Innovative Paper Solutions With Glossy Strategies
September 22, 2005 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Glossy magazine paper! I need to buy the same kind of paper that typical, nicely-put together magazines use, within the next 2 days.

As a birthday present for my girlfriend, I am recreating her favorite magazine (DWELL) by laying out pages in Quark/PS, except making all the articles about items in her life.

Though I'm using a different size of paper than the original publication (plain 8.5x11"), I would like to use the same kind of paper this magazine uses because I like the feel, the glossy coating, and how what's printed on the other side doesn't bleed through so much. I am just going to use some cardstock I had around my work for the covers.

So far, all I know is I that it needs to be "glossy," very light weight, and double sided. I've had little luck at Staples or looking through web-sites/Google for what I need. I don't need hundreds of sheets, just 15-20. I will be printing on them using my work's high end Gestetner.
posted by lotsofno to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unless that Gestetner is a heat set press, you're not going to get that effect. Suggestions: Take the thing to a print shop, and prepare to pay. Or go to a print shop, take Dwell with you and buy some of their paper. See what comes out the Gestetner
posted by bonaldi at 6:23 PM on September 22, 2005

bonaldi how much do you mean by prepare to pay?
posted by geoff. at 6:50 PM on September 22, 2005

So much that you're into the realms of being able to spend the money on heirloom-class jewelry instead.
posted by bonaldi at 7:04 PM on September 22, 2005

To elaborate a bit on bonaldi's statement, it's because if you're taking it to an actual print shop, there's going to be setup and prepress costs before your job even gets on the press. These fixed costs are relatively small if you're talking about a print run of thousands, but for a single copy it's absolute overkill, and then some. Depending on the size of the magazine you're talking hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

You can get fairly glossy paper stock for colour lasers that may actually look better than standard consumer magazine stock (it's been a while since I've picked up dwell so I don't know how much better their stock is). Chances are, if you're already going with cardstock for the cover, your gf's more likely to notice that difference vs. the interior stock, so I'd just find some nice glossy laser stuff and use that.
posted by chrominance at 7:15 PM on September 22, 2005

Check with the local paper wholesalers and see if they have a cash & carry department. I know one of the local mills here has one, and you can go in and buy by the carton. Now that means 500 sheets, but it's $30. If you're in a major city it shouldn't be a problem to find one.

You're looking for a 60# gloss sheet for the interior pages, like a Productolith. That sheet should be laser-safe, I've produced work on it that my clients later personalised in thier laser printers. But it might not work in yours. It could gum up your high end machine.

The glossier the sheet, the greater the chance of slippage. If your machine can take an 11 x 17 sheet, get that size. Then trim down. And a lightweight stock with that kind of gloss will likely suffer some run from the ink. Remember those sheets are for web press inks, which are very different.

Best bet is to take it to a Kinko's style place with a copy of the magazine you're trying to emulate, and have them print it on a close match. That way you don't risk ruining the office printer. Just have them do the printing and you can take care of the trim & bindery.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:55 PM on September 22, 2005

I believe that glossy effect is due to the type of inks and printing process used, not so much the paper it's printed on.
posted by polyglot at 7:55 PM on September 22, 2005

Go to a paper supplier, like Kelly or Xpedex. Bring in a sample, tell them exactly what you're doing. They'll be able to find you the closest match for your project.
posted by clh at 8:38 PM on September 22, 2005

If you're going Kinkos, be aware that the 60# glossy they have is only glossy on one side. They might be able to special order doublesided glossy for you, but when I worked there we would just discourage customers from doing that since it's always expensive, time consuming, and rarely RARELY gives them the results that they're looking for. If I wanted to get glossy paper of magazine stock printed well, I'd talk to a small run printing press (check zine distributors; the one I used to work with in Windsor that was super great has managed to go out of business. Perhaps there was a correlation between being insanely cheap and not making a profit?). But then, that'd be a small-run magazine and they'd want at least 100 copies made. Which, unless you're having a big party, is kinda insane for a birthday.
Go with a #60 glossy spec'ed for laser, as someone above recommended. They should have it at real print shops, though they won't at copy shops.
(I once had an idea for a small-run magazine for bands that would follow them on tour, but the costs for actually printing are nuts).
posted by klangklangston at 9:11 PM on September 22, 2005

I second what clh said. Paper supply companies are pretty good about giving out free samples to people to test printing on different surfaces. However, you may want to tell them that you are a design student so they'll be a bit more generous with samples. They are hoping that you'll really like one of the papers so you'll come back and buy a ream or two.
posted by idiotfactory at 10:31 PM on September 22, 2005

Red River paper sells a 65# gloss that's coated on both sides. They also ship fast.
posted by jeb at 6:21 AM on September 23, 2005

I did a similar project (pretend magazine laid out in Quark, etc.) and managed to find passable paper at Staples—the Hammermill Office One "Business Gloss." It's glossy on both sides, but it's not super glossy. It worked, though.
posted by youarejustalittleant at 8:19 AM on September 23, 2005

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