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Open-spine binding

One of the most unique types of binding. Incredibly simple and modest. Durable, despite its apparent incompleteness. A book bound like this has no spine and you can see the exposed book block instead, which can be quite eye-catching if colourful threads are used to join the folded sheets, or if the folds are coloured. The open spine is available for both soft- and hardcovers.

It is a charming and singular type of binding. Considering the processing and materials applied, it is perfect for publishers with a green attitude. Gives a remarkable character to artistic publications, planners and even annual reports.

Best use

diaries, notebooks, planners, art books, portfolio, research papers, annual reports

Find out more


The use of appropriate materials (e.g. wastepaper, non-coated cover materials, and plain cardboard) and natural components (e.g. cotton or hemp threads) makes the book completely biodegradable.


  • min.
    100 × 100 mm
  • max
    300 × 420 mm
Book block thickness
  • min.
    3 mm
  • max
    65 mm
Cover materials

Various kinds of paper.

Cover extras

To multiply the visual effects and enhance the looks, you can use different colours of thread in the folded sheets, printed end papers or mass-dyed paper.

Read more about the accessories and cover extras here.


In the case of open-spine books the best formula is ‘the less the better’. By nature, these publications are meant to be raw, so they look better with conventional hot stamping, or dry embossing/debossing.

Read more about the available enhancements here.

For publishing companies and self-publishers

Learn about the benefits of working with us.

Frequently asked questions

What is the price difference between a softcover and a hardcover?

It is impossible to provide a definite figure, because a number of factors affect the price, such as format, volume and print run. Assuming some average parameters: B5, 160 pages and 200 copies, a thread-sewn hardcover would be approx. PLN 5.00 (net) more expensive per copy than a perfect-bound softcover.

Can I order a thread for my book in a colour other than white?

Of course. We offer a few dozen of thread colours. We actually recommend using customised colour, especially in open spine products. If the inside of the book contains black solids, we recommend a black thread.

Is Totem environmentally certified?

We are greatly committed to ensuring that any products leaving our printing house are produced in as environmentally-friendly manner as possible. Digital printing alone is already considered to be ‘greener’ than conventional printing. We are FSC certified and we have a certificate confirming that 100% of energy used in our processes comes from renewable energy sources. 

What is the best paper for my publication?

This question is too general to give a definite answer. When choosing the paper for the main part of the book, many aspects have to be considered, including the nature or type of publication, its purpose, dimensions, readers, and even the available budget. First, we need to answer a few elementary questions, e.g. whether the paper should be white, cream or off-white, coated or uncoated, standard or recycled. Providing such descriptive details will be enough for us to suggest the best paper for your book.

What is the most economical B5 print size?

The optimal format is 165 x 235 mm, or a popular variation 170 x 240 mm. We strongly recommend not to use sizes close to 176 x 250 mm, as it generates a lot of paper waste and thus increases the costs of production. Also, it has a negative impact on the environment.

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