Shweiki Media Inc.

Shweiki Media Inc.

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How Much Does It Cost to Print

Shweiki Media Inc.
Shweiki Media Inc. 7/12/2014 2:59:00 PM

How Much Does It Cost To Print Magazines

Shweiki Media printing company specializes in hassle-free printing of magazines, post cards, fliers, brochures and more... For FREE print quotes and samples:...

How Much Does It Cost to Print 1,000/5,000/10,000/20,000 Magazines, Catalogs or Calendars?


a perfect world, if you were to ask”What does it cost to print 1,000

magazines, 5,000 magazines, 10,000 magazines, etc…?” you would get a

quick answer, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There are many

costs associated with printing a magazine, and it’s important for

publishers to be familiar with the factors that affect these costs to

avoid being taken advantage of and ensure that they are securing the

best deal possible from their printer. Here David Reimherr, Vice

President of Sales for Shweiki, breaks down the factors that determine

printing costs in a must-watch webinar.

How much does printing cost?

What you need to know about your job to get an accurate estimate:

• Final Trim Size- The final size of your finished magazine after it is trimmed (i.e. 8 3/8 x 10 7/8):

This is not to be confused with the size of the files. It’s important

to note that dimensions are given in “width x height.” The easiest way

to remember this is by remembering that the height is the side where the

binding or spine is. So, when providing a dimension of 10 7/8 x 8 3/8,

this magazine would be bound on the 8 3/8 side and would look more like a

landscape than a portrait view.

• Page Count – The number of pages you will be sending including covers:

This shouldn’t be confused with the number of sheets of paper or the

number of spreads. Often, this can be a source of confusion and will

lead to miscommunication. If the publisher is talking in sheets while

the estimator is talking in pages, the publisher is going to end up

thinking they got an incredible price…until the files come in! It’s

crucial to count each page: cover is page one, inside cover is page two,

etc., until the back cover, which is the last page. One other way that

page count can be communicated is by giving a “+ cover” count, meaning

that one provides the total number of inside pages + the four-page cover

(front cover, inside front cover, inside back cover, back cover).  But

for the sake of clarity, it’s always best to say 64+4 or 68 total pages,


• Paper – The weight, grade, and stock of the paper which your project will be printed on:

Paper Weight - Magazines can be printed on

either the same type of paper on the inside pages and the cover (a style

that is referred to as “self cover”) or a thicker paper on the cover

pages and a thinner paper on inside pages (often referred to as the body

or guts). There are many different paper weights and stocks to choose,

and here they are listed from the thinnest paper stocks to the thickest…

- 38 lb text

- 40 lb text

- 45 lb text

- 50 lb text

- 60 lb text

- 70 lb text

- 80 lb text

- 100 lb text

- 60 lb cover (same as 6 pt cover)

- 70 lb cover (same as 7 pt cover)

- 80 lb cover (same as 8 pt cover)

- 100 lb cover (same as 10 pt cover)

- 120 lb cover (same as 12 pt cover)

- 140 lb cover (same as 14 pt cover).

Paper Grade – Paper is graded on a scale of

one to five, with one being the whitest of the whites, and five being a

lower quality paper that typically has a yellow-ish tint. Grade four or

five paper is often described as groundwood. Standard magazine-grade

paper is normally a number-three grade. However, occasionally a lower

grade paper, like a number four or number five, might work for inside


Paper Stock – There are 3 main paper types to choose from:

Gloss - The majority of magazines today are

printed on gloss paper. Gloss papers are coated to give them a shiny or

lustrous appearance. Gloss papers are less opaque, have less bulk, and

are less expensive than dull or matte papers. One should use gloss paper

if they want their colors to “pop.”

Dull - Smooth surface paper that is low in gloss. Dull coated paper falls between matte and glossy paper.

Matte - A non-glossy, flat-looking paper.

Matte papers are normally a bit higher in cost and are the perfect way

to give a publication an elegant feel.

• Quantity – The number of printed copies needed:

Whether it’s 100 or 500 or 1,000 or 5,000 etc., it’s important for

one to let their printer know what they want. It is normal for printers

to allow anywhere from a 3%-5%-10% overage/underage.  (You can read more

about that here.)  Some

printers charge for overs that one might not ask for nor want, so it’s

important to be very clear when  getting bids and ask about any overage

policies up front.

