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Zine Printing

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Zine Printing
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zine printing service
Custom Zine Printing
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cheap zine printing
Zine Printing
zine printing services
zine printing service
Custom Zine Printing
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Ever since Thomas Paine self-published “Common Sense” back in the 18th century, zines have been platforms for radical thinking and the dissemination of new ideas.

The word “zine” in contemporary usage is a contraction of the term “fanzine” and so is often not a radical tract these days but a space in which fans of an artist, singer, band, game, genre, or hobby can share their experiences, passions, and enthusiasm. The first modern fanzines broke out back in the roaring 20s to promote the burgeoning underground jazz music scene and expressionist art.

Whatever your reasons for printing a zine, QinPrinting can help you make the dream come true. And because we’re committed to helping the smaller players succeed, we’ll do it for 40% less than you’ll pay at your local print shop without compromising quality or service. Over 25 years of success with zines of all kinds, an exceptional, dedicated team, top-notch tech, and efficient protocols make us the most successful independent zine printers in the world.

We are an offset printer, rather than a digital or print-on-demand service, so we must impose a minimum order quantity (MOQ). We’ve set ours as low as possible, at 100 units. But with offset printing, the higher the quantity you order in a single print run, the lower the cost-per-unit.
Choose preset dimensions from the dropdown menu or click “CUSTOM SIZE” to enter your own custom dimensions.
Please use the format, width x height; so, 5.5″ x 8.5″ would mean 5.5″ wide and 8.5″ high.
The possible size range is 3.74″ to 11.69″ in width or height, allowing for portrait or landscape orientation.
Full color printing
The cover is composed of four pages. They are the front cover, the inside front cover, the inside back cover, and the back cover.
Cover Paper
If you need special paper not shown in the dropdown menu, please contact us.

1 gsm ≈ 0.68 lb Cover Paper

We laminate only the outside of the cover.
We offer a comprehensive selection of special surface finishes which we can apply to most covers, with a few limitations. For example, spot UV can only be applied to matte laminated and soft-touch laminated covers.
These options are only suitable for gold or silver foil stamping up to a 5.9″ x 1.18″ area; and embossing, debossing, or spot UV up to a 7.87″ x 1.96″ area. If the special finish area you need is larger than this, please contact us to get a quote.
Besides gold and silver foil, we can foil stamp designs in a range of colours. If you need a special colour foil stamp or have specific surface requests, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.
Page Count
One sheet of paper is equal to two pages.
page sheet
page sheet
The total page count is a multiple of 4. When printing and binding your book, we fold sheets into “signatures”.
If your book is larger, say, 8.5″ x 11″ or A4 size, one signature will have 16 pages. So, the inner page amount should be divisible by 16. Making your page counts match signatures is the most economical solution.
Inner Paper
Please select your paper choice for your internal pages from the dropdown menu. If you have a special request not listed here, get in touch. We’ll do everything possible to satisfy your needs.
1 gsm ≈ 0.68 lb Text Paper
If your book has 48 pages or fewer, we recommend saddle stich as your binding option.
If you have more pages and choose fairly thin paper, such as 80 gsm /54 lb or 105 gsm / 71 lb text paper, we recommend perfect binding.
If your book has heavier interior paper or the page count exceeds 200 pages, sewn perfect binding will be your best choice.
Wire-O and spiral binding are other options and both of them open flat.
perfect binding
sewn perfect binding
wire-o binding
saddle stitch binding
spiral binding
EXW Price 
*The price doesn’t include shipping costs.
Estimated weight:

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Zine Printing Costs

At QinPrinting, we cooperate closely with individual creatives, fans, enthusiasts, hobbyists, misfits, undiscovered geniuses, rebel spirits, clubs and societies to print astonishingly beautiful zines of exceptional calibre. But we totally get what it means to work within a mega-tight budget, especially when it’s a new endeavour. That’s why we always work smart, monitoring, analyzing, and adapting our work processes to guarantee that we continue to deliver quality zines at a price that’s sensible and ethical.

