Process book formats can take forms such as scrap books, sketchbooks, or binders. They can be perfect bound, spiral bound, saddle stitched or hand bound with Japanese stab or coptic stitch.

Spiral Bound

spiral bining

Coil binding or spiral binding involves creating holes along the left edge of a booklet’s pages and inserting a metal coil through the holes. This binding allows for a wide variety of sizes and page counts. It also offers the most versatility for the user to lay the pages flat, which is why this is a common binding method for spiral notebooks and journals.

Saddle Stitch

saddle stitch

Saddle-stitched binding is the most common and cost-effective form of booklet binding. Booklets bound in this way have folded sheets that are gathered together one inside the other and then stapled through the fold line. This allows the booklet to open up fairly flat, meaning less of your design gets lost in the center binding. However, there is a limitation to this type of binding. Staples can only hold so many pages. Therefore, saddle stitching is best for smaller booklets – if you have more than 32 pages you will have to trim for an even edge. Pages must be added in multiples of 4 due to the fold and size of signature – see imposition placement below.

Perfect Bound

perfect binding

Perfect binding is widely used in soft- and hard-cover books, and what is you see most often on bookstore shelves. The pages and cover are glued rather than stapled at the spine, and the other three sides of the booklet are then trimmed as needed to give them clean, “perfect” edges. Unlike saddle-stitched booklets, perfect-bound booklets often have heavier covers than interior pages to provide durability and improve appearance. Aside from author novels, perfect binding is widely used by businesses for annual reports, manuals, catalogs and thicker product brochures. Unlike saddle stitching, perfect binding allows for an unlimited number of pages because the spine can be adjusted to fit. If you opt for perfect binding, remember to add a little extra space around your center margins, especially if your booklet has a lot of pages. Perfect binding doesn’t accommodate flat pages, so you’ll lose any text or design you place directly in the center fold.

Imposition – Sixteen page signature

imposition perfect bind16 pg signature

Imposition – one sided print – folded 16 page signature
imposition-one sided print

The best online resource I have found book binding is the Youtube channel Sea Lemon.


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1. Template pages for Utica Proud
Final edits – due in Lab

3. Process Book Page Content – with commentary for each section



Process Book Overview


Presentations will be in Lab 10/19 or 10/20
(share pages from your process book for both Utica Proud and Personal Projects)
Steps 1 – 4 should be addressed. – make sure to include notes.

What is a Process Book?

It is a narrative—a printed artifact that documents the back story of a project. It has a beginning, middle and end—with introductions, captions, and notes.

It includes visual representations of all stages of the process:

  • Preliminary Research
  • Thumbnails
  • Sketches, Comps and Final Designs
 Step 1: Debriefing
  • What design problems need to be solved?
  • Mindmap

Analysis – list as many questions as you can.  Example what is your point of view, what materials are available, what should be the look and feel of your response?

Synthesis – answer those questions.

Step 2: Research
  • Content/Concept
  • Images/Visuals
  • Text and Typography

Internet, Library, Personal Interviews,  Photographs, Video, Audio, Illustration, Animation

Step 3: Organizing Your Research

Sections: cover with your name and course name visible, introduction, research, observation, discovery, brainstorming, ideation, mood board, typography, and conclusion

Where is your research leading you?

Step 4: Ideation + Brainstorming

Questioning, Sharing, Taking Risks, Think Wrong

Step 5: Development
  • Multiple Versions
  • Ideate, Evaluate, Iterate
  • SCAMPER Checklist
Step 6: Conclusions

Your process book is ultimately an argument for your end result.

It says “After all of this work there is no other place that I could have ended up.”

Full Description from RAP READER

EXAMPLES of Process Books from Brooklyn