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Matte vs Glossy Stickers: What is the Difference?

November 29, 2023  |  
Guides/Tutorials
Matte Vs Glossy Stickers What Is The Difference

Matte and glossy are two of the most popular finishes for customizable stickers. There’s a lot of debate about which one is better, but ultimately, it all comes down to personal choice. Some people prefer the clean and textured matte finish, while others are after that premium glossy look.

Regardless of which you choose, both matte and glossy finishes can enhance the final look of your custom stickers. But to help you make a decision, here are their key differences.

Matte vs Glossy Stickers: Key Differences

The main difference between matte and glossy finishes is the appearance of their surface. This is because of how the laminate diffuses light on the sticker, causing differences in color, contrast, and glare.

Color

More light comes through and reflects off a glossy laminate, making colors look more vibrant and saturated on glossy stickers. The color contrast is also more pronounced, enhancing the boldness of colors and making them stand out. This finish is best for stickers with bold designs that have pops of color.

On the other hand, a matte finish absorbs light and reduces shine. So, a matte sticker will have a more muted color and less vibrancy. This can yield a classy appearance, making it best for sleek and modern sticker designs.

Durability

When it comes to durability, both matte and glossy stickers perform the same. Both finishes are applied on high-quality vinyl and are laminated to protect the sticker design. Even in outdoor applications and exposure to sun and weather, matte and glossy stickers alike can last years of use without losing their quality.

Glare

Since glossy finishes reflect light, the sticker ends up with a glare effect, especially when light is shined directly on it. This adds a bit more depth and visual interest to the sticker. On the contrary, matte stickers diffuse light, which means they aren’t affected by lighting conditions.

The glare (or lack thereof) can be an important factor for readability. Stickers with text that should be readable from various angles or designs with intricate details may benefit more from a matte finish.

Popularity

Both matte and glossy finishes are popular for custom stickers. It’s hard to tell which one people favor most because each order is unique and has diverse requirements. Although glossy finishes are most common in stickers we see on the market today,

Ultimately, it comes down to what looks best with the sticker design. Matte finishes are popular for designs aiming for a subtle and muted appearance, while glossy finishes are preferred by those aiming for shine and vibrancy.

Use Cases

Because of how they change the appearance of a sticker, matte and glossy finishes have different applications.

Matte stickers are most commonly used to create a sleek, professional, and sophisticated look. We commonly see them used for packaging, marketing materials, product labels, etc. They’re best applied on non-reflective surfaces and objects that see frequent handling because of their resistance to fingerprints, smudges, and scratches.

Aside from packaging, matte stickers are also used as wall decals or stuck on laptops and water bottles for minimalist and non-distracting customization.

Glossy stickers, on the other hand, are used to make an impact. Because they are vibrant, they are often applied to capture the viewer’s attention, such as in bumper stickers, product packaging, or marketing. Glossy stickers are also preferred for intricate and bold designs where the goal is to make colors pop.

A person holding in their hand a glossy sticker.

Conclusion

Matte and glossy finishes each have their own unique characteristics that make them popular for custom stickers. Which one is better will depend on your unique needs and preferences. In summary, matte stickers look more professional and sleek without being too distracting. Glossy stickers, on the other hand, enhance colors to draw attention and make an impact.

Ultimately, the best finish is one that complements your sticker design and suits your intended appearance and application.