Die cut tab dividers can assist readers through sections of a binder
Tab dividers have an approximate half inch section that extends past the face of a book or multi-page document. The purpose of the divider is to assist the reader to easily find a particular section of the book.
The type of binding that allows the greatest flexibility and lowest relative cost of tab dividers would be loose leaf binding such as ring, Wire-O, or spiral binding. The tabs are inserted by hand at any position desired.
Tabs inserted into a perfect bound book must have the tab portion folded back to allow for the face trimming of the book after the covers and body are glued together. A second consideration when perfect binding a book is the position of the tabs in relationship to the pages or signatures. The gathering or collation of the tabs and book pages is a mechanical process with limited number of collating pockets. To hold costs down, communicate to Castle Press the desired position of the tabs during the design process. Changing the position of the tabs can easily double the collating cost of the book.
Saddle stitched books that have divider tabs require a 4-page signature that wraps around the spine with 2-pages in the front half of the book and the remaining 2-pages in the back half of the book. Tabs in a saddle stitched book allow for no face trim after stitching of the page signatures. Because of this, all pages have to be trimmed to final face or width size before binding.
Additionally, the tab pages require die cutting to create the tab.
Standard sized divider tabs save money
There are two ways to make divider tabs. If the divider page is smaller than 9 x 12 inches and uses a standard radius tab edge, the die cutting process uses either a high die that cuts 200 tabs at a time or a high speed rotary die cutter. Both of these methods of die cutting are low cost.
The expensive way is to design a special shape for the divider tab or to have a final size greater than 9 x 12 inches. The reason for the additional expense is that a special cutting die is made. Then the press sheet of divider tabs must be die cut on a cylinder press operating at about 3,000 sheets per hour.
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