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Matte or Glossy The Best Paper Finish For Movie Posters

Matte or Glossy: The Best Paper Finish For Movie Posters

One of the best promotional materials for movies is posters. Aside from trailers, they are the first thing moviegoers see before entering a movie theatre to watch the film itself.  But more than the beauty and design, there is another element affecting the presentation of the posters—the paper finish. But between matte and the traditional glossy finish, which paper should movie posters get printed on?

What Makes the Best Film Poster?

1. Printability

The first factor of consideration when printing movie posters is printability. The printability of a film poster is a measure of how well the printing presses are able to correctly render the artwork onto the paper.

2. Long-Term Storage

Keeping posters for long periods of time can be a challenge for collectors. It can be problematic for people who want to keep movie posters, in this case. That is why choosing a paper finish that is durable is necessary.

3. Lightfastness

If you want to keep the posters in good condition, lightfastness is one of the things you should consider. Lightfastness refers to how well colors will remain vibrant after being exposed to sunlight. Glossy paper tends to lose its luster faster than matte paper.

4. Absorbency

Another factor of measure is absorbency. The lower the absorbency of a paper, the higher the quality of the paper. More absorbent papers tend to be rough or gentle to the touch. As a result, it creates a rougher or softer finish, respectively. It is particularly important in offset printing, where the paper is placed on a cylinder and prints are made on it from various angles.

5. Stock Options

Another factor to consider when figuring out what paper finish to use is availability. In terms of stock options, a glossy finish is the easiest to find. If a print house or supplier does not have a matte finish, it is possible to get a matte finish using a simple lamination.

Matte vs. Glossy: Which One’s Better?

Despite all the differences between the two types of paper, they do have their own benefits. Matte finish is often considered the better option because it offers a better quality of paper, it’s more durable, and it lets the colors of the artwork shine.

However, the glossy finish has its own perks as well. For instance, a glossy finish is flexible, so it can efficiently wrap around irregular shapes. It can also be laminated to prevent water damage. The glossy finish can also be printed on both sides, so it’s a more efficient use of poster paper. Lastly, a glossy finish can be printed on either paper or plastic.

The choice between matte and glossy finishes is up to you. You should take into consideration your purpose and how you want to display the posters. If you’ll be keeping the posters for a long time, then a matte finish would be the better option. If you’re displaying your posters for a short time, a glossy finish would be better.


The difference between a glossy and a matte film poster finish is the way it reflects light. The glossy paper finish reflects light very well, which gives it a shiny and attractive appearance. The matte paper finish, on the other hand, makes the paper absorb light, which gives it a flat appearance.

However, the choice between a matte and glossy finish is ultimately up to you. If you’ll be keeping the posters for a long time, then a matte finish would be the better option. If you’re displaying your posters for a short time, a glossy finish would be better.

PrintPal London offers same-day poster printing services in London. Customers can choose which size, material, and quality their posters will come out and get them to customize to whichever specification the posters as needed. Get in touch with a print expert through our website today or use our self-help printing service.