Gloss or Matte Business Cards – Which One Suits Your Business?

Running a company usually brings with it some pretty tough decisions. Financial decisions, strategic choices, key structural changes, and, most importantly, deciding whether you want matte or gloss business cards!

On a more serious note, choosing the right business card style for your company can make all the difference to whether or not customers and key associates will remember your business after key meetings and networking events. Choosing between matte business cards and glossy business cards is, therefore, a pretty important decision!

We’ll take you through the differences between glossy cards and matte cards, as well as cover some key deciding factors, so you’ll soon be in a great position to choose which type of card is best for you and your company.

The Difference Between A Matte Business Card And A Gloss Business Card

It’s okay, you can ask… what is actually the difference between matte cards and glossy cards, and why does it matter?!

Matte paper and glossy paper are essentially two different types of coated paper. The original uncoated paper used for both of these cards is, in fact, the same, but the coating is the key difference between the two.

A matte business card is soft to the touch and really smooth, and an easy way to tell that a card has a matte finish is that it doesn’t reflect light. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘flat’ or ‘dull’ due to its very little shine.

On the other hand, glossy paper has an extra layer of coating, which gives the card a smooth and shiny finish, making it very reflective to light. These cards also tend to be slightly denser due to the extra layer of chemical coating which is needed to get that lovely glossy finish.

How To Choose Between Glossy Finish Business Cards and Matte Finish Business Cards

Now for the hard bit: how do you choose between the two?! Honestly, whether or not you want a glossy finish or a matte finish will often come down to personal preference. Still, some key criteria need to be considered so that you can make a really informed decision.

Matte cards are often the preference for companies that want to appear professional and sleek. They’re perfect for cards that use a lot of text rather than images, as they emphasise readability, and you can even write on them to give a client some extra information.

Alternatively, glossy finishes are really great at emphasising images and colours, making them a great option for those interested in graphic design or who want to make an image or logo really stand out.

Glossy cards also tend to be more durable, so they can be a good choice for those who want their cards to go the extra mile and survive for a long time!

Why It Matters Which Business Card Design You Choose

Gives the first impression for your business

Business cards are often the first thing you give out to a potential client or acquaintance, and so they really ‘set the tone’ for your company. What lasting impression do you want to give off?

We all know the importance of first impressions, so it’s important your business card reflects the brand image of your business. When you give out a business card, it’s almost like a little introduction to your company and what you can offer, so the fine details matter: including whether to choose glossy or matte!

Suitable for different situations

Different business situations bring with them different preferences of business card design. For example, if you have a professional copy-editing firm, you might want to choose a matte business card with no frills or whistles and a monochrome design: this ensures maximum readability so clients can reach out to you easily.

On the other hand, if you run a design company, you might want your business card to really stand out, with vibrant colours that’ll stick in a potential customers mind and show off your design skills.


Due to the extra layer of chemical coating on glossy business cards, they actually tend to be quite a lot more durable than matte cards. It makes the card stock slightly thicker and gives them extra protection, meaning they can withstand a lot of pocket or wallet trauma.

They’re also tough to bend, so even if they’re in a back pocket of a prospective client on a long train journey home, they should still be readable when needed again!

Matte card tends to get bent quite easily, normally resulting in crumpled corners and sometimes even peeling edges. This is something you might need to consider if you want your cards to last for a long time.

Artwork and branding compatibility

When deciding which business card design to go for, you really need to have already decided on the artwork you intend to use. Will you use images, bright colours, or mainly monochrome text?

Glossy card tends to make images look great, as it emphasises vibrant colours and brings a high-quality shiny coating which makes for an eye-catching finish that stands out in a crowd.

However, if you’re planning on printing a lot of text on your business cards, with a mostly pastel colour scheme, choosing a matte finish can help aid legibility as it doesn’t have a glare in bright lighting. Matte paper can also bring a modern, sleek design to your cards if this is the branding you’re after.

Other Things To Consider For Your Business Card Design

Card size

Another important design decision which you’ll need to think about is the size of your business cards. These days, business cards can come in lots of different shapes and sizes: have you seen our square business cards yet?!

A standard business card size tends to be 90mm X 55mm, so that they can fit in a wallet, much like a driver’s license or credit card. You can, however, go for a custom size if you want to break the mould and stand out: sometimes there’s no harm in trying something a bit different.

Card thickness

Although it might not affect design decisions quite as much, you’ll also need to decide on the thickness of your business cards. This is dependent upon which type of paper card stock you decide to go for.

The standard thickness is 350gsm, which gives you a sturdy, great quality card without being too bulky. We can also offer a 400gsm ‘premium’ card, depending on your taste and budget.


Choosing the right font is a crucial part of any branding exercise. For this reason, it’s an important factor to consider when designing your business card, as they are fantastic marketing materials when used correctly.

Using a great font sets the tone and gives a first impression, ultimately helping you create an appropriate brand image for your business, setting you up for future success.


Which is better quality, glossy business cards or matte business cards?

All business cards should be of good quality when you purchase them from a good supplier (like us: because we seriously know what we’re doing).

Nevertheless, glossy card is more durable and wears less easily, so it can remain in good condition for longer: if this is your main concern, you might want to opt for a glossy finish.

Are there any disadvantages to glossy business cards or matte business cards?

Both types of paper finish have their drawbacks. Cards with glossy finishes can be hard to read in certain lighting and could appear to be a bit tacky in certain professional situations and are also harder to write on. In contrast, matte cards are less durable than glossy ones and don’t show off images as brightly.

How do I decide which finish is best for my business cards?

To decide on which finish is best for your business cards, you should consider:

  • The design you plan on using (images vs no images)
  • Your companies brand image
  • How long you need them to last
  • If you need to be able to write on them

What are the biggest things I need to consider when deciding which type of business card to purchase?

All in all, the key things we would recommend considering before purchasing a set of business cards are:

  1. The shape and size
  2. The finish (do you want matte, gloss, or even soft touch velvet business cards)
  3. The font and typeface
  4. The thickness (or GSM)

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