Magazine Cover Stocks

The 2nd major element in the appeal of the magazine or journal cover is the stock itself. Cover stocks seem to lend a greater respectability and collectibility to the publication than text weight stocks. Glossy stock seems to be the magazine consumer's preference over non-coated covers. Not only do half tones and inks print better on coated paper, but glossy stock unquestionably holds up better, resisting dirt and water spots, and feels smoother in one's hand.

In terms of cost, the standard lightly coated "C1S" (coated one side) cover stocks, seen most often in 8 or 10 pt, is the publisher's economical stock of choice. The additional cost of an 8,10, or even 12 pt over a typical 80# text coated paper is small in relation to the total cost of production of the magazine when we figure in quantities of 1-5M. The exception to this would be in cases where the cover can be incorporated into an 8 or 16 page signature of the magazine. This would apply to a "self-cover" magazine, using all coated text stock, or to a magazine in which it is acceptable for the first and last 4 or 8 pages of the magazine to be printed on a coated stock. In these instances, not only does one save the additional cost of the cover weight stock, but the publisher saves on print runs, bindery costs, and can even get additional color on the other pages of the signature that fall on the same side as the front cover for minimally extra.

While text weight uncoated stocks are rarely seen as magazine covers, (and are not recommended), all of the above is not meant to belittle the judicious use of non-coated cover stocks. While they tend to be more expensive than the standard C1S stocks--their price varies greatly from slightly to wildly more money--non-coated cover weight stocks can add elements of color, texture, eloquence or originality not available in the usual shiny white stuff. If your budget limits the ink colors for your cover, a small additional investment in a colored stock of interesting color, texture or weave coordinated with your ink color and design can also make a visually exciting cover.

Marrakech Express Inc

Book and publication printing

Copyright 1994 Marrakech Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 17, 2001