An intriguing and insightful look into zine pricing, printing and making your project commercially viable

We take you through the considerations that affect how much it costs to print your zine at Ex Why Zed.

We don’t advertise our prices online because we prefer to start a conversation with you first to find out more about the project. Yes, there are plenty of print companies where you can get an instant price, but having worked so hard for days, weeks and months on your zine do you really now want to just upload the files to a website and keep your fingers crossed that what arrives is what you imagined?

From the first point of contact with Ex Why Zed we give you a wealth of helpful, expert advice on how to prepare artwork for print. We take a lot of pride in how responsive and patient our team are. Do read our trust pilot reviews and you will see this is really appreciated by our customers.

Bottom line, we would rather you printed with its than didn’t. Remember our mantra: we want to help transform your ideas into print. If we send you a quote and someone else is £20 cheaper then do let us know. We’re not naive enough to think we’ll be the cheapest quote on every print run. Honestly, in the whole of the world, there is always someone cheaper in every industry. I’m sure you’ve bought a coffee today that you could have bought cheaper within 100 yards of that cafe but you like the service and ambience of that particulate place so that’s why you went there, right?

Why not let us reverse engineer the price? If might have seen similar zines to yours selling for £8 and you would like to pay £3 from us to print each copy. So let us know the spec of your zine, for example, it might be A5 with 40 pages then we can let you know how many copies you will need to print to achieve the £3 per copy target price. Easy!

Paper choices for printing. A video showcase of silk, gloss, uncoated and recycled finishes

Maybe the biggest factor that affects what your publication looks like is the paper it is printed onto.


We informatively walk you through our ‘house’ choices of silk, gloss, uncoated and 100% recycled to show how images and colour reproduction work on each finish.

With the paper choices, we’re going to try and give you as much freedom as possible. We’re not going to restrict. We do have a paper sample pack we can send out to you which contains our house papers. Our house papers we keep on the shelf ready to go, the rates we get from the paper mill are exceptionally good so these are cost-effective choices for your next publication. Choosing these will keep the total price down when you come to print. So we’ve got uncoated, silk, gloss and Evolution Uncoated. All come in a range from 100gsm which is a flimsy paper, up to 350gsm which is a chunky card. Choose a top weight of 170gsm for your inside pages and for the cover you can max out at 350gsm. Although, 350gsm can be too rigid for the cover and generally 300gsm is plenty thick enough whilst it still maintains a good degree of flexibility to help the reader actually turn the pages.

Our house uncoated is a bright white finish. It has no shine and lends itself well to colour reproduction. Images sit on the paper well and they are quite vibrant. When you compare it against Evolution Uncoated which is off-white and has a bit of a grain. We will be honest, Evolution soaks up the ink. So if you have dark images that are already lacking in contrast, if you print them on to Evolution Uncoated, the contrast is going to be muted even more. If colour repro is crucial then we strongly recommend you choose one of our other papers. However, it is 1005 recycled and slightly off-white which a lot of people are looking for.

Silk is a solid middle ground paper. It has a slight sheen and feels smooth. It is quote bright white and comes in a good range of weights. 130gsm is your go-to for the inside pages and 300gsm for the cover.

Next up, is gloss. Gloss is exactly what it says on the tin. The pages will have a lot of shine. If you want your images to be really bright, colourful and striking then gloss could work. Again, 130gsm for the inside pages and 300gsm for the cover. You can also add gloss lamination to the front cover or mix it up and choose matt lamination which is a nice contrast.

GF Smith papers are a premium choice you can go for. They have a range of 100-200 different styles – everything from craft papers to the Colorplan range containing 50 coloured choices. We don’t hold their paper samples but you can request them direct from the mill on [email protected]

Our paper choices page and this guide is aimed at giving you as much visual representation of the papers available but if there is any doubt and you would like a sample pack of our papers then fill in our online form:

Paper Samples

Each one contains A5 papers samples, all printed. You can see how different colours print on the different textures.

Printing a Zine FAQs at Ex Why Zed

We want to get across that when you print a zine with Ex Why Zed, the answer is “Yes”, now what is the question.


Can you print bespoke sizes? Yes!

Can you send me a sample pack to help choose my papers? Yes!

Is printing black, cheaper than full colour? Yes!

Do you ship to the States? Yes!

Can you print one copy as a test before we go ahead with the final print run? Yes!

Can you print me 38 copies because on your website it only says 50. Yes we can and we’re going to go full on Greta Thunberg with this. If you only need 38 we’ll print you 38 to save some paper. If you need 111 we can print that as well.

Is printing and binding my zine at Ex Why Zed easier than it is on the college photocopier? Yes, but you knew that already right.


Hello, thanks for stopping by our print blog.

Do check back here for in depth advice, help and ideas for your next project.

Our first blog is coming soon!