Magazine Cover Wraps
Advertising drives magazine
production. Without advertising revenue, there
is no money to pay for the writing, design, printing, and
distribution of a magazine. And let’s not forget magazine
profit. At the same time, advertisers want maximum exposure
for their ads. After all, they have spent good money and
much time to create and to place their advertising, and
they want to maximize the ad’s visibility.
However, there are requirements
for the distribution of the magazine. Some destinations,
such as Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., for example, refuse
delivery of magazines in envelopes (for security reasons).
Magazines distributed on Capitol Hill must take a paper
wrap, called a cover wrap. A cover wrap is a thick paper
protective outer covering stitched to the outside of a magazine.
The good news is that you can ink-jet the recipient’s
address on the cover wrap. The bad news is that a cover
wrap can obscure the ad on the back page of the magazine.
If the ad is covered, the subscribers may not see it, and
the advertiser would have spent money but would have received
less than he or she had been promised.
What options do you have for
not covering back-page advertising?
First of all, you can put the
magazine in an envelope, address it, and mail it out.
In most cases, printing the envelope will cost about the
same as printing the cover wrap (if you print more at a
time, each unit will cost less than if you only print a
small number). Also, the cost to insert the magazines in
the envelopes will be offset by your not needing to stitch
the cover wrap onto the magazine. As mentioned before, some
locations, like Capitol Hill, may refuse magazines in envelopes
Another option would be to
create a white box (knock-out is the technical term) on
the cover of the magazine onto which you can ink-jet the
subscriber’s address. The up side to this
option is that a white knock-out box costs nothing to print
(or, actually, not print), and you get to keep the money
you had spent on envelopes or cover wraps (and their respective
inserting or attaching). The bad news is that your magazine
could get banged up and or torn in the mail.
Still another option would
be to adjust the size of the wrap so it doesn’t obscure
the ad on cover 4 (back cover) of the magazine. You
could cover the entire front of the magazine with the wrap
and then extend the wrap past the saddle stitches onto the
back cover, leaving a 4” vertical (approximately)
flap over part of the back cover. The flap would be necessary
so the cover wrap does not fall off the saddle stitcher
(the wrap needs a flap to allow it to hang on the conveyor
as it travels through the stitcher). A short wrap like this
would let most of the back-page ad still be visible. You
would also still have room for addressing the magazine on
the front. This type of wrap offers a limited protection
for your magazine.
Sometimes you may need to include
promotional copy on the wrap, but if that is not the case
you can affix an even smaller wrap to the magazine. You
can stitch a wrap that covers only part of the bottom half
of the magazine starting from the foot trim, extending approximately
3.25” up the magazine cover, and extending horizontally
from the bind edge across the front and back of the magazine
by about 4.5”. This would still provide a “hanger,”
so the wrap won’t fall off the saddle stitcher. It
would give you room for the subscriber ink-jet addresses.
And since it would just be a blank sheet of cover-stock
paper, you would not incur the cost of printing it. You
would only pay to affix the wrap to the magazine (1/4 of
the cost of printing, or even less). In this case, you would
attach the wrap to the magazine only by the bottom stitch
of the magazine (that is, it would not be as firmly attached
to the magazine as a wrap held by both the top and bottom
saddle stitches of the magazine itself). This wrap would
offer little protection for your magazine.
Another option, which would
require a separate printing pass (and which would
add to the cost of the job) would be to print the back-cover
magazine ad on the back cover of the wrap as well. This
would provide full protection for your magazine, and you
could charge a premium for printing an ad on both the back
cover and the wrap that covers it.
The preceding assumes your
magazine is saddle-stitched. What if it is perfect bound?
If you are perfect-binding
rather than saddle-stitching your magazine, you
might want to glue a cover wrap onto it using fugitive glue,
which is like rubber cement. Keep in mind that fugitive
gluing costs extra money and may add a day to the production
schedule. There are various configurations for wraps that
involve fugitive glue. However, the extra time needed for
perfect binding and fugitive gluing may make them impractical
for publications on a tight schedule, such as weekly periodicals.
Polybagging, the final
option, which would be appropriate for either a saddle-stitched
or perfect-bound magazine, would be available through
many publication (i.e., magazine or journal) printers as
well. However, if you included a carrier sheet in the polybag
(for your ink-jet addressing), it would cover either the
front of the magazine or the back-page ad. Make sure you
discuss with your print provider what will be obscured if
you use a carrier sheet. Even if you were to address the
magazine directly on the wrap (using Cheshire labels, for
instance), you would still need to be careful not to obscure
too much of the front cover or the back-page ad. Of course,
you could make the argument that a polybag is like an envelope
that you can see through. Once you tear off the wrap, both
the front cover image and the full back-page ad would be
immediately visible, making both the advertiser and the
editor of the magazine happy.
[Steven Waxman is a printing consultant. He teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.]