Believe it or not it is newsprint as newspaper printing uses a stock that is one of the few that is 100% recycled from paper that previously was printed on. Yes there are other papers available but they are either suitable for sheet fed printing and not web or come only in small quick print press sizes from very small specialty paper companies. As I am referring to “commercial” printing work the need for roll stock suggests that your only option is newsprint.
Newsprint need not only be used for newspaper printing. It can and is used for many publications, such as coupon magazines and many other forms of advertising pamphlets and booklets as well as large runs of manuals. There actually are many different types of newspaper stocks that are available. While it is not the easiest type of paper to get in all grades from the paper mills, many are generally available and the rest varies from printing press to press based on allotments from the mills and what they generally use for house stocks.
The paper brightness and weights with these stocks varies from mill to mill and from time to time. Newsprint is too thin for sheet fed presses who can only run 50# offset as the thinnest paper stock. In my coverage of news stock grades I will keep it to what is generally available as unless you are looking to purchase a truckload or two, this is reality as many of the variants will simply not be available to you.
Standard Newspaper Stock:
This grade of newsprint is generally around 58 bright and is the type of paper you find used when you read the New York or Los Angeles Times. It generally works best, due to its darker cast, with black ink only printing due to the darker caste as the level of ink left in this paper is higher than any other form of newsprint.
E-Brite paper stock is the next step up after conventional newsprint and has a tan caste to it rather than the gray of the standard stock. Brightness depending on the mill may vary from 65-72 and the weight may also vary from 30-32 pound or more. This is the preferred starting point with newspaper stocks should you be producing your periodical with four color process inks for images. The price difference between E-Brite and standard news is negligible.
Hi-Brite differs from its cousin E in that it has more refining and ink removal so that the brightness may be around 80 which is almost as good as a low end offset paper. When Alt Offset is not available you are not using much when using Hi-Brite paper. Additionally Hi-Brite tends to caliper a bit heavier than E-Brite, coming in around 32-34 pounds in weight. This stock is ideal for images.
Alt Offset/Alt News:
The “alt” stands for alternative as in an alternative version of offset paper, but in reality it is highly refined newsprint. It sometimes is referred to as well as Alt News. This is the brightest of all of these 100% recycled news stocks and generally averages around 85-90 brightness with paper weights ranging for general use and availability from 40-45 pounds.
Suggested Newsprint Use:
If you are publishing a magazine that is “earth friendly” then there is no better way than to make a statement by producing your magazine on 100% newspaper stock. As you will be having images which need to look as clean and clear as possible your stock of choice would be the alt offset news. Books are and can be produced with newspaper stocks. Many of the “so called natural” stocks offered in tan or cream are many times 40-45# alt offset with a tint added at the mill. Book printing companies use these and the all white version regularly and many will produce catalogs, books or magazines on their cold set web printing presses using the lesser grades of newsprint as well.
In short, newsprint is a great economical way to produce a book, catalog or magazine providing the run is sufficient for a web printing press. It can save you money and make that “earth friendly” statement at the same time.
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