Print your brochure on gloss or matte paper?

Should I have my brochure printed on matte or gloss paper?

If you like the glare free or soft, subtle color look of matte paper, but want the quality clean screens and smooth solids of a piece printed on gloss paper, printing your brochure on a gloss sheet and matte aqueous coating might be just what the doctor ordered.

While lots of people think the term “gloss” refers to a smooth finish, it actually refers to the degree that a beam of light reflects off its surface. How this light reflection is accomplished is partly contributed to the smooth finish of the paper. However, what the smooth surface really allows you to do is print a uniform, clean, crisp set of dots and solids when four-color printing, making your brochure top notch, giving it a high quality look.

So how come I can’t do this on a matte stock? Matte stock was created for, “ease of readability.” Simply put, matte stock cuts down glare by impairing the amount of light reflecting off its surface, thus making it easy on the eyes. It’s all in the paper. If you look at matte paper under a magnifying glass you will see hills and valleys, just like a topographical map. The dots (again, when four-color printing) printed on the top of those hills may be smooshed out (referred to as “dot gain”) while the dots intended to go down in those valleys may not print in their entirety. The result is blotchy printing of dots and solids, making your brochure look a bit messy or a tiny bit out of focus.

So how do you get clean crisp brochure printing on a matte stock? Start with a gloss sheet and matte aqueous coat it. The gloss paper gives you a smooth base for nice printing and the matte aqueous coating nocks out the glare – no need to compromise. Simply put, gloss paper with a matte aqueous coating is the best way to have your cake and eat it too!

For a free brochure paper and coating sample, request a brochure printing sample kit here.

About Lloyd

Working in the printing industry since 1978, Lloyd Miller has run numerous printing presses from small duplicators to giant Goss web presses. Lloyd's career led him to work in the world headquarters of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in the sheet fed production department; in the digital department at MSX Int'l; and, after training at Xerox World Headquarters in TX, Lloyd became the first operator and trainer for Xerox's new Xicon engine. Lloyd spent 3years printing high end lithographs for various artists throughout the U.S. We're very fortunate to have someone as talented, knowledgeable, and experienced as Lloyd. He is currently our press manager.
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