Okay, so how much would it cost to print a zine with us? You can get an idea by checking the at-a-glance price charts. The exact cost to print your zine depends on the paper you go for, any coatings and finishes for the cover and inside pages, the quantity you need, and several other factors. To get an exact quote, use our helpful Online Printing Cost Calculator. Unlike most offset printers who have a crazy MOQ (minimum order quantity) of 1,000 or even more copies, we’re happy to print as few as 100 in a single run. But the more you print in one go, the cheaper it is per zine.

Zine Printing Price Chart (5.5” x 8.5”)

All prices listed in CAD

Quantity 100pcs 500pcs 1000pcs 2000pcs 5000pcs 10000pcs
Page count
16pp + 4pp
32pp + 4pp
48pp + 4pp
  • Please note that all prices are EXW our facility and do not include shipping costs.
  • Cover: 200 gsm / 74 lb coated cover paper with matte lamination
  • Interior: 105 gsm / 71 lb coated text paper, full colour printing
  • Saddle stitch

Zine Printing Price Chart (8.5” x 11”)

All prices listed in CAD

Quantity 100pcs 500pcs 1000pcs 2000pcs 5000pcs 10000pcs
Page count
16pp + 4pp
48pp + 4pp
64pp + 4pp
96pp + 4pp
  • Please note that all prices are EXW our facility and do not include shipping costs.
  • Cover: 250 gsm / 92 lb coated cover paper with matte lamination
  • Interior: 128 gsm / 86 lb coated text paper, full colour printing
  • Saddle stitch or perfect binding

And don’t forget that we’re real people at QinPrinting—not robots or exhausted call center drones—and we’re always keen to answer questions. Just contact us by telephone, email, Skype, or our handy online contact form. One of our printing experts will drop everything and run to your aid as soon as possible!

Common Zine Sizes

Because we use offset print technology, we can print any size zine you want, but remember that custom prints cost a bit more than standard sizes because of the extra pre-press work and setup we need to do.

The standard zine sizes in the United States are 8.5″ by 11″ and 5.5″ by 8.5″.

In European countries (including the UK) and Australia, most zines are 210 mm x 297 mm and 148 mm x 210 mm.

From a practical perspective, it maybe in your best interests to hold to these formats. They’re established, inexpensive, ideal for mailing, and reduce set-up time, so we can get them to you faster. But a larger 7.3″ by 11″ tabloid size zine, or a landscape rather than portrait orientation, could be your jazz. If you want it, we’ll print it!

Zine Paper Options

The paper you fix on for your zine makes a massive difference to its appearance and how much it costs us to make.

If you print the inside in black-and-white you can use lightweight, uncoated paper.

If you need a ton of photographs or other graphics, then heavier, coated paper will be better. But talk to us, we know what we’re doing and we’ll be happy to guide and advise you on the best paper options for your zine and your budget.

We suggest 80 gsm / 54 lb, 105 gsm / 70 lb, 128 gsm / 86 lb, 157 gsm / 106 lb coated paper or 80 gsm / 54 lb, 100 gsm / 68 lb uncoated paper for your zine’s inside pages because they give vibrancy to your artwork while leaving the text easy to understand, too. Choosing zine paper depends on the size of your publication and its thickness, too. We recommend thinner paper for the inside. Thinner paper can be opened flat more easily, which is best for a smaller sized zine. If the inside paper is too thick, zines can be harder to browse and flick through. 

If you print your zine at 8.5” x 11” or bigger, we think using thicker paper for the inside pages is best. For example, 128 gsm / 86 lb, 157 gsm / 106 lb coated paper or 100 gsm / 68 lb uncoated paper.

If it’s a slim little zine with 32 pages or fewer and you want perfect binding, then 200 gsm / 135 lb coated paper will allow you to reach the minimum 3 mm spine width.

Paperback Cover Paper

Interior Paper

To make things easier, you can download a zine cover template to check the spine thickness according to different paper types and page amounts here.

