• MidAmerican Printing

Magazine Printing: What To Know Before You Order

Updated: Feb 16


Magazine Printer Chicago

Paper Selection

When it comes to ordering your magazine, the most important aspect involves the paper in which the magazine printer will be using for your project. There are three aspects to consider:

  1. Paper weight

  2. Paper grade

  3. Paper finish and type

Paper and Cover Weight

Paper weights range from 38 lb to 100 lb text. The difference here involves paper thickness. For example, the thinnest paper option is the 38 lb, which is the type used for TIME Magazine and other high run publications, however it’s typically not readily available for most small runs.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: Having a thicker, more substantial paper weight is often associated with greater value by prospective clients or other stakeholders. You can use the same paper weight for your cover and the interior pages referred to as guts or the body; this is called a self cover. If you want a thicker cover page your options range from 60 lb to 140 lb.


Paper Grades

The next step for choosing the paper for your magazine is to pick the paper grade. Grades range from one to five. One is the whitest paper, while five describes paper with a yellow tint. Five is also the cheapest paper grade. Which grade should you choose? Three grade is the most commonly used for a magazine. But if you are interested in reducing the price point, you could choose a lower grade, i.e. four or five grade, for the body of the magazine.


Paper Stock

When you speak with your magazine printer about your desire to print a magazine, you’ll need to know of your preferred paper stock. For starters, there are several types of paper stock. However, for the majority of magazine publications three paper types are utilized:

  1. Dull

  2. Matte

  3. Gloss

Just as with photo printing, these paper stocks indicate the appearance of the finished printing. For the majority of magazines gloss paper is used because it allows colors to pop off the page. These are the least costly of the three types. Matte is the most expensive option, but it provides the reader with a more luxurious experience thanks to an elegant feel.


Paper Trim Size

The final step in choosing a paper type is deciding on the final trim size of your magazine. You want to be sure to give the final dimensions of your magazine based on the following:

  1. Dimensions must be given as “width x height.”

  2. Consider the trim size carefully if you want a landscape versus portrait view, as the dimensions will indicate which direction your magazine is printed.

Now that you have the information you need to select your paper for your upcoming magazine, it’s time to advance to the next step. In the next article of this series we will talk about binding and coating.


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Request A Quote Have a question or looking for a price quote on an upcoming project? If so, please give us a call at (312) 663-4720.

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3838 N. River Road

Schiller Park, IL 60176

Phone: (312) 663-4720

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Since 1985, MidAmerican Printing Systems has been providing printing services to many of the region's largest businesses, organizations and institutions, in addition to a vast array of small businesses that exist in the community. A G7 certified printing company based in Chicago Illinois.

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