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SignSeconds: Matte vs. Gloss Finish: Which is Better?

The answer to which is better, gloss or matte, is . . . it depends. While there are some differences to these types of materials, one finish is not better than the other. Rather, it comes down to personal preference, the look that your customer is going for and, most importantly, how and when they’re going to use the graphics.

To put it simply, matte graphics have a smooth, dull, elegant finish, while gloss graphics have a glossy, “shiny” flash to them. Graphics look great with both types of finish but you will want to choose one over the other depending on the purpose of the graphic and the look you want.

Trade Show Events: Matte Graphics are Best

Let’s say you are getting ready for a trade show event or conference and you want your logo printed on a banner as a backdrop for a booth. In this type of situation, the booth is likely to be indoors under multiple bright lights. Anytime you have harsh lighting, a matte finish will allow the image to stand out without producing a glare. And if someone approaches the booth to snap a picture of it, they won’t have to worry about the flash of a camera preventing your logo or company name from showing up well in a photograph. Gloss graphics, on the other hand, could produce an unsightly glare that detracts from the graphic’s appearance.

Photo Walls & Backdrops: Matte Graphics are Best

Photography brings up the next point about which material to use. If you want to use a banner as a photo wall or backdrop for people to perform or take pictures in front of, you need a matte finish. A matte banner will allow the focus of a photograph to be on the individuals instead of on a harsh glare. Your graphics can still “pop”–– just without the sheen.

Outdoor Advertising: Gloss Graphics are Best

Effective outdoor advertising requires bright colors and bold images to catch the attention of people viewing the sign or graphic. With outdoor advertising, gloss banners, signs and graphics tend to be more effective. Our gloss materials at AlphaGraphics in Lehi have just enough shine to make your graphics stand out and catch the public’s eye – all without appearing overly glossy. Also, due to the smooth nature of a gloss finish it will repel water, dirt, oil and grease better than a matte finish, keeping the banner or graphic looking bright and new through inclement weather or frequent handling.

SignSeconds Summary

If you need a banner or graphic for an indoor event or display, we suggest a matte finish. It’ll give an elegant, clean look, which is perfect for photo ops. If you need to advertise outdoors, or grab attention with flash, choose gloss. The shine will give your graphics just enough “pop” to get noticed. If you need help selecting the right material for your project, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at AlphaGraphics in Lehi.

Call us at 801-653-2428 or email us at

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Posted by phild