Your zine’s cover paper depends on which binding style want. We make zine covers from heavier, gloss cover paper. But to keep costs down, you can use the same paper throughout. We call this “self-covered”. Saddle-stitched or perfect bound zines are the most popular option and—genuinely—the best options for zines you want to look really zingy, be durable, and be simple to store and cheap to mail out.

Bindings for Zines

While you can cut costs by “self-covering” your zine, the binding often reflects the genre, page count, readership tastes, not just your budget. The most popular choices for zines are “saddle stitching” and “perfect binding”

This means that we compile your zine from folded sheets stacked inside each other, often with a cover sheet of glossy art paper, and then stapled down the curved edge. Saddle stitch is only possible with a page count divisible by four, up to a maximum of 64 pages. But to make sure the zine is neat and lies flat, we recommend a limit of 48 pages or fewer for this style of binding.

This is the binding we use for paperback books, too. We collate the interior pages into a block, glue them together and then glue the lot into a wrap-around cover made of heavier art paper or lightweight card stock. This is definitely the best option for binding zines which have 48 pages or more or have art and photography on every page.

Self-covers are the least expensive choice if you’re really counting every penny. Saddle stitch is the next cheapest option, but limits the page count. Perfect binding is more expensive, but if your zine includes photography and full-colour artwork—which means it needs thicker paper—it often works out cheaper overall. The cost always depends on the materials, size, length, and number of zines you print in a single run.

Zine Design and Artwork Tips

Most of our zine collaborators do the design work themselves, but others choose to engage a third-party professional graphic designer. Either way, it’s important to get to grips with how to prepare the files so they’re “print-ready”. You’ll need to consider bleed zones, safety areas, trim lines, and borders and make sure that the resolution and the colour space are correct. With that in mind, here are a few useful tips to help you when you’re preparing your files to send to us.


Export your files as vectors in PDF format for the best results. Our recommended software options for zine design are Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign. These will also allow you to convert your colour space from RGB to CMYK which you will need to do for offset printing.


If you can’t deliver vectors — say, if you’re exporting bitmaps from Photoshop — then make sure the resolution is at least 300 DPI. With vectors, you needn’t worry about resolution, but all other images must have a high definition to tolerate resizing without becoming fuzzy and “pixilated”.

3 mm bleed zone

You’ll need to add a “bleed zone” of 3 mm around all your pages. A bleed is an extended zone at the periphery of your photo, which falls outside the area that your finished page will cover. Once we’ve printed your pages, we’ll cut them to the exact size needed for your chosen zine format. This “bit extra” gets cut off and makes sure that the finished image fills the page with none of it being lost. You should mark bleed zones as red lines.

trim line 10mm

Inside your bleed zone, don’t forget to mark the “trim lines”. These will define the final dimensions of the finished page. Make sure that any necessary elements of your images stop at least 10 mm short of the trim line.

along the center crease

If a photo or artwork crosses over two pages in a “spread” make sure that nothing essential—like a face or other important details—lie along the center crease.

If your budget allows, you can choose to add special touches to your zine’s cover, such as a super-glossy finish, varnish, soft touch lamination, die-cutting, spot UV, foil stamping, and more. You can explore zine cover surface options here.

If you’re working with a designer to get your files ready, they should get what’s needed to make everything “print ready”. But if you’re working with design software yourself, these are the vital tips to remember before you submit your files. Still, our team of experts will always manually check all your files before we go to press. If we find any issues, we’ll let you know and help you resolve them. We’re really helpful and collaborative; it’s an essential aspect of our philosophy. So, we won’t print your zine until we know with certainty, you’ll get a perfect result. That’s an absolute guarantee.

To learn more about preparing your photographs, artwork, text, and layout for printing, please check out our Pre-press Artwork information page.

Let’s Talk!

If you’re a fan club, a radical thinker, a non-profit, or an independent creative artist, writer, poet, musician or dreamer wanting to print a zine with a company that’s genuinely sympathetic and wants to help you make a thing of beauty without breaking the bank, we should talk. Get in touch today to chat through your needs or to ask for a no-obligation quote. We can’t wait to help you make your zine printing project a dream come true!

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