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Print Quality Glossy vs Matte


Hi there,

I've recently purchased a Canon Pixma Pro 100s, mostly to use to create prints of my artwork (pen, ink, colored pencil etc)

I've managed to get great, vibrant, clear results on glossy photo paper but trying to print on any other type of paper it come out a lot duller / unclear. I'm not sure what print settings to adjust to help with this... 

Thanks in advance! 



Because of the fact that matte paper tends to let the ink spread more when absorbed (called dot gain because the dots of ink gain size) prints on matte paper will never have the color intensity and sharpness of a glossy print.


Be sure you are using the appropriate ICC profiles and media type when printing. You can try increasing the print sharpness to a greater value and see how that works. What software are you using to print? What paper are you uisng?

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


There are loads of choices and considerations when selecting paper.  Some of the bigger paper vendors will sell sample-packs which include a single sheet (sometimes it's 2 sheets) of a broad variety of their papers so you can test them and decide which papers you'd prefer to use.


Generally I find...


If I'm doing something with soft "gentle" subdued colors then I tend to prefer a matte finish.  Matte finish will have lower contrast.


If I'm doing something a bit more "edgy" (strong, bold, jammy colors) then I prefer a gloss finish.  Gloss offers higher contrast.


Basically I'm selecting the paper that goes with the mood or feeling of the art.


Use of glossy paper with a dye-based printer has the consequence of colors fading or shifting over time (they are not "archival" quality.)  So if you want the colors to last for decades... select archival quality paper such as a rag/cotton paper.  But rag/cotton paper will have a matte finish.  (there are sprays that you can apply over a print to try to protect it)


There are "luster" papers which are semi-glossy/semi-matte.  


And there are some papers that have interesting properties such as "metallic" papers.  The coating on the paper gives it a pearlescent look that can sometimes compliment the art.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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