The Difference Between Uncoated, Gloss, and Matte Paper Finishing

Two people writing on a uncoated flyer

The most important thing to know is that the differences between uncoated, matte, and gloss is primarily the amount of coating that is applied to the paper. The chart below gives you an idea of roughly how much coating is applied to each paper type.

paper-finishing-coating-chart

The following picture was taken with all 4 paper coatings to get an idea of what the differences are. The descriptions below will help explain the differences that might not be noticeably apparent in the photograph.

Uncoated vs Matte vs Gloss paper

Uncoated Paper

Uncoated paper is exactly what it sounds like – paper that has no extra coating or paper finishing. Since there is no coating, there is no glare on the surface. This makes it ideal for prints that have a lot of text or reading materials. Since there is no coating, this is the most porous paper, which is the best for smudge-less writing with the widest range of pens and pencils when compared to the other finishes. All bond stock paper is uncoated.

Matte Coated Paper

Matte paper has a light coating that provides a boost to the contrast to images, but results in little glare. In the picture above, that the matte coating did not provide much glare when the photo was taken. The matte coating provides a smoother presentation than an uncoated sheet, and softer than the appearance of a glossy sheet. Matte sheets are good for enhancing visual designs with a more subdued layout and color set without having a lot of glare which glossy coatings suffer from. Pen ink will not smear on matte coating, which makes it the ideal choice for journals and calendars.

Gloss Coated Paper

Gloss coated paper provides a lot of shine, which results in a higher contrast and color gamut than other papers. This coating is good for full color images where the color needs to “pop”. This coating gives a very nice finish and professional look for marketing materials or any other kinds of prints that want to show off the color.

UV Gloss Coating

UV Gloss coating is our premium coating that makes pictures really stand out. It really enhances color contrast and makes those vibrant colors pop out, more so than regular gloss. As you can see from the picture above, our UV coating provides a much greater shine than our gloss papers. UV Gloss is not a paper type, but an additional coating added to a gloss or matte paper type.

Contact Printivity at 1-877-649-5463 and ask for a complimentary paper sample.

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