The Ultimate Guide to Printing Magazines

Though the publishing industry has been in steady decline over the last decade, magazines can still be a worthwhile investment. As the popularity and power of mobile devices have risen and publishers have fully digital offerings, the future of magazines and newspapers alike has been in question. 

The good news is that printed magazines are still alive and well, decreasing in circulation by about 2% yearly. This article explores what it takes to print a magazine and why this could be the next best thing for your brand.

3 Magazine Paper Types

If you want to dive into the magazine publishing world, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Gloss Paper

A popular choice for fashion, food and travel magazines, gloss paper is semi-reflective with a sheen that allows colors to really pop off the page.

Matte Paper

Matte paper is the more muted of the paper types. Matte paper is generally a bit easier on the eyes and works well for legibility.

Uncoated Paper

Uncoated paper is any paper type that doesn’t have coating filled between its layers. Because this paper type is a bit rougher and has an unfilled porous nature, printing images on this paper will generally result in slightly softer colors. Uncoated paper is still partially coated.

Identify the Right Magazine Template

While creating the right magazine template may feel like a daunting task, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can access a host of free and premium designs online for major software like Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress and Microsoft Publisher. Print Bind Ship can create and customize a magazine template to your specific needs and niche. 

4 Common Magazine Formats

Even though magazines can come in all shapes and sizes, a few common magazine formats dominate. 

Perfect Bound

The most common format of a magazine is the perfect bound. Perfect-bound magazines are glued and stapled along the spine. These magazines have a clean look and lay flat while open, making them great for reading.

Saddle Stitch

Another popular magazine format is the saddle stitch. Saddle-stiched magazines are stapled at the folds in the spine. Though saddle-stitch magazines are cheaper to print, the bias has to be accounted for. Saddle-stiched magazines do not have the same luxe look that perfect-bound magazines have and are often used in cult publications and ‘zines.

Spiral Bound

Spiral-bound magazines are probably the least common of the bunch when it comes to general format types because spiral binding is typically used more for promotional materials in the B2B and B2C sectors.

Die Cut

Die-cut magazines are eye-catching and memorable, and they can be a great way to stand out. 

9 Types of Magazines to Print

When thinking about the type of magazine you’re going to print, you need to think about the purpose for your magazine in the market, your target audience and the printing requirements needed for certain magazine types.

Health Magazines

One of the most crowded spaces in the magazine arena is health. These magazines usually feature authors who are doctors, dieticians, athletes and other health professionals.

Travel Magazines

Designed to evoke a spirit of wanderlust and exploration, travel magazines provide inspiration and information. These magazines generally feature location guides, travel tips and op-eds built around amazing excursions.

Fashion Magazines

Fashion magazines generally focus on trends, styling tips and interviews with stylists. Fashion magazines have also been heavily supported with advertorial content from vetted products. 

Lifestyle Magazines

Lifestyle magazines cover a wide range of topics, from relationships and parenting to home décor and entertainment. When creating a lifestyle magazine it’s important to find a core audience; the readers you’re speaking to should be of similar mindsets.

Local Guide Magazines

A large sector of magazines being printed includes local magazines. Local papers have stood the test of time and in some cases even become global phenomenons.

Art Magazines

Many museums including the Whitney, Jeu De Paume and Smithsonian have their own small magazine imprints that keep people abreast of the work they are doing in the art world and telling the public who they think is up-and-coming.

Business Magazines

Though it may be hard to keep up with the prowess of Bloomberg, the Economist or the Wall Street Journal, business magazines in emerging industries can be worthwhile.

Home and Garden Magazines

You may not be Martha Stewart, Oprah or Rachel Ray, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into the home and garden sector of publishing. During 2020, plant sales grew 19%, with another 30% of growth reported in 2021. Experts say the trend will not stop, mainly because 7 out of 11 millennials own plants.

Industry-Specific Magazines

Designed to reach people who work or are interested in specific industries, industry-specific magazines focus heavily on topics in in-depth ways that broader magazine types don’t delve into. Examples of industry-specific magazine categories could be healthcare, education or technology focused.

How to Print Magazines

Here are the steps you need to take to print your magazine.

Step 1: Get Your Concept Down

The first step of making your magazine is knowing its concept, from the vertical you want to focus on to the overall tone of writing and branding.

Step 2: Customize Your Magazine

Magazines are generally impulse buys that use their covers as billboards to show what they’re about. During the customization phase of printing your magazine, you can work with Print Bind Ship to figure out the best layouts, paper stock, fonts and designs that suit your brand. Once you have all of the details in order and proofed, you can send the files to Print Bind Ship to be printed, bound and shipped.

Step 3: Send Your Files to Print Bind Ship

Print Bind Ship has over 60 years of printing experience and can walk you through the entire printing process. With a full range of printing capabilities, Print Bind Ship can print any type of magazine format you like on any type of paper.

Print the Passions You Share with the Public

In an already crowded market, the best way to make your magazine stand out is by publishing the kind of content that is important to you and your target audience. Publishing a magazine with a captive audience is one of the best ways to guarantee success. Regardless of the type of magazine you’re printing, Print Bind Ship can help you along the way and fulfill your print run and shipping needs expeditiously.


What is the best paper for magazine printing?

The best paper for magazine printing depends on the type of magazine you’re printing. For example, for a high fashion magazine, you’ll most likely want gloss, while a column-heavy magazine might look better on matte paper.

How does magazine printing work?

Magazine printing works by choosing a concept, branding, format, templates, layout, paper types, binding, editorial process and proofing — then sending to your printer.

How much does printing a magazine cost?

The cost of printing a magazine can change from the specifications and requirements you set.