Photo Papers – Lustre vs Glossy vs Matte

Among industry professionals and photographers, it is an on-going debate about what the best paper finish to print with. It really depends on a wide variety of factors such as your personal preference, type of use and 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: Lustre (also known as “semi-gloss”) Paper
– Lustre papers show great color but may not appear as bright as glossy paper.
– Ink dries quickly on lustre papers.
– Image is easier to view from different angles, offering less reflections from light.
– Printed images or those framed behind glass on lustre paper shows less glare.
– Shows the printed image or photograph better from all angles.
– Lustre paper is more resistant to fading over time.
– If your prints will be handled, manipulated or touched, lustre paper is best.
– Lustre paper hides scratches and scuffs best.

#2 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.

#3 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.
– Withstands handling and does not show fingerprints.

Which paper do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.

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