Lay Flat Binding and OTA-Binding explained


When visiting your local stationery store or browsing for a new jotter online, you may have come across the terms Lay Flat Binding, Lie-flat bound, or perhaps OTA-bound.

Both Lay Flat Binding and OTA-bound mean the same thing. The latter is named after the Finnish firm ‘Otavia’. They first patented the process in 1981.

The binding technique sounds self-explanatory. But there are a few reasons why this binding method stands out from other more commonly-used techniques.

One of the fastest and most secure way to ensure all the pages in a book stay together is by applying glue along the spine. To save time, hot glue is normally used. This cools down in minutes, meaning many books can be bound in a short period of time.

However, Lay Flat Binding uses cold glue instead. Applied thinly to the spine, this glue takes 24 hours to completely dry. Afterwards, the cover is then attached to the end-papers either side of the spine. This creates a visible gap along the spine, giving Lay-flat binding its unique appearance.


Lay Flat / OTA Binding is not favoured by commercial binderies because of this additional time, and therefore expense. But this patience is rewarded, with a notebook that, while using little glue, is still extremely strong.

With all of our City Notebooks, the pages are also bundled together and sewn, making the binding even stronger, and very unlikely to ever detach from the spine. We also add an additional cover to the original binding to make the notebook more durable, but still lighter than hard-back notebooks.

You can learn more about the detailed manufacturing process on Hyphen Press and find examples of our Lay Flat notebooks on our online shop.

Singer-sewn. Lay Flat. Ring-bound. What’s your favourite method of binding? Let us know. You can find us on Instagram and Twitter.