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When readers choose a print magazine over an online version, it’s usually a tactile thing. They want to hold it in their hands, turn the pages, carry it around.

Have you noticed the tactilely pleasing array of covers lately at your local bookstore or newsstand? Some are as soft as suede, others smooth and shiny like glass. These days, publishers are turning to specialized papers and finishes to enhance readers’ experiences by appealing to their senses. Tactile ridges, reticulation, glossy ultraviolet (UV) finishes, earth-friendly materials, and other treatments create emotional connections to readers that you can’t get with digital media.

Anecdotal evidence has shown that kicking up your covers with different papers and treatments can increase sales for newsstand publications. However, these treatments aren’t just for newsstand publications; they tend to enhance readers’ perceptions of the brand image of any publication. Magazine publishers can experiment with different papers and finishes to bring out a sensory connection between the publication, subject matter, and readership.

Ready to spice up your magazine cover? Try a new finish or coating!
Watch this video to learn more.

Publishers may find that specialty papers allow them to bring a different approach to topics, while enhancing readers’ experiences of the subject matter itself. For example:

  • For publications that address the arts and humanities, heavier papers can bring a fine-art feel to pages.
  • Slightly textured papers add a tactile touch that can draw attention to illustrations in publications that deal with topics in diverse fields from engineering and construction to marketing and merchandising.
  • In medical or scientific publications, publishers might want to draw attention to graphic elements; cotton-fiber-based pages create blacks that look like velvet and whites with a smooth satin finish.

By combining selected papers with traditional design principles, publishers can subtly highlight visual information to enhance understanding and engagement.

So go ahead; explore your tactile cover options! Give your readers something of quality to reach out and touch!

(Don’t let the creativity end here!  Check out this blog post for some awesome attention-grabbing ideas to put some spice in your magazine!)