When filling a brief or a customer specification form, the paper type is a required field you have to fill. Two common choices are Matte or Gloss paper. Now, as someone who does not know the difference, how do you decide which to choose? The more economical one? You may or may not be correct.

In the next few paragraphs, we will help you understand the physical differences and how to choose the best paper based on the files you have to print.

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

Matte paper has a semi-gloss finish, produces high-quality prints, but lacks the 'vibrant' effects of gloss paper. The 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. However, matte paper is easier to write on


Glossy paper is sleek and luminous, and very popular for digital photo printing. The smooth finish allows colors to appear deeply saturated for a rich effect. If images are not perfectly sharp and clear, glossy papers can enhance the photos. Landscape and still-life shots come out well on glossy paper, as do very colorful portraits.

On the other hand, Matte photo paper is free of shine, resulting in more muted colors. This makes the texture of the image more pronounced and ideal for highly detailed photos, such as shots of buildings. Matte photo paper is less likely to show smudges when handled and gives off no glare, so it is an excellent great choice for scrapbooking. Black-and-white portrait photographs look very professional printed on matte paper.

On a final note, you cannot go wrong with your choice of paper, as they carry color well. It just boils down to preference and subtle nuances, which can be overlooked. Also, you do not have to print all your photos on the same paper type- Mixing and matching can help to ensure each image comes out right.

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Choosing the right paper for your print

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