Updated: July 17, 2024 - Published: Oct 15, 2021 • 8 min read

How to Print a Magazine | JÓN Magazine & Mixam | Behind the Scenes

Discover how to print a magazine with expert tips on design, layout, paper selection, printing options, and more for professional-quality results.

How to Print a Magazine | JÓN Magazine & Mixam | Behind the Scenes

Understanding how to print a magazine can seem daunting, but with the proper guidance and tools, it can become an exciting and rewarding process. With Mixam’s collaboration with JÓN Magazine, we'll walk you through the essentials of printing a magazine. Whether you're a complete beginner or an experienced designer, these valuable tips will help you create a professional-quality magazine that stands out.


Planning and Design


Determining Your Magazine’s Purpose and Target Audience

Before diving into the design, defining your magazine's purpose and target audience is crucial. Are you creating a lifestyle magazine, a fashion catalogue, or a niche publication? Understanding your audience will guide your content, design choices, and overall tone.

JÓN Magazine is a quarterly men’s fashion publication by celebrity portrait and entertainment photographer Leigh Keily and stylist Stephen Conway. Their publication is ‘filled with celebrity features, fashion stories, illustrations, and articles’. Identifying their target audience as photography and fashion enthusiasts has helped shape the magazine's aesthetic and content. Their signature aesthetic of black-and-white photography featuring well-known celebrities and unconventional subject matters has led to them building a global readership.


Choosing Print Design Software

Selecting the appropriate design software is essential for creating a magazine. Online design tools offer advanced layouts and design features that ensure your magazine looks polished. They allow creators to create sophisticated layouts and efficiently manage large amounts of content. Popular choices include Adobe InDesign, Affinity Publisher, and QuarkXPress. Alternatively, you can use Mixam’s Design Online tool to create files for free using pre-made layouts, typefaces and graphics.


Creating Print-Ready Files

Whether you’re creating a magazine like JÓN or a similar publication, preparing print-ready files is essential for ensuring your magazine prints correctly and that all details are perfectly aligned. This meticulous process involves setting the proper dimensions, resolution, and colour mode. When you open a new project, you should produce your files in CMYK colour mode, with a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch), to ensure crisp and clear images. Additionally, accounting for a 3mm bleed and trim size is crucial, preventing unprinted edges from being cut into or off during printing. Correctly applying these settings can prevent common printing issues such as pixelation and misalignment.


Designing a Magazine Layout

A carefully crafted layout that balances text and images creates a visually engaging experience for readers, elevating your magazine into an immersive journey. A magazine's layout also significantly affects its overall readability and aesthetic appeal. Thoughtful elements like pagination (page numbering), font choices, and image placement ensure that each page flows smoothly to the next, maintaining a consistent and professional look. 

Additionally, strategic use of white space, alignment, and column structure can enhance the reader's experience by making content easy to digest and navigate. Effective layout design also involves considering the hierarchy of information to direct and control the order in which viewers digest content. For example, headings and subheadings help introduce topics and seamlessly steer readers through the content. By prioritising these aspects, you create a magazine that captivates and retains the reader's interest, encouraging them to engage with the material from cover to cover. A well-designed layout is essential for delivering a sleek, enjoyable reading experience that reflects the quality and care invested in your magazine.


Paper Selection


Choosing the Right Paper Type, Weight and Finish

Choosing the right paper stock is central to making a positive first impression. At Mixam, popular paper types include silk, gloss, and uncoated. Heavier paper weights often enhance a printed work's perceived quality and durability—the higher the gsm, the more substantial and durable the paper. Additionally, the paper's texture plays a key role in the tactile experience and should complement your artwork’s style.

Finishes are applied to printed surfaces to increase longevity and enhance aesthetics. Available finishes at Mixam include gloss, matt, and soft-touch. A gloss finish adds a high shine, making colours pop and details stand out. Matt provides a non-reflective surface, ideal for a sophisticated, understated look. Soft-touch lamination offers a velvety finish that gives prints a luxurious feel. For more information, visit our Print Finishes support page.


