Choosing a matt or gloss finish can completely change the look and feel of your signs, although personal preference can play a large part in your decision factors like brand, location and sign purpose should be taken into consideration when making your choice.
There are two main ways of achieving a gloss finish, the first is to start with a glossy substrate to print on or secondly by applying a shiny coating or laminate after the print process. Applying a laminate or film after printing has the benefit of being cleanable to a certain extent. A soft cloth and warm soapy water can be used to wipe away surface dirt without damaging the underlying print.
A gloss finish can give a premium feel to any sign or print. It is often thought of as prestigious, think polished brass sign outside of a solicitor’s, or a glass and stainless steel sign at a modern advertising agency.
Printed colours can often look deeper or more vivid and even blacks can look richer on a glossy sign or other printer material. This is due to the reflective nature of the finish, which also means this finish is a good choice for signs in areas with low lighting.
While high gloss finishes are prone to getting fingerprint smudges they are generally easier to clean away or polish with a soft lint-free cloth.
While a gloss finish does have lots of benefits a matt finish can be equally useful in certain circumstances. In traditional print, on brochures or business cards a matt card can look even classier than a gloss finish. It says premium product but without being flashy or trying too hard. For business cards, it also has the added bonus of being easy to write on with less chance of ink smudging.
Matt finishes are more resistant to fingerprints but on the downside, they are harder to clean if required.
Large-format prints and some signs will benefit from a matt finish if they are to be located in areas with bright lighting. The matt finish will be easier on the eye and reduces shine making the signs clearer to read. Where a gloss finish will help colours to ‘pop’ using matt on designs that use a muted colour palette works well. Without the competing glare, very detailed images are often easier to see in a matt finish. The softer appearance of a matt finish also enhances designs using black and white or even sepia images.
If you want a matt finish for your corporate signs or internal door signs and wayfinding schemes Brushed Aluminium is a good base medium, for print or engraving, giving the right amount of prestige without the glare.
Of course, the ultimate matt finish is using a wooden substrate on which to print or engrave, which can give either a rustic, eco or premium look depending on the creative treatment of the design.
If you are finding it hard to choose there are finishes in between such as satin and semi-gloss while not every type of sign or print will be available in all the different finishes, there are enough options for everyone’s taste.
If you would like to talk to our Sales Team about any of your signage or print needs please do get in touch.