Glossy vs Matte Business Cards: Which Paper is Right for You?

You’ve landed here because you need business cards. You’re also here because you don’t like making decisions without laying out and comparing your options, especially when it comes to your marketing prints. Glossy cards are the classic standard, but most people often argue that matte cards have a more professional look. Gloss business cards can sometimes be overpowering with their shiny finish, especially when paired with vibrant colors. Of course, the point of a glossy business card is to pop and shine, and you want your cards to stand out. Matte cards are more subdued, which is why they’re sometimes picked over gloss cards for specific scenarios. The bottom line is, that something as simple as the paper choice can alter the look of your business cards. We’re here to help you make an informed decision on whether to print matte business cards or glossy business cards.

What are glossy business cards best used for?

1. Printing in bulk – If you have a big networking event to attend and want something that’s economical, a gloss business card is the way to go. Not only are they cost-effective, but their gloss coating also gives them a protective layer that makes scratches and other damage less likely. 

2. Vibrant colors and designs – glossy cards are meant to make your designs pop, which is why it is the stock that will do your vibrant business card design justice.  

3. Designs with photos – Because the High Gloss UV coating of a glossy business card resembles a printed photo, any business card with a photo on it – whether it’s a headshot, stock photo, or professional photo – would best pair with a glossy paper stock.  

What are matte business cards best used for? 

1. Designs that have more text than images – if the purpose is to emphasize your logo and/or contact information, matte business cards might be the better option for you. There’s something about a matte paper stock that pairs well with text-based designs. Of course, you can definitely have other design elements present and still print your business cards on a matte stock. 

2. Modern/contemporary designs – this includes less color variation, perhaps more muted and calming colors, designs that focus on minimalism, reliance on typography, etc. 

3. A writable surface – The coating of matte cards makes it much easier to write on, so if you ever intend to add something specific to a card before handing it to someone, we highly recommend opting for matte business cards. 

Specialty Add-Ons with Matte Business Cards

With 16 pt. matte paper stock, you can even add a specialty finish of Raised UV or Raised Foil to specific elements of your design. With Raised UV, you can add a glossy, elevated look to any part of your design. This means that you can apply it to any color. With Raised Foil, you are still able to choose which part of your design to apply the finish to, but you have the additional step of choosing from 3 metallic foil colors – gold, silver, and rose gold.  

These are just two ways to elevate the look of your design. Which one to choose depends entirely on your design and the type of look you want to achieve.  

Paper Options

  • 14 pt. Gloss – this stock is popular because its High Gloss UV Coating protects from fingerprints and damage. The gloss mimics photo paper, so if your business card design contains vibrant color colors or even a photo, a gloss paper stock will highlight these characteristics. Order 14 pt. Gloss Business Cards 
  • 16 pt. Matte this stock is slightly thicker and more modern in comparison to the 14 pt. gloss. You can write on its surface with select writing instruments. You can also add High Gloss UV Coating for a semi-gloss finish, however, please note that you cannot write on a surface that contains high gloss UV.  Order 16 pt. Matte Business Cards
  • Honorable mention – 100 lb. Matte – Similar finish to 16 pt. matte, but lightweight and thinner. Also ideal for bulk printing. Order 100 lb. Matte Business Cards

Whether you choose matte or glossy business cards, you’re guaranteed high-quality printing at low prices.

Still not sure whether gloss or matte paper is the best choice for your business cards? Request a Free Sample Kit to see and feel the difference between the stocks. Plus, you’ll be able to discover more stocks that may be of interest!  

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