When deciding between gloss or matte finishes for your print project, it’s important to consider how the final product will be used. Whether you’re a start-up company looking to attract a lot of attention with loud posters or a corporate real estate firm looking to present a professional image with clean stationery, here are some of the key differences between these two finishes to help you make the best choice for your business:

Gloss Finish:

  • Improves photo contrast and color, which can create a polished and striking image
  • Provides great protection against rub-off
  • Fingerprints may be apparent on dark or light colors
  • Finish will be reflective, which can create a glare on the surface
  • Most gloss finishes do not work well for writing
  • Vitalizes photographs and headlines which allows them to pop

What’s the best way to utilize a gloss finish? We recommend a gloss finish for print designs that use little text and lots of imagery with bold colors, such as postcards and posters.

Matte Finish:

  • Prevents glare as it gives a non-reflective finish
  • Smooth finish enhances readability for text-heavy projects
  • More resistant to fingerprints, but prone to scratch and rub-off
  • Boosts visual designs and text, as the effect is more subtle and versatile
  • Colors can be dulled or neutralized

What’s the best way to utilize a matte finish? We recommend a matte finish for print designs that have a lot of solid color, white space, or a prominent focus on text, such as business cards and brochures.

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