A brief summary of magazine printing and publishing

The concept of the magazine

The magazine was developed in response to communicating views on a specialized topic to a wide range of consumers. The magazine started out as a relatively small production, but has now gained international status and fame, especially in the worlds of fashion and music.

Magazines come in a variety of sizes, but generally don’t exceed 100 pages. The magazine’s appeal lies in its low production costs.

Notable examples of the magazine include “Time Magazine”, which is distributed worldwide to a readership of more than 25 million people, and “People Magazine”, which is known to attract up to 51.7 million page views per day on its website. .

The birth of the magazine

In the UK, the very first consumer magazine was considered ‘The Scots Magazine’, published in 1739. An extremely popular Scottish publication, ‘The Scots Magazine’ is still published today and is a good example of the magazine’s lasting appeal.

In London, ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’ was first published in 1731 and is widely regarded as the first general interest magazine. The editor-in-chief, Edward Cave, tried to provide the educated public with interesting topics ranging from commodity prices to Latin poetry. It is believed that Cave coined the term “magazine” and entered a niche market of disposable reading material that is regularly updated and attractive to the general public.

The magazine is now a multi-million dollar industry. Magazine shelves abound and are displayed from convenient stores to pharmacy. You will find magazines with a huge range of topics and with a subscription you can be sure that your magazine will be delivered to your home weekly/monthly.

An average of 2,600 magazines are sold per minute in the UK, indicating that the magazine has come a long way. The dawn of the digital age has also meant that the magazine can be reproduced in digital format. Ezines – or electronic magazines (like the site you’re on now!) have paved the way for digestible information to be made even more widely available.

Advertisers and subscribers finance the production costs of magazines, but the actual printing costs are relatively low, taking into account the quality and quantity delivered. Let’s look at some of the key processes involved in  magazine printing  :

The printing process

Printing magazines is certainly less expensive when taking on a bulk printing job. A significant percentage of a magazine’s appeal lies in its attractive packaging. The glossy paper and the high-resolution graphics attract the reader and give the magazine the status of a luxury reading article. That’s why the processes to get them there are crucial.

First of all, offset printing. This technique is used in magazine printing due to the fast press setup, high image quality and low cost. In offset printing, an inked image is transferred from a plate onto a rubber blanket. This is transferred back to the printers via various roles.

Second, intaglio  – This method is known as a type of intaglio process, in which an image is cut into a surface or plate, the incised area retaining the ink that preserves the ability to print. This incision or engraving is often applied to a cylindrical image carrier which is then rotated for printing on paper. In addition, rotogravure can produce images and text at a high volume speed, making it ideal for magazine printing.

The role of the magazine in the future

As mentioned before, the magazine’s digital format seems to be the future. Users can store hundreds of magazines on the electronic devices and can buy the advertised articles immediately. The rise of tablets and digital reading devices takes the magazine to a new world of possibilities.

The ability to create your own ezine becomes more beneficial than ever before, as users can specifically search for information and provide expert knowledge to interested parties.

That said, the magazine is still a hugely popular format indulging in high-end luxury printing and design.