What exactly IS the difference between overlay binders and entrapment binders?

“View binder” is the generic term for a sealed vinyl loose leaf binder that has a clear pocket on the outside cover(s) where a printed sheet gets inserted. They are often also referred to as Overlay Binders. Standard capacities (ring sizes) can be purchased through retail office supply chains, which are usually manufactured overseas.

When to use an overlay (view) binder.

Vinyl Overlay Binder

Vinyl Overlay Binder

View binders offer project flexibility and low cost when appropriate, such as the following situations:

  • Personalizing a presentation for a small group
  • Binders need to be re-used
  • Low quantity applications
  • Black, white, or small choice of colors is acceptable
  • “Image” perception is a low priority
  • Durability is a low priority
  • Cost (low) per unit is high priority
  • Very short lead time is a high priority

“Custom” binders are any binders that you can’t buy from stock.  They can be as simple as being imprinted with a single logo, or as elaborate as you can imagine, and everything in between.  If you’re inserting more than 150 “view” binders at a time, you should consider a custom solution such as an Entrapment Binder which is an economical vinyl heat-sealed binder that takes your printed cover and locks it in below a sealed clear vinyl cover. An entrapment binder will give you a much more professional looking finished product than a clear overlay (view) binder.

When to use an entrapment binder.

Custom Entrapment Binder

Custom Entrapment Binder

Custom binders may be your best (and possibly lowest cost) option under the following situations:

  • Preparing more than 100-150 binders at a time
  • Cover artwork is consistent
  • Quality and durability is a higher priority
  • Professionalism is a priority (no copier sheets floating in a larger cover).
  • You want a choice of colors.
  • Prefer a different pocket configuration (inside or outside), or more of them.
  • Fulfillment cost (view binder inserts – cost and labor) are factored in overall cost.
  • You have more than a week’s notice

If you decide to consider a custom ring binder solution, you’ll have many choices.  There are many different materials and constructions, decorating techniques, ring configurations, pocketing options, etc.  Here are some questions to consider when you’re seeking help.

  • What’s the application? How will the binders be used?  What’s going in the binders?
  • What’s the likely type of artwork for the binder cover or inside liner?  Spot color, 4CP, stamping, textures, etc.?
  • What’s the likely quantity of binders you will need (determine a range, as this is significant to pricing)?
  • What binder capacity* do you need?  This often refers to ring-size.
  • When do you need your binders?

 

* IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING BINDER CAPACITY: Some manufactures of stock ring binders have started describing their binders by the spine width, instead of the ring capacity.  This switch started a few years ago.  When raw material costs spiked, they changed the description in order to appear to be holding price points.  As a result, a 1” capacity binder, is sometimes now sold as a 1 ½” binder (spine width).  The custom binder industry still uses the ring capacity when referring to binder size.