• Binding Style - The format in which your magazine will be bound:

There are a few different types of binding, and the two most common are perfect-bound and saddle-bound.


This is the square-edge look seen with some of the magazines on

newsstands with larger page counts. There is not really a maximum number

of pages that one can perfect bind, but there is normally a minimum

amount of pages required to perfect bind. One should ask their printer

for specific minimum requirements.

Saddle-bound (or saddle-stitching):

This is the binding process that uses staples. Normally, saddle

stitching is a bit more cost-effective when compared to perfect

binding.  There is no minimum page count required, but there normally is

a maximum. Again, one should simply ask their printer what their limits


Spiral binding:

This is the also referred to as coil binding, and it is the binding

normally used for cookbooks, notebooks, or any other publication with

pages that need to open up completely and lay flat to be the most useful

to the reader. Spiral binding is usually much more expensive than

saddle or perfect binding, but it certainly has its place.

Case binding:

This is the most common type of binding used for hardbound books,

like textbooks or novels. In the case binding process, pages are sewn

together, hard covers are attached, and then covered with cloth, vinyl

or leather cases.

• Coatings : The type of coating you want for your magazine:

The most common coatings for magazine covers are gloss UV, matte UV and Varnish.

Gloss UV  –This is the extra shiny coating

that adds a sheen to the printed product. Gloss UV will enhance colors

and preserve the paper from fading, yellowing or tearing.

Matte UV – This coating gives the cover a more textured, smoother feel.

Varnish – The best way to describe varnish is a less glossy, less shiny Gloss UV.

• Shipping : The exact address of where everything needs to be shipped:

It is best to let the printer know exactly where everything ships, as

well as the details of the shipment. (Is it going to a residential

neighborhood? Is the shipment going somewhere that does not have a dock

and will need a lift gate?) Also, it’s important to let the printer

whether the magazines should be shipped in boxes or straps. Some

printers charge for boxes, so it’s important to ask when getting a


Helpful hints when getting magazine pricing:

* For self covers (magazines with the same paper used throughout the

whole thing), page counts that will get the best pricing will usually be

in multiples of 16 (16, 32, 48, 64 etc.). So, if one is asking for

pricing on a self cover magazine at 12 or 28 or 44 pages and the printer

does not suggest a 16, 32 or 48-page option, one should hang up the

phone immediately!

* One should always get samples ahead of time. Some paper stocks are

similar enough in feel that it will be worth it to get the lesser grade

to save on costs. For instance, 45-lb. paper can often replace a 50 lb,

60-lb. paper can often replace 70 lb., and 8-pt. papers can often

replace 10-pt., without the average person being able to tell much of a

difference in feel. However, 50 lb. paper may feel much thinner than 60

lb. The best strategy is to get samples and actually feel them.

*People really do judge a book by its cover, and the same rings true

with magazines. Often it’s a good idea to acknowledge the importance of

first impressions and invest in the cover, rather than the inside pages.

* If you are not dead-set on your final size, look at other options

that can save you money. Some common sizes that can garner lower pricing

are 8 3/8 x 10 7/8, 6 x 9 and 5 3/8 x 8 3/8. If you want a different

look but still want to to have a full size publication, most printers

can print at a final size of 9 x 10 7/8, and it will cost close to what

you would pay for an 8 3/8 x 10 7/8 size.

*One should get multiple options from their printer to see if a

different look is worth the additional cost or additional savings. It’s

important not to assume anything and to know that what’s considered

“significantly cheaper” or “a lot more expensive” is often completely

relative, and will mean something different to everyone.

I hope that you’ve found this information helpful, and when you are

ready to look for pricing, feel free to contact me or visit our website

at I’ll be happy to talk with you, answer any of your

questions and send you printed samples so you can consider all of your

options.  We are a San Antonio Printer specializing in magazine printing but service clients from all corners of the country.

Click here for some particularly excellent magazine printing.

Shweiki Media Inc.
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Shweiki Media Inc.

We Make Lives Better Thru Print!

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