Packaging Surface: Matte or Gloss Lamination

May 25 , 2021

Things to keep in mind when choosing Matte or Gloss lamination for packaging:

1:What is Matte Lamination?

2: What is Gloss Lamination?
3:Comparison of Lamination Benefits
 4:Which one is right for you?

Laminations are not necessarily discussed in detail before having to finalize your packaging design. Sometimes this results in making rash decisions that do not necessarily benefit your packaging and products.

In essence, lamination makes the product ‘ready’ to be put into the hands of consumers.

Making sure your laminate choice is compatible with your artwork designs and colors will be crucial to the final design of your packaging.

What is Matte Lamination?

The easiest way to see matte lamination is to observe the way light reflects off of the surface.

Matte lamination reflects very little or almost no light at all leaving a very flat and burred look to the surface.

Matte lamination also feels almost soft to the touch making it an excellent option for packaging that intends to be a more interactive experience.

When looking at matte lamination on a sample or prototype, for example, it’s important to take note of the way the colors appear.

Matte lamination can flatten colors making them look a little more muted with a more shallow depth of color.

It’s often used for luxury packaging to portray a modern and sophisticated look and feel.

Matte lamination paper bag

What is Gloss Lamination?

Gloss Lamination paper bag

A Comparison of Benefits

Comparison Point

Matte Lamination

Gloss Lamination


Lush, soft, low-key, higher perceived quality

Shiny, dynamic, high-impact,
higher perceived quality


Scratches and scuffs are less visible on the film lamination

Resists fingerprints, dust
and dirt

Grime and smudges can be
wiped easily off a gloss laminate

Scratches, indents and
imperfections are more visible
on glossy surfaces

Receptive to Ink

You can write over a matte laminate label or menu card

A glossy substrate is a difficult
substrate to write over


Matte lamination doesn’t produce any glare

The glare from the lamination
can pose a problem in research

However, if poster sessions are
lit by lights placed up high above
the posters, then glare is leveled
towards the floor and doesn’t cause any readability issues.

Which one is right for you?

The answer to ‘which one is better’ must be prefaced by ‘what will the lamination be used for?’ to make an informed choice.

As discussed above, each has its pros and cons; depending on the application, the drawbacks may not matter or be minor for you.

In fact, you can consider the ‘best of both worlds’ scenario.

For instance, applying a matte laminate over a glossy label can make barcode scanning easier and allow users to handwrite over it when such a need arises.

Some may view matte lamination as being boring. However, adding glossy laminate over a matte label can provide a lustrous patina and a more intricate look to your packaging.

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