Matte or Glossy Label Finish?

Which Do You Want on Your Packaging?

When designing your labels or packaging, you’ll need to decide between a matte or glossy finish. Or, put another way, do you prefer shiny or dull?


If you’re asking me, I would choose matte gold rather than shiny because I just love a matte finish. I always choose matte when having photographs printed or selecting wall paint. On the other hand, I’m well aware of how many people out there prefer something shiny and they will always go with a glossy finish.

Which looks best on labels and Stickers – matte or glossy?

When having custom labels printed, customers have to choose whether they want a matte or glossy finish. This decision will make a huge difference in the overall look of the label or sticker. There are so many choices to make that it can boggle the mind. Should you choose a matte or gloss paper, dull or bright foil, UV or imprintable varnish, matte or gloss lamination, dull flat ink or lustrous foil stamping?


Each of these decisions will change the look of your label; but more importantly there are other things to consider when making this decision:


Aside from the look of your labels or stickers, you need to consider that these two finishes feel totally different to the touch. Is that going to matter? Also, you might want to factor in your design and the type of content being printed. The extra shine of glossy paper makes the colors more vivid, so if your design includes giant colorful graphics, this might work best. Matte paper is more muted, so if your label has a pastel design with a lot of text, a matte finish may be best.


Custom Embossed Stickers

If you’re thinking of ordering custom embossed stickers you have four different choices, starting with matte and bright in either silver or gold. If you’re considering an embossed foil without ink (blind emboss), you need to consider the artwork because if you choose bright foil it could be too reflective for the text to be read, so the matte foil may work best. If you still want a bright shiny foil, you might want to add a metallic ink for some contrast to get the artwork to “pop” while maintaining a metallic look to the stickers.


Full-color Shaped Labels and Stickers


When printing these types of labels, we typically recommend using poly or glossy paper, rather than going with matte. This is because a glossy substrate will do a better job of holding the ink, making it look clearer and more vibrant when printed. If you use matte paper some of the ink will absorb into the paper, making the label look a bit washed out. So, unless you want your labels to have a faded look, avoid ink on matte paper.