Matte v Glossy/Luster Display Conditions

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technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,276
Matte v Glossy/Luster Display Conditions

Glossy/luster prints have large gamuts and deeper blacks so one might think glossy type prints will look better and more colorful displayed than matte prints.

Often this is the case but under some conditions the opposite is true.

Take two prints that are printed using Rel. Colorimetric with BPC. One a matte print the other a glossy/luster print.

When prints are displayed where they are separately lighted the larger gamut and deeper blacks will usually outperform. But when lighting is diffuse and walls are white or near white matte prints will typically show better and be more colorful. Here's why:

The difference is specular reflections. These don't occur with matte prints but glossy/luster prints will reflect a portion of the diffuse lighting and this lightens the deep blacks and de-saturates the print's colors but has no effect on matte prints.

But with proper, direct lighting, luster/glossy type prints will have little to no additional specular reflected light and will show their full range. If the printed glossy type image has deeper blacks and/or (less common) colors that exceed the gamut if printed on matte then they will show better than matte.

So consider where you expect a print to be displayed when considering the choice between the paper types.

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