Matte or Glossy? Toronto Printing Company Poster Printing Guide

Mon Jul , 2023

When it comes to poster printing, one crucial decision that can impact the final result is choosing between a matte and a glossy finish. Both have unique characteristics and visual effects, making the decision important for achieving the desired outcome.

In this post, we explore the differences between matte and glossy finishes, their unique qualities, and the factors to consider when selecting the right finish for your poster printing project.

As a leading printing company serving Toronto and Mississauga, Micro Printing understands the importance of delivering high-quality prints that meet your specific needs.

Let’s get started.

Matte or Glossy: Which Is Best for Poster Printing in Toronto

Let’s explore the key characteristics and pros & cons of matte and glossy finishes used for poster printing in Toronto. This guide will help you to choose the best one for your needs.

1. What Is Matte Finish?

Matte finish refers to a non-reflective texture that lacks a glossy finish. It offers a smooth, subtle, and understated appearance, often described as velvety or muted. This is achieved by using a coating or paper stock with a surface that diffuses light, resulting in reduced glare or reflection.

2. Advantages of Matte Finish for Poster Printing

  • Better Readability and Reduced Glare

The non-reflective nature of the matte finish makes it ideal for posters with extensive text or detailed graphics. This is because it minimizes glare and ensures optimal readability from various angles or lighting conditions.

  • Sophisticated and Elegant Look

This finish adds a touch of sophistication to your posters. It imparts a more subtle and refined appearance, which can be effective in conveying a sense of professionalism or artistic style.

3. Disadvantages of Matte Finish for Poster Printing

  • Lack of Vibrancy and Reduced Colour Saturation

A matte finish absorbs light instead of reflecting it, resulting in more muted colours compared to a glossy finish. This reduction in colour saturation should be considered when working with vibrant or highly saturated images.

4. What Is Glossy Finish?

A glossy finish refers to a reflective and shiny surface that produces a vibrant, high-contrast look. It creates a visually striking effect by reflecting light off the printed surface. This is achieved through the use of a coating that enhances colour vibrancy and creates a glossy sheen.

5. Advantages of Glossy Finish for Poster Printing

Advantages of Glossy Finish for Poster Printing

  • Intensified Colours and Improved Visual Impact

A glossy finish accentuates the colours and contrast of your poster, making them appear more vibrant and visually impactful. It also adds depth and richness to images, making them pop off the page.

  • Suitable for Posters with High-Resolution Images

A glossy finish is particularly well-suited for posters that feature high-resolution images. It brings out intricate details and textures, resulting in a stunning visual presentation.

6. Disadvantages of Glossy Finish for Poster Printing

  • Susceptibility to Fingerprints, Smudges, and Reflections

A glossy finish is more prone to showing fingerprints, smudges, and reflections due to its reflective nature. It requires careful handling and placement to maintain its pristine appearance.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Between Glossy and Matte Finishes for Poster Printing

Here are a few things you should consider when selecting between glossy and matte finishes.

A) Purpose and Context of the Poster

  • Identifying the intended audience

Consider the target audience for your poster. Are you targeting a specific demographic or industry? Understanding your audience can help you determine which finish will resonate best and effectively convey your message.

  • Aligning with brand identity

Consider your brand identity and the image you want to project. For example, matte finishes often evoke a more classic and timeless feel, while glossy finishes can convey a modern polished look. Choose a finish that aligns with your brand’s personality and values.

B) Design Elements and Content

  • Text-Heavy Posters

A matte finish is generally recommended if your poster contains a lot of text, such as event details, informative content, or instructions. Its non-reflective nature ensures optimal readability, allowing viewers to easily absorb the information.

  • Visual Impact and Aesthetics

Evaluate the visual elements and design features of your poster. For example, matte finishes work well with subtle and muted colour palettes, providing an elegant and sophisticated appeal. Glossy finishes, on the other hand, can enhance vibrant colours and create a striking visual impact, making them ideal for posters with bold graphics or eye-catching imagery.

C) Desired Emotional Response

  • Establishing the Tone and Mood

Consider the emotional response you want to evoke with your poster. Matte finishes tend to create a more serene and understated atmosphere, making them suitable for conveying a sense of calmness or professionalism. Glossy finishes, with their reflective nature and vibrant colours, can elicit excitement, energy, and a modern aesthetic.

  • Matching the Theme and Content

Choose a finish that complements the theme and content of your poster. For example, if you are promoting a luxurious event or showcasing high-end products, a glossy finish can enhance the perceived value and desirability.

D) Practical Considerations

  • Display and Lighting Conditions

Consider where and how your poster will be displayed. If it is to be placed in an area with bright lights or potential glare, a matte finish is recommended to reduce reflections and ensure optimal visibility. However, if your poster will be displayed in controlled lighting environments, such as indoor exhibitions, a glossy finish can add a touch of vibrancy and shine.

  • Durability and Longevity

Assess the longevity required for your poster. Matte finishes are generally more resistant to scratches, smudges, and fingerprints, making them a practical choice for posters that will be handled frequently or displayed for an extended period. Glossy finishes, while more susceptible to fingerprints and smudges, can be protected with proper handling and display techniques.


Choosing between matte and glossy finishes for poster printing requires thoughtful consideration. Matte finishes offer enhanced readability and sophistication, while glossy ones intensify colours and provide a polished look. Factors to consider include the purpose, target audience, design elements, and desired emotional response. Consider your design goals, consult professionals, and choose a finish that aligns with your vision. Looking for poster, banner or flyer printing in the Toronto area? Consult Micro Printing. As a trusted printing service dedicated to helping customers in and around Mississauga and Toronto, we deliver high-quality prints that exceed expectations and bring your vision to life.