Choosing between lay-flat and perfect binding

14th April 2015

If you are new to making photo books, it can be a bit confusing to choose between the different paper types, sizes, covers and binding.

Many people come to us, because they are looking for a lay-flat book and Bob Books is the UK's number 1 supplier of lay-flat photographic paper books. If you want a lay-flat bound book, then choose one of our photographic paper books. Our other paper types do not offer lay-flat binding.


The lay-flat binding on our photographic paper books is ideal for having an image across a double page spread as there is a 0% gutter, meaning the image is printed completely uninterrupted across the spine. This makes it the perfect option for landscape panoramas, full bleed images and group shots that you want to be displayed over a double page spread. 

Our lay-flat binding comes in two paper types. The gloss photographic paper and the lustre photographic paper. Both photographic papers are 300gsm, meaning they are thicker than our other paper options. They are also printed using traditional photographic chemical printing rather than digital printing. The lustre photographic paper has a semi-gloss oyster finish to the page, whilst our gloss photographic paper has a high gloss finish. They are available in hardback only, with our unique lay-flat binding method.


Alternatively you can choose from our perfect bound range of paper types. Our classic and gloss-coated books available in paperback and hardback and matte paper book in hardback only are all only available in with perfect binding. This means that they do not lay-flat, and there will be a gutter between two double page spreads. This is fine if you wish to display your images within image boxes on the page or have margin around the image which will not be affected by the gutter. 

It is still possible to display an image across a double page spread but you should be aware that some of the image will be lost in the spine. As long as there are no important details in the middle of the image that will be lost in the spine you still get great results.


The type of binding used in your book is entirely dependent on the paper type you choose. Due to the properties of the paper, it is not possible to change the binding method for the different papers. 


If you have any questions about any of our products please contact our Customer Care team at or 08338806800