Differences between matte paper and glossy paper

Matte paper or glossy paper, that’s the question

Do you know the differences between matte paper and glossy paper? One of the first decisions you have to make once you decide to print your photographic work or illustration, is to choose the type of fine art paper you are going to use. And this decision, if it’s the first time you do it can cause you some headache because it’s not easy at all, the truth.

Everything is complicated by the large amount of fine art papers on the market. It is always desirable to have variety to choose from, but in this case, it can be a problem rather than a solution.

The main reason for choosing a matte paper and glossy paper is always personal. Like everything in life, we are moved by our personal preferences, beliefs and motives and, in the case of choosing a glossy or matte paper, it will not be less. What we at La Cámara Roja always recommend is that we should put aside our personal preferences to let the very nature of the work decide what type of paper best suits the reproduction of the work.

In the end, what we want is for our photos and illustrations to be printed with the highest colour fidelity and resolution quality and to convey the sensations behind the work.

Since all the papers we use are of the highest quality, choosing one type of paper or another can change the viewer’s perception of the work. It is not that this choice can reduce the printing quality, the problem is the perception of the work through its reproduction on a matte or glossy paper.

matte paper detail for artwork prints

Differences between matte and glossy paper

These types of paper show the colours in an exceptional way, because of their excellent reproduction of colours and details, because of their deep blacks and the impressive contrasts separating the tones correctly. These papers are especially suitable for giclée printing of photographs of spectacular landscapes, nature photographs and fashion and advertising photographs.

The matte fine art papers, on the other hand, have an extra coating that accentuates the feeling to the touch, giving the paper a three-dimensional appearance, allowing greater absorption of ink, obtaining extraordinary prints with bright colours, deep blacks, fascinating contrasts and perfect reproduction of details.

Another advantage of the fine art matt papers is their pleasant feel, which, together with the reproduction of deep blacks, makes them particularly suitable for the reproduction of black and white graphic work.

For illustration and painting reproduction works, the fine art papers that exceptionally manage to reflect the qualities of the work itself are the textured matte papers.

This is a cotton-based composite art paper with a certain texture that gives the work additional depth and three-dimensionality.

Fine art papers of the highest quality

In our giclée printing laboratory at La Cámara Roja, we work with the highest quality fine art papers, using a working process that combines maximum technology with craftsmanship, taking care of every last detail to achieve an exceptional result and that your photographs or illustrations are simply perfect.

We work with leading brands such as Hahnemuehle® and Canson®. We have also created our own brand of Wildprints® papers, offering a selection of the best paper at the best price, made from vegetable fibres and complying with FSC® environmental sustainability criteria.

Detalle papel brillo-La Camara Roja Lab


Our fine art paper recommendations

In La Cámara Roja we have a personalized attention and information service according to the project, photographic or illustration, that you want to print. We can help you choose the paper that best suits your work. We are happy to provide information on the type of paper that suits you best. All you have to do is ask.

In the meantime, here is a general guide to the type of application and work you can choose from.

Matte Paper

WILDPRINTS Poster premium 210 g

This is our most economical matte paper, ideal for contact copying and low cost exhibition production, from presentations to posters. Despite its low price, it has great colour definition and line accuracy. Available for double-sided printing for portfolio and/or book creation.

WILDPRINTS Cotton fever 240 g

One of our star roles. An exceptional matt paper made of 100% cotton at an unbeatable price. It is a natural white matt paper with a smooth surface, with high resolution, achieving vivid colours with a wide range of shades. Suitable for printing high quality photographic prints and illustrations at an unbeatable price. It is one of the favourite papers for illustrators.

Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 gr

Photo Rag® is one of the classic papers for high-quality FineArt prints. Its smooth surface and feel contribute to the versatility of Photo Rag® and make it ideal for printing both black and white and colour photographs and art reproductions with high image depth. It is one of the best papers for printing high quality black and white and colour photographs with high exposure requirements. We recommend it whenever you want to offer added value to the printing of your work.

Hahnemühle Museum Etching 350 gr

The noble texture of a traditional 100% cotton matte paper for engraving and the natural white shade make Museum Etching® the ideal support for images with soft colour tones or very soft shades of grey. It is the best choice for illustrators and artists who wish to reproduce their artwork with the highest quality. Its thickness and weight make it a very safe paper for those artists who need to manipulate their work and want to guarantee perfect conservation and durability.


Glossy paper

WILDPRINTS Pearl Luster 260 gr

This is our best-selling glossy paper with exceptional value for money. It has a micro-porous pearlescent coating that places it halfway between a glossy and a matte paper. It is the typical photographic paper par excellence, highly recommended for the reproduction of high quality prints at a low price. Also, it is especially indicated for the faithful reproduction of bright colours such as nature photographs and landscape photographs.

WILDPRINTS Cotton Pearl 310 gr

100% cotton glossy paper with pearl effect. A real paper pass, especially suitable for the reproduction of black and white photographs. It has a very intense colour reproduction. It is our environmentally friendly alternative to Hahnemühle fine art pearl.

Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl 285 gr

Hahnemühle’s black leg paper with a special pearl effect gloss finish is particularly suitable for intense colour reproduction. ¡It has an excellent contrast in the grey range of the B&W! Also, it is the best paper for the reproduction of black and white or colour photographs with high demands but is also the most expensive.