Article > 30 September 2021

Matte vs Gloss Labels

We going to help you choose the right labels to fit your production needs


Choosing between matte and gloss finishes is a frequent occurrence in colour label printing, and this difference may have a significant effect on the overall appearance of a label. Which paper type do you prefer: matte or glossy, bright or dull foil, matte or gloss lamination, printable or UV varnish? All of these choices have the potential to alter the appearance of your printed label; however, there are also practical considerations to consider when evaluating these alternatives.

Glossy Labels

As the name implies, glossy labels have a glossy appearance. They are especially well-suited to vibrant patterns due to the gloss’s tendency to bounce light back at the observer. This results in more vibrant colours with increased contrast. Glossy surfaces retain ink better and therefore print more vibrantly and crisply. Matte paper absorbs and dissipates part of the ink, giving the impression of being faded and washed out.

Pros & Cons



Shiny, reflective look

Not recommended for barcodes & QR codes

Enhances colour vibrancy

Not recommended for shipping labels

Accentuates details

Glare can make labels hard to read

Customizable for paper & synthetic materials

Matte Labels

By contrast, matte labels are less reflective and have a softer appearance and feel. While matte labels may not show colours as vividly as glossy labels, their more subdued look offers a variety of uses. It is also waterproof, outdoor durable, and bubble-free.

Pros & Cons



Softens colors and designs

Colors are more muted

Unpolished, smooth finish

Can sometimes have a dull appearance

Gives authentic, vintage look

Can lessen the clarity of small details

Great choice for barcodes & QR codes

Customizable for paper & synthetic materials

The final appearance of the product must be a major consideration. Because certain treatments flatter some material surfaces more than others, this is the case. The appearance of your label and the surface on which it is applied should complement each other.

The material of the containers or packaging on which matte or gloss labels will be placed should be considered as well. The following are some of the materials:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Plastic

Applications can vary depending on the type of finish used.

Gloss inkjet labels, for example, are great for glass bottles and jars, such as wine or jams, because the surface is also reflective and adds to the product’s shine. Matte inkjet labels are great for frosted containers because they enhance the product’s smooth, silky appearance.

The color and design of your container will influence the color and design of your label. Matching colors and tones is essential for ensuring that they complement one other rather than cancel each other out. This includes backdrop colors, which can have an impact on the overall appearance of your labels.

If your products will come in contact with moisture, heat, oils, or chemicals, or need to be resistant to smudging and scratching, a film inkjet label is best. Paper inkjet labels are best suited for indoor, short-term applications away from these elements.


A gloss or matte surface might be beneficial for a range of label applications.

These coatings are another approach to give your labels more adaptability while also improving the aesthetic of your product for a more sophisticated, personalised look.

Make sure to look into your label options so you can be sure you’re obtaining the greatest product for your needs!

Watch Our EZJET TIJ Printer in action: