Some paper grades within the graphical papers are more commonly used for printing magazines than others. The paper grade is chosen for its ability to convey information in detail, but also for its technical properties and tactile feel. Within the paper grade you compare papers with different weights to find the paper with the optimal print result.
Coated versus uncoated papers
Traditionally, coated papers have been the most commonly used when printing magazines. Coated papers have got a matte or glossy, shiny surface which also reduce the ink absorbancy. Various materials can be used for coating, but one of the most well-known is kaolinite, also called china clay.
Uncoated papers have attracted more interest in the magazine segment over the last ten years. They are often chosen for tactile reasons, providing a natural feeling and great readability. The surface of the papers can be more or less smooth and glossy depending on the machining process, where calendering or super-calendering may be used. Uncoated fresh-fibre papers are often porous, which enables a thicker paper than a coated paper of the same weight. Thereby you can go for a lower grammage.
LWU papers - low weight uncoated papers
Light-weight uncoated papers, LWU-papers, use the porosity, their bulky properties, to their advantage. With their lower weight, distribution of the magazine will cost less, and the transports may affect the environment less. It's not just the question of a lower total cost, many publishers and printers choose these papers for their haptics and for sustainability reasons. A lighter paper costs less for the environment, too.
When choosing a light-weight uncoated paper for your magazine, examine the quality of a printed sample and make sure the image reproduction is to your liking. The brightness of the paper helps ensuring the contrast and a smooth and even quality is important for conveying detail.
Holmen EPIC, Holmen TRND and Holmen VIEW are three papers which are light-weight and high-quality, well worth the time to check out. They are all well suited for heatset (HWSO), coldset (CWSO), digital and waterless printing, and Holmen TRND is also a perfect choice for sheet printing.
SC-papers - super-calendered papers
The super-calendered papers, SC-papers, are thinner and more glossy than most other paper grades. They convey images and details better than one might expect, especially when you choose a paper which has sufficient brightness and opacity. In supercalendering, the paper passes through stacks of hot rollers, where friction and pressure generates a very smooth and uniform surface.
Our most well-known SC-paper is Holmen UNIQ. The paper is well suited for heatset web offset printing (HSWO) and rotogravure printing (RG).
The new generation of magazine papers
High-end magazines today tend to make bolder paper choices. They differentiate themselves from the formerly very glossy market by choosing papers with more attitude. They use the paper to promote a feeling, and many readers like it more when the paper surface is somewhat more raw and natural. Going for the environmentally conscious alternatives will always be relevant.
Paper is manufactured and delivered in rolls. Magazine paper is normally supplied to the printing house on reels with an agreed width (normally between 0.8-2.5 meters). The printing house usually takes care of printing both the insert and cover, cutting and binding. Many times they are also making different types of finishing, wrapping or packing before distribution.
The web printer press is made for printing, folding, and handling of large print editions from paper rolls in a fast process which reduces overhead costs and production time, as long as there are no standstills. Our customer care set-up makes sure our paper rolls are delivered in the right time and place to fit the planning.
Holmen Paper always offer technical support, and we work in close contact with most of the European printing houses as well as with printers all over the world. We are experts in facilitation and we almost always attend the onset of a new magazine title in the press.
Paper sheets for magazines
But many digital and offset printing presses aren't constructed for paper rolls, instead they are sheet-fed. Sheet-feeding is common especially for smaller editions, such as customer magazines and specialty magazines.
Holmen Paper cooperates with paper converters and wholesale specialists to provide paper sheets for magazines.
Magazine customer stories
Here are some examples of how some magazines choose their paper - best practises - together with some inspiration and recent trends.