Is it better to print photos matte or glossy?

Is it better to print photos matte or glossy?

When it comes to printing photos, one of the most common dilemmas people face is whether to choose a matte or glossy finish. Both options have their own unique characteristics and can significantly impact the final look and feel of your printed images. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between matte and glossy prints and help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and needs.

What is the difference between matte and glossy prints?

Matte and glossy prints differ primarily in their surface texture and appearance. Matte prints have a non-reflective, smooth finish, while glossy prints have a shiny, reflective surface. These differences can affect the overall look, colour saturation, and level of detail in your printed photos.

Which one is better for framing?

If you plan to frame your printed photos, the choice between matte and glossy prints depends on your personal taste and the environment where the framed photo will be displayed. Matte prints are often preferred for framing because they do not reflect light, making them easier to view from different angles and under various lighting conditions. Additionally, the non-reflective surface of matte prints reduces the risk of glare or distracting reflections on the glass of the frame.

Which one offers better colour reproduction?

Glossy prints are known for their vibrant and saturated colours. The glossy surface enhances the richness and depth of colours, making them appear more vivid and eye-catching. On the other hand, matte prints have a more subdued and natural colour reproduction. They are ideal for photos that require a softer and more artistic look, such as portraits or landscapes.

Which one is more resistant to fingerprints and scratches?

Glossy prints are more prone to fingerprints, smudges, and scratches due to their reflective surface. Even a slight touch can leave visible marks on the print. Matte prints, on the other hand, are less susceptible to fingerprints and scratches due to their non-reflective texture. If you anticipate frequent handling of your printed photos, matte prints may be a better choice to ensure their longevity and durability.

Which one is better for displaying in bright environments?

In bright environments with ample lighting, glossy prints can be more challenging to view due to their reflective nature. The glossy surface tends to reflect light, which can create unwanted glare and make it difficult to see the details of the image. Matte prints, with their non-reflective finish, are better suited for displaying in bright environments as they minimize glare and allow for better visibility.


Ultimately, the choice between matte and glossy prints depends on your personal preferences and the intended use of the printed photos. If you prioritize colour vibrancy and want your images to pop, glossy prints are the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subdued and natural look, matte prints are the better option. Consider factors such as framing, lighting conditions, and the likelihood of handling to make an informed decision. Remember, there is no right or wrong choice, as both matte and glossy prints have their own unique appeal and can beautifully showcase your cherished memories.

At HC Photo Paper we offer a large selection of both glossy photo paper and matte photo paper, so you can be sure to find the perfect paper to suit your requirements.

Back to blog