Taking stock of paper

What is the best paper for a magazine?

Nathan Chadwick 10th February 2021

A large stack of printed Strada Magazines

We’ve all heard about print being in decline, and that the internet is the way to go. The same naysayers prophesied the end of vinyl records, but last year one in five of all albums purchased in the UK came on vinyl. It’s a similar figure across the pond. Even the cassette tape is coming back into fashion among the cognoscenti – clearly they’ve not had the fun of trying to spool one out of our parents’ car stereo.

This makes choosing the paper stock very important. Hopefully you’ll like it, and the transformative effects it has on the beautiful images our team of photographers have captured. There are some hard lessons along the way. We were big fans of matt paper – there’s something about the rough yet smooth style that instantly feels nostalgic. Maybe it’s those early years making 3D cardboard car models.

The only problem is that it sucks the colour and light out of photographs. It makes glorious images look a bit dull. Sadly, it fell by the wayside – but it did open our eyes to the possibilities of paper - it can elevate an experience in a way the internet can’t. Fancy a wood finish? It can be done. How about felt? No problem. See-through paper? Easy. The mind boggled. This is the joy of magazines – it’s not just about the words and the pictures. It’s all about the experience.

Crew Vg D1 Lxpif FE unsplash

Of course, the joy of vinyl is not just the added warmth vinyl brings – it’s a treat for all the other senses. There’s the mildly musty, mildly sweet smell of the cardboard, the feel of the vinyl emerging from its case, the reverence the black wax has between your fingers. It’s a full-on physical experience.

That brings us to magazines. The content is the most important bit, of course – but there’s also the pungent yet pleasant smell of fresh ink, the feeling of different textures as you turn the page, and the feeling of owning something, rather than just looking at it on a screen.

This is the joy of magazines – it’s not just about the words and the pictures. It’s all about the experience.

Taking stock

That’s why we love the cars we do. As world progresses to EV drivetrains with all the power and traction you could ever need, but without the soul you want, the desire for cars with character will become ever more popular. There’s a reason why the likes of Snapchat and Instagram have very popular image-altering options that make new pictures look old – where’s the fun in ultra-HD? Where’s the mood, the mystique and the intrigue?

That’s the joy of old cars – they evoke a sense of time, of place, of history, and they require effort to get the best out of them. The rewards are glorious, with life-affirming sensations that are only going to become harder to find in new cars.

We aim to distil that into Strada via the paper we choose. We hope you like it – and who knows, if we ever get round to doing an article on the 1991-1996 Buick Roadmaster ‘woodie’, you might just see that wood-effect paper in Strada.