Are you a paper snob like me? I happen to be a fan of very specific types of paper, but each crafty project really does require its own perfect paper choice to work out for the best!
Selecting the right paper for a printing job can make a big difference in the final product. Two of the most popular paper finishes are glossy and matte.
Glossy paper has a shiny surface, while matte paper is non-reflective. Which is better for printing? I’ll lay out the differences between glossy and matte paper finishes to help you determine which is better for your next printing project.
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Glossy paper is great for printing photos or images with vibrant colors because it offers high contrast and sharpness. One of the benefits of using glossy paper is that its reflective surface enhances the vividness of colors, making photos look more lively.
However, glossy paper is prone to collecting fingerprints and smudges, making it less durable than matte paper. I found that glossy paper tends to resist fading for longer than matte paper, but that can depend on the ink, printer, and paper I use. If you choose a low-quality glossy paper, it might turn yellow over time.
Matte paper has a smooth, non-reflective surface that provides a more natural look to photographs. I like it for printing images or text that requires no shine or glare.
Matte paper is less prone to accumulating fingerprints, and it’s known for its durability. Many people use matte paper to print documents, manuals, and portfolios that require a clean, readable format. Just keep in mind that matte paper does stain, but it doesn’t have the gloss-coated layer that makes fingerprints noticeable.
Factors To Consider
When choosing between glossy and matte paper, ask yourself a few questions. Where will you place the printed material? What are the lighting conditions in the space? What type of content will you print? Are you going for a more refined or modern look? If you’re creating a DIY photo canvas, using glossy paper will help the colors stand out, and the sheen will make the display eye-catching.
Here are some things to think about when deciding between the two:
⦁ Color Vibrancy: If you want the colors to pop, then go for glossy paper. If you prefer subdued, natural-looking images, choose matte paper.
⦁ Reflectivity: If you’re planning to print photos that will be in a space that gets direct sunlight, consider using matte paper. Conversely, if you want your photo to pop in a frame, then go with glossy paper.
⦁ Durability: If you’re worried about smudging, fingerprints, or water droplets, matte paper might be a better choice. Conversely, if longevity isn’t a concern and you’re focused on making a statement with your photos, then glossy paper is ideal.
⦁ Cost: Glossy paper is generally more expensive than matte paper, so if you’re on a tight budget, matte paper might be the better choice.
Which Is Better for Printing?
I can’t give you a surefire answer about whether glossy paper is better for printing than matter paper. It all depends on your project’s details! The best way to choose a paper finish is by testing different types and evaluating the results. Consider the printer and ink you’ll use for the printing job. By determining the project’s needs, you can decide which paper finish is the best choice.
I tend to use a LOT of sticker paper as well in my crafty projects – check out my favorite craft papers below!
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