If you’re used to ordering prints and photographs online, you’ll recognize the term “finishes.” A photo’s finish is the coating or lack of coating on the photo paper. When ordering prints, you can choose from a wide variety of finishes, which will change the quality and price of your piece. Here is a quick overview of some of the different types of finishes you can choose for your photo prints.
Glossy finishes are the default design for many printing companies. If you’ve ever ordered copies of photos from a local drugstore printing service, you probably received glossy paper prints. This is the standard finish that most instant-print film uses as well. Glossy finishes provide a reflective quality to the print, which can cause glare at certain angles. However, this shine also amplifies colors and enhances details in your images.
A matte finish is the opposite of a glossy finish. It has no shiny coating, which can make it more durable and resistant to fingerprints and other damage. Matte finish has a slightly textured feel, which can help combat the glare that other photo prints experience. Its unique texture and lack of glare are why a matte finish makes a great choice for art prints and photographs. Matte prints are popular for various applications, from scrapbooking to framing and displaying.
Satin finish strikes a balance between matte and glossy finishes. In fact, another name for satin finishes is “semi-gloss.” This paper finish provides some shine but doesn’t cause as much of a glare as full glossy finishes. Satin finishes are ideal for bringing out colors in a piece without worrying about glare. If you want to frame and hang a photograph in an area with intense lighting, a satin finish can be an excellent choice.
Metallic finishes offer even more shine than glossy finishes. However, these high-quality prints don’t have the same issues with glare. This makes them ideal for framing and hanging in displays or near windows. Metallic finishes have a glow-like quality that almost makes them appear three-dimensional. The best way to understand the metallic finish effect is to see it for yourself.
Now that you know more about the different types of finishes for your photo prints, you can choose the best option for your printing applications.