Among industry professionals and photographers, it is an on-going debate that can only be answered in your personal preference, type of use and private, commercial or business needs. Here are some quick pointers to help decide which paper to buy or why you might choose luster, matte or glossy paper finishes:
#1 Paper surface finish: Luster (also known as “lustre” or “semi-gloss”) Paper
– Luster papers show great color but may not appear as bright as glossy paper.
– Ink dries quickly on luster papers.
– Surface texture is subtle and in-between matte finish and glossy finish look.
– Image is easier to view from different angles, offering less reflections from light.
– Printed images or those framed behind glass on luster paper shows less glare.
– Shows the printed image or photograph better from all angles.
– Luster paper is more resistant to fading over time.
– If your prints will be handled, manipulated or touched, luster paper is best.
– Luster paper hides scratches and scuffs best.
– Preferred most by our event photographers, for weddings, quinceañeras, and family portraits.
– Generally, luster papers are considered as the best quality for the best price.
#2 Paper surface finish: Matte Paper
– Matte papers show a silky, fine, soft, smooth look for colors and design in printing.
– Absorbs more ink which also gives a fine and soft look.
– Surface texture offers more of a flat look in its finish.
– Image can be seen at all angles without glare or light reflections.
– Matte paper prints produce some of the longest lasting and most pleasing looking prints.
– Withstands handling and does not show fingerprints.
– Makes for great handouts and brochures.
– Preferred by our industrial and business professionals for printing.
#3 Paper surface finish: Glossy Paper
– Glossy papers show bright, sharp details and colors offering eye-catching prints.
– Inks show vibrantly but dry slower than on luster or matte papers.
– Surface texture can feel and look like glass.
– Printed images on glossy paper can show more glare depending on angles, light and reflections.
– Glossy papers show fingerprints and scratches more easily than other papers.
– Full color photos can appear more realistic.
– Great for outdoor or nature photographers and used by many for wedding photos, portraits, forensic photography and for school pictures.