Magazine printing is not a small project. For the purchaser, you’ve got to consider everything from the type of paper to print on, to the glue that holds the pages together. Carefully choosing each aspect of the printing process is essential in having a successful magazine. Each aspect is a big decision. Below, we’ve identified the top considerations you should think about before moving forward with your magazine printing project.
8 3/8” x 10 7/8” is the most economical and common magazine page size. Most press and bindery equipment is designed to produce this size efficiently and with minimum paper waste. Oversize and undersize magazines can be produced but their cost per square inch is almost always higher.
Distribution lists can vary from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands. Make sure the company printing your magazine has press options which enables them to produce high quality publications efficiently in almost any quantity. Very short runs can be produced digitally. Medium run quantities are printed on sheet fed presses, while larger quantities are produced on our medium or large web fed presses.
InDesign, Quark X Press, Photoshop and Illustrator are very commonly used software to prepare files for magazine printing production. Get a printer who is able to use these and any other standard graphic arts applications in Mac or Windows. Files converted to PDF are also common.
The printer should use top file review technology, such as Kodak® InSite technology. This is a state of the art portal system for uploading and previewing PDF files. It has the ability to have your files pre-flighted through Prinergy, and to post a “refined” PDF on the Internet for you to view and approve.
Your files are ripped before proofing so the proof you’re seeing on your screen is the same proof the pressman sees on press. Your changes can be made directly through the system and viewed in real time. Hard copy proofs can be made at your request.
Your magazine printer should offer a wide selection of papers. Almost all of the “house” coated papers should be FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Experts should work with you to choose the best papers to meet your reproduction needs and mailing weight goals.
Most magazines are saddle stitched. High speed saddle stitches can also address and sort in line with the finished copies ready to mail immediately. There’s no time or money lost waiting in transporting to outside mail houses.
Publishers may require magazines or similar publications to be stored for future shipment or combined with other publications for distribution. Your magazine printer should be experienced in kit assembly and offer extensive warehousing facilities for longer term warehousing.
Magazine printing processes use many chemicals. If being green is a requirement or of importance to you, make sure that plant operations are 100% wind powered and FSC certified, publishers seeking a dedicated “green” printing source need to have these assurances. Ask if paper scrap, solvents, aluminum and chemicals are recycled or repurposed.
Magazine clients need to rely on the personal service of an experienced sales staff member along with that of a dedicated in-plant customer service representative. Long time clients appreciate this exceptional service and the security it provides them.