for 24 hours after which the glue is solid.

Job done!

Check out our other PUR Binding examples and alternative binding in the Portfolio, or contact us on or 0117 972 8900