Paper Coating Differences Explained

We are commonly asked from clients about the different paper coatings. The simplest way to describe it is:

Gloss coated is a shinny finish, Matte coated is a dull/subtle shine, and uncoated is no coating similar to standard copy paper.

What is Gloss Coating?

Gloss Coating is a non-porous, high shine coating, which is used in applications such as brochures, advertising, flyers, one sheets, photographic printing and other presentation documents. Since it is non-porous when it is printed offset the ink is not absorbed into the paper which gives an increased the sharpness of the printed material and makes images pop. This is especially desirable for sharp and complex images.

Matte Coating VS Uncoated

Matte coating is often confused with Uncoated. This is due to the fact that Uncoated has a “matte” like finish where as matte coating has more of a shiny finish. One major factor to take into consideration when choosing your coating is whether you would like a subtle shine or to have a dull finish.

What is Matte Coating?

Another type of coating is Matte Coated. Matte Coating, despite it’s name has a subtle shine when the paper is fully printed on.  Like Gloss coated it is also non-porous which means the ink is also not absorbed into the paper which can cause the ink to bleed reducing the sharpness of the printed material. This is especially desirable for sharp and complex images.

What is Uncoated Paper?

When a paper is Uncoated as the name would imply it is Uncoated. It is generally not as smooth as coated paper and tends to be more porous; meaning it will absorb the ink preventing shine. Uncoated paper is generally used for letterhead, envelopes and printed material that is aiming for a more prestigious or elegant look.

Gloss Example
Matte Example