An open printed magazine on a marble background.


Printing Options


Digital Printing vs. Offsets Printing

Understanding the differences between digital and offset printing will help you choose the best option for your magazine. When selecting a printing method, consider the size of your print run, budget, and desired outcome. Digital printing offers a faster setup and lower costs for small print runs. It was ideal for JÓN Magazine, who need detailed, high-quality photographic prints with crisp images and vibrant colours. However, higher volumes can become more costly than offset printing. Offset printing, although it incurs higher initial setup costs, is more economical for large print runs and provides superior image quality and colour consistency. Despite requiring more time for setup and proofing, this method is perfect for producing large quantities with consistent printed colours.

Ultimately, the cost of printing a magazine will largely depend on the printing method, quantity, paper type, and finishing options. You can explore how these elements affect pricing on our magazine product page.




Exploring Different Binding Options and Their Impact

Your choice of binding significantly contributes to your magazine's overall presentation, functionality and longevity. High-quality finishes and sturdy binding ensure your magazine remains in excellent condition. JÓN Magazine used perfect binding to create a sleek, professional look with a durable spine that could withstand frequent handling.


Binding options at Mixam include: 

  • Perfect binding: cost-effective, durable, and suitable for high page counts. The adhesive strengthens pages and gives prints a rectangular spine.


  • Staple binding: also known as saddle stitch binding, involves fastening pages with staples through the centrefold. It's ideal for low page counts and prints with continuous graphics. 


  • Wire-O binding: we trim, punch holes and secure pages with C-shaped wire loops. It's ideal for large and small page counts and image-based content that doesn't extend across facing pages.


  • Spiral binding: perfect for large and small page counts. A plastic coil is threaded into holes along the binding edge, enabling 360-degree rotation and a flat open display.


Quality Control and Proofing


Importance of the Proofing Process

Proofing is critical in ensuring your final printed magazine meets your and your reader’s expectations. It involves reviewing digital proofs to ensure all print design elements appear correctly and as intended. While Mixam’s automated file check and print experts will flag potential print issues, you should always carefully review your proofs manually to check your page sequence, spelling, layout, etc., to correct them and prevent the need for reprints.


Two magazines on a marble background showing a magazine cover and back cover.


Working with a Professional Printing Service


Benefits of Partnering with a Professional Printing Service

Working with a professional printing service like Mixam offers numerous benefits, including support from real print experts, exceptional-quality printing, and access to advanced, intuitive design tools. Professional printers can handle complex printing requirements and ensure your magazine looks its best.


Tips for Choosing the Right Printing Service


  • Research and Reviews: Look for a reliable printing service with positive reviews and a strong reputation.


  • Sample Work: Request free samples to assess print specifications and quality firsthand.


  • Communication: Explore your contact options so you know how to get assistance should you need it. For example, you can contact Mixam through live chat, email, or phone and in your order’s Messages tab.


Understanding the Printing Process and Turnaround Times

The production timeline and expected turnaround times are crucial for effectively planning your magazine project. These factors will help you plan your time effectively, from design to final delivery, ensuring a smooth workflow and completion. At Mixam, we prioritise clear communication, and by informing our team of your deadlines before placing your order, we can aim to accommodate your request and provide a realistic timeline. Our experienced staff will work with you to offer professional guidance and support. You can be sure that your project will be handled with care and professionalism, ensuring a high-quality result that meets your needs. Our proactive approach allows for any necessary adjustments to ensure your magazine is printed and delivered promptly.



Printing a magazine involves several key steps, from planning and design to paper selection, printing, finishing, and proofing. High-quality printing remains central to creating a successful magazine that both engages and delights readers. JÓN Magazine's journey with Mixam highlights the importance of professional printing, quality materials, and meticulous attention to detail. By partnering with a professional printing service like Mixam, you can ensure your magazine meets your and your audience’s standards.

To start your magazine project, visit our Magazines page for your free quote. You can also check out the array of posts on Mixam's Blog and visit our Support section for helpful guidance and advice on all things print.



Main Image Credit: JÓN Magazine