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Everything You Need to Know About Glossy Prints

September 26, 2018 10:30 am

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when it comes to printing a picture is the kind of paper. You’ll need to choose between glossy paper and semi-matte paper. While most papers might seem like they’re nearly identical, even the slight variations between brands can have a detrimental effect on your pictures.

Glossy Paper and Semi-Matte Paper: What’s the Difference?

Would it surprise you to learn that glossy paper and matte paper are actually made up of the same materials? The difference between the two is that there is an extra layer of shine on glossy prints that increases the vibrancy of the colors.

Glossy Prints or Semi-Matte Prints: Which One Should You Choose?

While the bottom line in choosing whether you use matte or glossy prints might come down to your personal preference, there are some things to keep in mind when making that decision.

  • Glossy Paper

Glossy paper is 260 gsm with a 10 mil thickness and is designed to reflect light with its perfectly shiny and smooth surface. The bright white, resin-coated paper base allows you to see rich and vivid colors, so your images pop. When digital photos are printed on archival, high-quality photo-paper, they look sharp and crisp with deep saturation and a high d-Max.

One issue to be aware of when choosing which type of paper to use is that glossy prints often have a glare to them. This is because of the light that is reflecting off the print’s shiny surface. This particular feature of glossy prints can make it difficult to see with clarity in some lighting situations.

Another potential issue you should know about is that glossy prints can retain fingerprints. This, however, can be corrected by using a frame with protective glazing over the print.

  • Semi-Matte Paper

In contrast, semi-matte paper can be described as archival, high-quality photo-paper that has a slight gloss with a subtle texture. Its resin-coated, bright white paper base is 240 gsm and 10 mils in thickness. It provides you with a high d-Max and deep saturation.

Semi-matte prints are known to pack less of a pop of color than their shiny counterparts. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get a significant amount of color when you have your images printed on semi-matte paper though. Some people use this quality of matte prints to emulate a film effect look.

Glossy Prints or Matte Prints: Which Ones are Better With a Frame?

Again, this is often a personal preference, but choosing glossy prints under a glass frame provides a sharpness and crispness that provides clarity. This combination might give you some spots of glare though. If you’re wanting a print that will hold up to lots of handling without showing fingerprints, matte paper is likely to be your best bet.

Baboo Digital offers both the professional and hobbyist photographer with the color definition, clarity and focus that puts your work in its best light. For more than 40 years, Baboo Digital is who New Yorkers trust with their professional-grade prints.