6 Reasons Entertainment Weekly's Move to Heavier Paper Will Probably Pay Off
"In the end, after factoring in the additional postal and freight costs, I'd guess that there is a nominal [cost] difference to Time by moving EW from a 29# coated to a 34# SCA++," says an executive for a prominent paper broker.
Coated paper is like a sandwich, with pulp in the middle acting as the "meat" and a layer of clay-based coating on each side being the "bread." Supercalendered paper is more like a casserole, with the pulp and clay blended together. It then gets squeezed and polished by heated rollers to give it a smooth surface similar to that of coated paper.
If you're not a paper geek, you may now be saying, "So what?" That's the point: Who cares how the paper is made, as long as it looks good?
Supercalendered is considered a lower grade than LWC because it generally isn't quite as bright, bulky, opaque, or glossy as LWC. But advances in the supercalendering process have closed the gap, to the point where the best 34# supercalendered paper probably looks better than a 29# LWC.