Packaging: Matte or Gloss Lamination

💡Things to keep in mind when choosing Matte or Gloss lamination for packaging
What is Matte Lamination?
What is Gloss Lamination?
A Comparison of Lamination Benefits
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.

Example of laminated packaging
Source: PakFactory

Whether it applies to the surface of a paper bag, book cover, label, or packaging box, lamination always highlights the visuals and tactile feel of the product.

Better yet, it also serves as a protective layer to resist scratches and unexpected damages to your packaging design.

While there are an array of laminate options out there, the first step to making your decision is choosing Matte or Gloss Lamination.

This narrows down your laminate options to make your final decision an easy one.

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.

A blue custom box with matte lamination.
Source: PakFactory

What is Gloss Lamination?

In contrast to matte lamination, the gloss has a lustrous quality as light bounces off the surface. Therefore the effect is that of vibrancy, better image contrast, and more vibrant depth of color.

Gloss laminated bags and magazines draw attention to themselves; in this respect, they can be viewed as flashy to their subdued matte counterparts.

For this reason, they may lend themselves well to brochures, cover photos, perfume boxes, and book spines.

Gloss lamination can refine a product differently from matte lamination.

If your brand is trying to communicate a brighter and more youthful feel, gloss lamination is probably your ideal choice.

Gloss lamination enhances and brightens your colors making them come across much more defined and detailed.

A Comparison of Benefits

Comparison PointMatte LaminationGloss Lamination
AppearanceLush, soft, low-key, higher perceived qualityShiny, dynamic, high-impact,
higher perceived quality
ProtectionScratches and scuffs are less visible on the film laminationResists fingerprints, dust
and dirt

Grime and smudges can be
wiped easily off a gloss laminate
surface

Scratches, indents and
imperfections are more visible
on glossy surfaces
Receptive to InkYou can write over a matte laminate label or menu cardA glossy substrate is a difficult
substrate to write over
GlareMatte lamination doesn’t produce any glareThe glare from the lamination
can pose a problem in research
posters

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.

Source: PakFactory

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.

Want to learn more about your laminate options? Contact our packaging specialists to find out more!

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3 comments
  1. Nothing like starting off my day reading and learning about something cool. Your blog post accentuated my breakfast perfectly! Thank you 🙂

  2. An amazing article. It’s nice to read a quality blog post. I think you made some good points in this post.In essence, lamination makes the product ‘ready’ to be put into the hands of consumers. You can consider two types of lamination: Matte and Gloss.

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