Wire-O® (Double Wire) Binding System

Wire-O® is the registered name for a double loop wire binding system developed by James Burn over 60 years ago. It is also referred to as double-O or double wire binding. In the Wire-O binding process the text and cover are punched along the binding edge with a series of slotted holes. A specially formed wire is then inserted into the slots and compressed closed. Ideal for short run books, calendars, manuals, etc.

Design Considerations:

  • Start with a paper dummy to determine final thickness, allowance for wire on left margin, etc.
  • Allow a minimum of 5/8" margin between the spine edge and copy.
  • Thicker books require a larger left margin to allow for the wire.
  • 1.25" Wire-O is maximum, and will handle books up to 1.125" thick
  • Check on availability of wire color early in the design process.
MGTL's Wire Colors:
Please check with MGTL for availability on the colors marked with (*).
  • Silver (plain wire)
  • White
  • Black
  • Red (PMS 193)
  • Blue (PMS 288)
  • Gray (PMS 431)*
  • Green (PMS 343)*
  • Gold (PMS 875)*
  • Pewter*
Optional Wire-O Binding Styles:
  • Semi-Concealed Wire-O: utilizes a wraparound cover that’s scored and folded prior to binding. The wire binding elements are partially visible through either the front or back cover. Semi-concealed Wire-O is slightly less expensive than fully-concealed because it uses less paper and is less labor intensive.
  • Fully-Concealed Wire-O: covers wrap around the book to completely hide the binding elements. Fully-concealed covers are typically comprised of three panels, which can either be glued to the inside back cover of the book, or left unglued to provide space for extra copy. An alternative design is to have the panels wrap around the open (non-bound) edge of the book to provide additional visibility for images or text.
For a comparison of alternative binding methods see Binding Styles.