Matte Vs Glossy Business Cards – Which Ones Should You Choose?

When it comes to creating a first impression, your business card can speak volumes about you and your brand. It’s a tangible representation of your professional identity, and it’s often the first thing that potential clients or customers will see. But with so many options available, it can be tough to decide on the right type of business card for you.

In particular, the choice between matte and glossy business cards can be a tough one. Each type has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the wrong one can have a big impact on how your brand is perceived.

So, which type of business card should you choose? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of matte and glossy business cards, so you can make an informed decision and create a business card that truly represents your brand.

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Matte Vs Glossy Business Cards: A Quick Comparison

Glossy business cards are instantly recognizable as a high-quality option and are ideal for designs with sharp, clean lines. The extra shine they provide helps them stand out from other types of cards. However, one of the downsides of glossy cards is the glare they produce, which can be a problem in low-light situations.

On the other hand, matte business cards have a non-reflective, smooth finish that exudes a sense of sophistication and professionalism. They are perfect for professionals who want a more understated and elegant look. The matte finish is created by coating the card with a layer of varnish that diffuses light, eliminating glare.

When it comes to business cards, choosing the right one is crucial to making a strong and lasting impression on your clients. Matte and glossy business cards are both popular choices for professionals, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Overall, the decision between matte and glossy business cards comes down to personal preference and the image you want to convey. Regardless of which one you choose, both types of cards can make a great impression on your clients.

Matte Business Card Pros

  • Matte cards have a luxurious feel that enhances readability while keeping your message legible.
  • They are a great option for those looking for a less formal type of business card.
  • Matte cards are a perfect option for those who want a classic look.
  • The low shine prevents your image from looking washed out when viewed in daylight.
  • Matte finish eliminates glare and will generally appear cleaner since fingerprints won’t show after someone touches it.
  • Matte business cards are generally less expensive than glossy cards, but the quality is still second to none.
  • They are easier to write on and give that handmade feel.
  • Matte finish business cards work well with designs and color schemes that are subdued, giving a smooth, clean look.

Matte Business Card Cons

  • Matte business cards may be less durable and more susceptible to fading and peeling edges.
  • Water damage can easily ruin matte business cards, so it is important to keep them dry.
  • The color and appearance of matte business cards can fade over time and require frequent cleaning to maintain a professional look.
  • Matte cards may be more expensive than glossy ones, making them a less budget-friendly option.
  • Matte business cards may not look as good with every color, especially if the design utilizes bright colors or elaborate graphics.
  • Matte cards are more prone to bending, breaking, or looking worn, so it’s important to keep them in a protective case.

Glossy Business Card Pros

  • Glossy finish enhances the boldness and richness of colors and photos
  • Gives a professional and luxurious appearance, leaving a lasting impression
  • More likely to be noticed and remembered than matte cards, increasing brand recognition
  • Easy to clean and maintain a shiny look
  • Glossy finish makes images and colors appear brighter, adding a wow factor to the design
  • Provides durability with an extra film coating that doubles as a protective layer
  • Lasts longer and won’t easily show signs of wear and tear even when constantly on the go
  • May be more difficult to write on and show fingerprints more easily compared to matte cards

Glossy Business Card Cons

  • Glossy business cards can easily get dirty, scratched, and smudged, and may start peeling at the corners after a short period of time.
  • Fingerprint marks can easily show up on glossy business cards, so constant cleaning is required to maintain their appearance.
  • The shiny finish of glossy business cards can make it hard to read the text when light reflects on it, causing a glare.
  • They are not suitable for writing on with a pen, as the ink will wipe off easily.
  • Glossy business cards may appear tacky and less clean, which may not be suitable for companies aiming to be cutting-edge or modern.
  • Legibility can be a problem when communicating text information on glossy business cards, as the reflective finish makes the text difficult to read.
  • Glossy business cards may not be suitable for industries where image and style are not a priority.
  • Similar to matte cards, water can damage the cards, and extra care is required while handling them.

Should Your Business Cards Be Glossy Or Matte?

If you’re looking for a professional-looking business card that is easy to read and allows you to add personalized notes, then matte cards are the way to go. However, if you prioritize a shiny and impressive look for your business cards and don’t plan on writing on them, then glossy cards may still be a suitable option.

