Magazines and newsletters are forms of written communication. They inform readers of newsworthy events, and they are published on a regular schedule. Magazine printing and newsletter printing both require a tight schedule to meet deadlines for publication and delivery.
So, what are the differences between newsletters and magazines? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at magazines and newsletters, how they differ, and what they have in common.
What Is a Magazine?
A magazine is a regularly published document aimed at a specific readership. Unlike newspapers, which aim to provide a one-stop resource for readers who want a quick summary of news and current events, magazines invite careful reading on a specific subject.
People enjoy reading a favorite magazine because it focuses on a subject, industry, or place that they want to know more about. The monthly cover is designed to entice readers with eye-catching imagery and teasing headlines known as “cover lines” that give a quick glimpse of the articles inside. Magazines feature attractive layouts that appeal to their readers.
There are hundreds of magazine titles available, and they cover everything from news to science to celebrities to music. You can find a magazine that caters to a broad category—like some women’s publications—or those that aim at a niche category of reader. There are even local and regional publications that cover the culture of certain cities or regions of the country.
Some industries have their own monthlies. For instance, The Hollywood Reporter is considered the magazine of the film and television industry, and W Magazine has been the magazine of the fashion business for over 50 years.
What Are the Defining Features of a Magazine?
Magazine printing has been with us for centuries. Like newspaper and newsletter printing, it flourished once the printing press was invented. The earliest monthly magazine was a literary journal published in Germany in 1663. The first general-interest magazine was The Gentleman’s Magazine, published in London in 1731. Benjamin Franklin published his General Magazine in 1741.
The defining features of a magazine are:
- Eye-catching, enticing cover.
- Attractive layout and design, with high-quality artwork, illustrations, and photos.
- In-depth coverage and analysis.
- Published monthly or weekly.
- Available to both subscribers and the public.
- Magazine printing features full color on high-quality, glossy paper.
- Includes classified advertising.
Benefits to Readers
News and analysis
Readers enjoy magazines for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that they offer a deeper dive into news and current events. Although a magazine can’t deliver daily breaking news, it can offer a more nuanced reading of current events. The most important news pieces are teased on the front cover, and the cover image is displayed in an eye-catching way. The reader can scan the headlines and the pictures to get a summary and then read the articles later to get more detail.
When you read a magazine that focuses on your preferred subject, you understand instinctively what the editorial team stands for. That’s reflected in the way the magazine looks and the way its articles are written. You can rest assured that the editorial team has chosen a selection of articles designed to appeal precisely to readers like you.
Every magazine has an eye-catching layout and colors. These are designed to make the information easy for readers to find, and regular readers know how to get to their favorite sections. The layout helps readers decide which articles they plan to spend time with, and the beautiful images—whether they’re photos, illustrations, or even stock art—always enhance the articles. Many readers enjoy flipping through the pages to prepare themselves before they begin reading.
An enjoyable escape
Magazines offer a temporary escape. Most readers pick them up with the expectation of spending time reading the articles, admiring the pictures, and even reading the advertisements. People spend concentrated, focused time with them.
Many people read magazines as a form of inspiration. These publications usually have articles that help their readers attain their goals or stretch their horizons. Magazine reading is sometimes called “aspirational reading,” meaning that the magazine shows an ideal lifestyle that isn’t available to most people. However, most readers know that they can still get meaningful tips by reading them.
What Are Newsletters?
Newsletters are usually aimed at a specific audience. They are also published on a regular schedule, usually weekly or monthly, and tend to have a sharper focus than the more all-purpose newspaper.
Newsletters have been around for centuries. The earliest known ones began in fifteenth-century Venice. Subscribers received handwritten letters to exchange information about business news. When the United Kingdom instituted a national postal service in 1660, dozens of newsletters appeared. Some evolved later into newspapers, but many continued as a source of alternative news.
The defining features of newsletters are:
- Attractive, easy-to-read layout.
- Informative, timely information typically focused on a single subject or a shared interest.
- Available only to subscribers.
- Directed at readers who have actively chosen to receive them.
- Newsletter printing can be on any type of paper and in any format.
- Feature a clear point of view, calls to action, how-to articles, and forms of direct engagement with readers.
Why Do Readers Like Newsletters?
They get information they can’t get elsewhere
Readers subscribe to newsletters because they can’t get the same information or viewpoint from other sources. A reader can subscribe to a newsletter that covers their favorite hobby, favorite sports team, their profession, or their investment style. A newsletter might align with their political beliefs or their views about social issues. Because the newsletter doesn’t venture into other areas or try to be a one-stop source for all readers, the content is more targeted and more in-depth.
Good newsletters present information in a clear, appealing style. That’s true even if the topic of the newsletter is serious. Newsletters aren’t bound by the journalistic conventions of a newspaper. The writing can be as creative and opinionated as the writers and editorial team want it to be. By staying relevant to its readers, a newsletter can succeed.
People enjoy interacting with those who share their ideas and values. A newsletter brings together a community of people who connect with each other by reading the same newsletter, commenting on it, promoting it to others, and—in some cases—paying for a subscription to help support its work. Some newsletters come with bonuses for readers, like invitations to special events and subscriber-only social media content.
Magazine Printing vs. Newsletter Printing
The rules are strict and straightforward for magazine printing. A magazine usually has a standard format and uses high-quality, full-color graphics. When you design the layout, you must take all this into consideration. Magazine printing requires careful planning, tight attention to details, and collaboration with a professional printer.
Newsletter printing is more flexible. A newsletter can have any design the publication team wants. It can be printed on newsprint, glossy paper, or standard paper. It can be stapled, folded, or bound. A newsletter may be in color or black and white, and it may not have any photos or illustrations. The design choices depend on the publisher. Newsletter printing requires planning and attention to detail, but there is more flexibility than you have with magazine printing.
Keep Your Subscribers Happy
Whether you choose to publish newsletters or magazines, you can keep your subscribers happy with relevant, in-depth content, an attractive, readable layout, and an emphasis on your shared goals. Whether you choose magazine printing or newsletter printing, Dazzle Printing can provide the expert, professional printing help you need.