August 5, 2017 The Print Authority

Glossy vs Matte Business Cards – The Pros & Cons

Making business cards for your company or for yourself is a bigger task than it may seem. There are several options to consider, including the design, coloring, and finish–glossy vs matte. Luckily, we provide both, so keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of glossy vs matte business cards, and which is right for you. 

Glossy Business Cards vs. Matte

Glossy business cards are shiny and smooth in finish, and they typically look like this:

gloss vs matte business cards


Glossy business cards tend to be better quality and more protective than matte ones. Durability is definitely a pro when it comes to glossy vs. matte.

Additionally, glossy business cards are great if you want to make colors pop. If you are planning to have a photo, logo or professional headshot on your business cards, a glossy finish is best. This will make the them look vibrant and highlight good contrast.


The text can be more difficult to read on glossy business cards, due to their shiny and reflective finish. It’s common to include text like your job title, email, and phone number on a business card. Matte business cards often have better legibility vs. glossy business cards when it comes to communicating text information. 

One more “con” – glossy business cards can sometimes appear a bit tacky and less clean. If you’re going the glossy route, make sure you work closely with your printing company to ensure a quality end deliverable.

Matte Business Cards vs. Gloss

Matte business cards usually appear like standard card stock. They are generally aesthetically pleasing due to their clean, modern look. Matte business cards typically look like this:

matte vs gloss business cardsPros

The matte finish gives a smooth, clean look and works well with designs and color schemes that are subdued. Additionally, having a matte finish eliminates glare and will generally appear cleaner since fingerprints won’t show after someone touches it. If you like to write anything on your cards when you give them out, a matte finish will provide a better surface.


Matte cards are typically less durable than glossy ones. When you have your matte business cards shuffling around in a laptop bag or stored away in a wallet, these matte cards are more susceptible to fading and peeling edges.  

And, for the budget conscious, matte finish cards are generally more expensive than glossy finish cards. If you value the aesthetic of matte cards and don’t mind paying a premium for the quality, then matte business cards are your best choice.

Overall, choosing the right finish – glossy vs. matte – is a matter of personal preference. While we’ve helped you weigh the pros and cons of glossy vs matte business cards, no matter what finish you end up selecting, keep in mind that your cards should adequately match your branding, website design, and all other marketing materials. The goal is to make your business cards something both appealing and practical, as well as create a positive, memorable branding for your company.

The Print Authority has provided business card printing services in Nashville and the Greater U.S. for franchises, financial services, non-profits, and thousands of other businesses for over two decades. Contact us at (615) 468-2679 to learn more about the difference between gloss vs. matte, and what the best solution may be for your printing project.