Do You Really Need Gloss Print?

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Shiny is attractive! Most printing customers are lured to gloss since it’s shiny. It conveys wealth glamor, and special status. That’s true! In fact, when compared to uncoated paper, glossy prints stand out.

When it comes to vinyl signs, the options are either gloss or matte. Gloss is shiny, matte is dull. Matte is more prestigious. It’s like speaking English with an American accent or British accent. One is more common and one is more fanciful. It’s not about right and wrong; it’s rather about the message you want your customers to have— branding.

Banners, for instance, have always gloss finish. Since they are meant to deliver a “large” message, the shiny reflection of the sunlight or indoor light off their surfaces doesn’t obstruct the words and graphics.

Smaller vinyl signs with much more details, such as A-frames and small window graphics, lose their message to the reflection of light off their surfaces. The eyes squint, the heads tilt right and left, the minds struggle. The encounter leaves a bad experience. The customer may decide to forgo reading the sign details including your telephone number, website address, or your email. Remember, when it comes to vinyl, the laminate can change a glossy finish into matte, and vice versa.

While vinyl comes in two finishes: gloss and matte, paper comes in many more finishes: gloss, matte, satin, no-coating.

The paper makers found out that customers don’t like to commit to gloss or satin; instead, they rather want to get both! Consequently, the manufacturers came up with a middle-ground finish (a compromise) called: Satin.

Again, like gloss and matte, stain is an added layer (a coat) over the rough paper surface in order to give it a special look and feel. Satin is duller than gloss, but glossier than matte. The fact that leads up to the question: are there any other finishes to vinyl and paper?

Before delving into other paper finishes, remember that cut vinyl, which is primarily used in lettering, comes in Pantone colors and two finishes, just like all other vinyl substrates.

Uncoated paper is rough. Customers who order it are one both extremes of the spectrum— the price sensitive and the classy modernist. At lower weight (i.e. thinner paper) you can get thousands of copies of menus, flyers, brochures, and hand-outs at very affordable price. The amount of ink and type of machines used to handle the uncoated paper are such that makes it a cheap product.

At heavier weight (i.e. thicker paper), uncoated paper, especially brown, can be expensive, but it stands out from the competition since most business use white coated paper. The color and roughness at thicker stock is unique. Usually, the modernists are also minimalistic. They only use black ink with san-sarif font to give their printed pieces elegance and artistic look.

Call, text, or email us your questions, and we’ll be more than happy to help you make the best of your printing budget. We’re not only your printing service; we serve as your printing advocate.

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