Business cards

Matte vs. glossy business cards: Which will help you stand out?

Nick A. | July 28, 2022
6 mins

You may be surprised to learn that business cards are still relevant in 2022, but they have a place in every business owner’s wallet. Even in the age of QR codes and emails, business cards are designed to impress, so your potential customers walk away with a reminder of who you are and what you do in their pocket.

As you set out to design your business cards, you’ll weigh options for the final treatment of the cards, with the main one being a matte finish or a glossy finish. Although it might not seem significant, it can make a large impact on how your business card turns out. Read below to discover the difference between matte vs. glossy business cards and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The main differences between matte and glossy business cards

Appearance is only one component of what makes matte and glossy business cards different. Learn more about what each finish has to offer: 

Matte business cards aren’t sheen

The difference is in the name with this one. Glossy business cards have an eye-catching sheen that coats one or both sides of the business card, whereas a matte finish is muted and doesn’t have that type of coating.

Matte is more textured

Besides appearance, gloss and matte finishes come in different textures. A gloss finish has a smooth and silky feeling, but a matte business card will feel more like cardstock. 

Matte business cards pros and cons

Why might you consider a matte business card over a glossy one? Some of the pros and cons for matte business cards include: 

Benefits of matte business cards

  • Matte cards look more professional. Although glossy cards do give off a certain appeal, matte cards are widely perceived to be more professional and modern.
  • It eliminates glare. Whether your business card contains a lot of information or just a line or two of text, a matte finish can make it easier to read.
  • Matte cards are easy to write on. Maybe you’re at a conference and need to jot down a different phone number on your card. Since matte business cards have the same texture as cardstock, you can make that edit in a jiffy. Your ink won’t smudge or rub off like it would a glossy card.
  • You won’t see fingerprints. Matte finish business cards won’t show marks like fingerprints as easily. You can pull one from your wallet or business card holder without leaving smudges on the surface.

Drawbacks of matte business cards

  • They may be less durable. Since matte is similar to cardstock, your cards may be more prone to bending, breaking, or looking a little dog-eared. If you’re going with matte cards, be sure to keep them in a case so they look brand new with each meeting.
  • They may cost more. Depending on the printer, you may find yourself shelling out a bit more if you forego the glossy finish. While you’re less likely to see that in the print shop nowadays, it’s still something to keep in mind.
  • It might not look right with every color. If your business card design utilizes a lot of images, has a more elaborate design, or includes bright colors, it may not have the same effect when printed with a matte finish. You may want to lean toward a glossy card with this kind of design — especially if your brand has flashy and eye-catching colors.

Glossy business cards pros and cons

For all the reasons there are for matte business cards, you might have equally valid reasons for trying out a glossy finish. Here’s what you need to know before making a choice in matte vs. glossy dispute:

Benefits of glossy business cards

  • It makes images and colors appear brighter. To give your business card that wow factor, adding a glossy finish should do the trick. This finish will make your bright colors brighter and your images pop. 
  • A glossy coating provides durability. Glossy business cards have that extra film over the top that doubles as a protective coating of sorts. This is highly useful if you’re constantly on the go.
  • They can last longer. If you want a card that can withstand a few raindrops or sit in a briefcase while looking good as new, a glossy business card is the way to go. The sleek finish protects this type of card, so it won’t look as worn over time.

Drawbacks of glossy business cards

  • There can be a glare. The way the light reflects off a glossy business card may make it difficult for people to read the information printed on it.
  • You can’t write on them. Sure, it’s not the main priority when designing a business card, but it’s not uncommon to jot down a note or a reminder. But when your business cards are glossy, the ink from a pen will wipe right off.
  • They’re falling out of fashion. Glossy finishes can be seen as tacky, out of style, or out of date. If your company is on the cutting edge or wants to be seen as looking toward the future, a glossy card may not be right for you.

Design your business cards with Namecheap

Whether you go for the “all eyes on me” appeal of a glossy card or the professional, muted vibes of a matte finish, your business card says a lot about your company. No matter which you choose, Namecheap’s Business Card Maker makes it as easy as 1-2-3 to design and export your business cards. All you need to do is choose a design, enter your info, and upload your logo (or export it from the Namecheap Logo Maker, where you can design a free logo for your brand or business). 

With numerous design options to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your business perfectly. Check out Namecheap’s Business Card Maker to begin designing. A customizable, unique business card is only a click away. 


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Nick A.

Nick Allen is a writer, photographer, and content marketer. He’s also the founder of BrainBoost Media, a boutique content and operations studio. With a wide range of interests, he enjoys reading and writing about sports, entrepreneurship, and start-ups.

More content by Nick A.

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