Whether you're labelling products, packaging, or promotional materials, the finish you choose can significantly impact the overall look, feel, and effectiveness of your design. Choosing between matte and glossy labels might seem like a minor decision, but it can significantly impact how your products are perceived by consumers.

In this article, you will learn about the features of matte and glossy labels and their respective pros and cons. It will also guide you in selecting the ideal finish for your specific needs. 

Matte Label

What are Matte Labels? 

Matte labels feature a non-reflective finish that offers a smooth, understated appearance.  

Their understated, flat finish enables greater printing capacity without attracting too much attention. Sometimes, matte labels blend so seamlessly with the surface that the printing appears to be part of the item itself. Matte labels usually lack coating and may have a slightly rougher texture. 

These labels are often preferred for their elegant and sophisticated look, making them suitable for various applications. 


  • Sophisticated Aesthetic: Matte labels exude elegance and refinement, making them ideal for brands that aim to convey a "premium" image.
  • Minimal Glare: The non-reflective surface of matte labels minimises glare, ensuring your designs remain visible and legible even under direct lighting.
  • Tactile Appeal: Matte labels often have a smooth, tactile feel that enhances the overall sensory experience for customers. 


  • Prone to Creases: Printed items on matte paper might be more susceptible to creasing and bending because they lack a thick coating and protective layer.
  • Limited Colour Saturation: The matte finish can slightly dull the colours of your design, resulting in less vibrant graphics compared to glossy labels. 

Common Applications 

Natural foods, health and wellness products, and eco-friendly items to provide a more "natural" look and feel 

Giving products a traditional or vintage appearance. 

Enhancing the elegance of upscale items such as wine bottle labels and luxury candles. 

Glossy Label

What are Glossy Labels? 

Glossy labels feature a shiny, reflective finish that adds depth and vibrancy to your designs. 

These labels are known for their eye-catching appearance and ability to enhance colours and graphics. They are commonly chosen for their bright and polished surface. Gloss labels come with unique coatings that offer extra benefits. These coatings create a smoother finish and can provide protective properties, resulting in stronger and more durable adhesive labels. 


  • Vibrant Colour Reproduction: Glossy labels boast excellent colour saturation and contrast, making them perfect for designs that require vivid and eye-catching visuals.
  • High Visibility: The reflective surface of glossy labels helps your products stand out on the shelves, grabbing the attention of potential customers.
  • Water and UV Resistance: Glossy labels often offer superior resistance to water, moisture, and UV exposure, ensuring that your designs remain intact and vibrant over time. 


  • Prone to Glare: The glossy finish can create glare and reflections under certain lighting conditions, potentially obscuring the visibility of your designs and making it challenging to read your label in specific lighting situations.
  • Limited Writing Potential: Writing on glossy materials can be challenging and may not be practical for certain label applications. 

Common Applications 

  • Promotional materials and marketing collateral, including brochures, flyers, and product catalogues, where the glossy surface enhances the vibrancy of colours and graphics, making them more visually appealing.
  • Food and beverage packaging, particularly for gourmet items and specialty products, where the glossy finish conveys a sense of freshness and quality, enticing customers with its glossy allure.
  • Frozen food items typically feature glossy labels because they're waterproof. 

Matte vs Glossy Labels: Which One is For You? 

When it comes to label design, the finish you choose can make a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your products. Matte and glossy labels are two popular options, each with its own set of characteristics and advantages. How do you decide which one is for you? Here are some factors to consider when making a decision: 

Durability and Resistance 

Matte labels are known for their subdued, non-reflective finish, which can lend a sophisticated and understated look to your products. However, they may be more susceptible to smudges, scratches, and moisture damage compared to glossy labels. 

If your products will be subjected to frequent handling or exposure to harsh environments, glossy labels might offer better durability and resistance to wear and tear. 

Design Aesthetics 

The choice between matte and glossy labels can significantly impact the visual appeal of your products. Matte labels are prized for their elegant and muted appearance, making them ideal for brands seeking a minimalist or luxurious aesthetic.  

On the other hand, glossy labels boast a vibrant and eye-catching sheen that can enhance the colours and graphics of your design, making them perfect for products that demand attention on the shelves. 

Application Environment 

Consider the intended environment where your labels will be applied. Matte labels are often preferred for products displayed indoors or in controlled environments where glare or reflections are not a concern.  

In contrast, glossy labels excel in environments with ample lighting, as their reflective surface can help your products stand out and capture attention, even in crowded retail settings. 

Brand Identity and Messaging 

Ultimately, your choice of label finish should align with your brand identity and messaging. Consider the personality of your brand and the emotions you want to evoke in your target audience. Matte finishes convey a sense of sophistication, authenticity, and understated luxury, while glossy finishes exude energy, vibrancy, and modernity. Choose the finish that best reflects your brand's values and resonates with your customers. 

Have You Made Your Choice? 

The choice between matte and glossy labels involves careful consideration of various factors. By weighing these considerations against your specific needs and objectives, you can select the perfect finish that enhances the visual appeal and effectiveness of your labels.  

Both gloss and matte finishes serve a range of label needs effectively. Ultimately, both finishes have their benefits. The content and intended use of the label usually determine whether gloss or matte is the better choice. So, consider where the label will be applied before making your decision. 

Whether you opt for the timeless elegance of matte or the dynamic allure of glossy, remember that your label finish plays a crucial role in shaping consumers' perceptions of your products and brand. 

If your business requires label printing, deciding between glossy and matte labels can be challenging. It's tough to determine which option suits your needs best. Maybe we can help. If you're searching for custom labels in different finishes, reach out to us at LabEx for top-notch label printing services in Australia. We're here to assist you in making the right choice for your labelling needs.