Here are a few factors to help you make better comparisons – 


When it comes to manufacturing, the process for creating glossy and matte business cards is different. Matte cards are typically created using a coating that is sprayed onto the card, while glossy cards require a thicker coating to achieve their shiny appearance. This thicker coating can make glossy cards slightly heavier than their matte counterparts.

The manufacturing process also affects the durability of the cards. Glossy cards are more resistant to water and other liquids because of their thicker coating. However, this same coating can also make them more susceptible to fingerprints and smudging.

Matte cards, however, may not be as durable as glossy cards, but they can still hold up well over time. The soft texture of the card can also make them more memorable and unique, as they stand out from the typical glossy card.


Durability is an important consideration when choosing between glossy and matte business cards. Glossy cards have an advantage over matte cards in this regard because of their thicker coating, which makes them more resistant to wear and tear. 

The coating on glossy cards helps protect them from damage due to moisture, dust, and fingerprints. They also retain their shape and appearance for a longer period of time compared to matte cards.

In contrast, matte cards have a thinner coating, which makes them less durable than glossy cards. They are more susceptible to fading over time, peeling off, and getting damaged due to rough handling. Matte cards are also more prone to damage when exposed to moisture and other environmental factors.

Overall, if you need business cards that can withstand rough usage and maintain their appearance over time, glossy cards are the better option. However, if durability is not a significant concern, and you prioritize the soft texture and unique appearance of matte cards, they may still be a suitable choice for your needs.


The main purpose of a business card is to provide your potential clients or customers with your business information such as your name, company name, phone number, email address, and website.

With that in mind, you want to ensure that your business cards are easy to read. This is where the matte finish really shines. The lack of shine and glare on matte cards means that the printed text and graphics are more visible and readable, even under different lighting conditions.

Alternatively, glossy cards can be challenging to read, especially under bright light or direct sunlight. The reflective surface of glossy cards can create a glare that makes it difficult to read the text and graphics on the card.

So, if you want your business card to be easily readable and convey your information clearly, then matte is the way to go. It is the best option for clients who are in a hurry, or in situations where the lighting may not be optimal. Ultimately, you want your business card to stand out for the right reasons, and easy readability is a key factor to achieve that.


When choosing between glossy and matte business cards, it’s essential to consider how colors will appear on each paper type. Glossy cards are ideal for businesses that want to showcase high-quality images, such as photography or creative agencies. The glossy finish can retain a broad spectrum of colors, making them pop and look vibrant. 

On the other hand, matte cards are best suited for more subtle designs. They are perfect for businesses that prefer a more natural, understated look. Matte cards are also eco-friendly, making them a great choice for environmentally conscious brands. However, businesses with detailed designs should be cautious when choosing a matte finish, as the paper can absorb more ink, leading to dull and grainy images.


When it comes to aesthetics, both glossy and matte business cards have their unique appeal. Matte cards, with their non-reflective finish, tend to look more sophisticated and subtle, making them a popular choice for professionals in industries like law, finance, and real estate. The lack of shine on the matte surface gives them a premium feel that exudes professionalism.

Alternatively, glossy cards are visually striking and have a shiny finish that makes colors appear more vibrant and saturated. This makes them an excellent choice for businesses that want to make a bold statement and stand out from the crowd. The glossy finish can make your business cards look more eye-catching and memorable, especially if you have a colorful design or a lot of high-quality images.

Matte Vs Glossy Business Cards – The Final Verdict

In conclusion, both glossy and matte business cards have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice between the two depends on your business needs, personal preferences, and branding requirements. If you are looking for a card that is durable and easy to read, a matte finish may be the way to go.

But if you want high-quality, crisp-looking images, a glossy finish may be the best choice. It is essential to consider all factors, including aesthetics, readability, and color, before making a final decision.

Ultimately, the business cards you choose should reflect your brand identity and marketing strategy. Whether you opt for glossy or matte business cards, remember that they should be appealing, practical, and memorable. Take the time to choose a design that is both functional and visually pleasing, and you are sure to make a lasting impression on potential clients and customers.

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