Authored By Eva

It's the question that stumps most people at the custom printed stage - should I choose a glossy or matte finish?


The motivation behind your final choice may be based on artistic preference or pricing.


In this post, we will discuss the difference between matte and gloss finishes(by explaining the manufacturing) and when you should choose to use each one.


The differences in manufacturing matte and glossy paper




The two paper types look and feel different to the touch, but they’re actually manufactured in a very similar manner. Believe it or not, matte paper uses the same chemical coating as gloss paper.

Gloss paper has more coating applied than matte paper.  Matte paper has a semi-gloss finish, produces high quality prints, but lacks the vibrant effects of gloss paper. Matte paper produces no glare and is resistant to smudging and imprints left by fingerprints.

Fun fact: gloss paper is very slightly thinner than matte paper, even though they’re the same weight. For example: if you print booklets on matte and glossy paper, they’ll weigh the same amount on the scale. However, the glossy booklets are denser, and ever-so-slightly thinner.

What is the Difference Between Glossy and Matte?






Glossy is the shiny, almost reflective paper style. Several coatings are applied to the paper to give it its shiny look. Glossy comes in high-gloss and semi-gloss. Glossy paper is best suited for: magazine covers, high-resolution photos and promotional materials.






The removal of shine from paper results in a matte finish. A matte finish on paper results in a texture great for graphics and photos of lots of details. Although you can print color on both types of paper, matte paper may not give the vibrancy of glossy paper. If you’re looking to accentuate the detail, matte could be the perfect option. Matte is a great option for business cards and murals.

There are so many different finishes that can be used on printed materials. On top of just using one of the above methods, you could use multiple methods (like a matte lamination and UV Coating) to have a matte business card, and only highlight one or two areas with the gloss. Just remember that the finishing depends on your company branding, product design and function. To find out what other finishes there are, call us and ask!