Are you going for gloss or making your way with matte? In this blog, Book Printing UK look at this differences between the two cover finishes and discuss what would better suite your soon-to-be-printed book in an unbiased manner.
Like it or not, clichés and terrible phrases aside, your book will be judged upon first glance – so it is imperative for your sales that the opinion is well-received and your work leaves a good impression. Now is your chance to read up on your options to help you decide what cover finish to choose when printing. So let’s put to bed you asking ‘should I print my book with a gloss front cover or a matte front cover?’.
Hardback and Paperback Cover Finishes
There are three finishes you can have on top of your stock: gloss, matte and cloth (but this is hardback only, and we won’t be talking about that here). But before we get into the finishes, we need to discuss the cover stock. For hardback, there is an endpaper glued on the inside, to keep it all in place – these are 160gsm cream stock.
Recommended for the majority of the books we print.
Perfect for novels, anthologies, biographies, children's books, poetry collections and more.
A slightly heavier cover stock.
A little more expensive than 250gsm, but not significantly.
Works brilliantly on recipe books, manuals, workbooks and children's books.
The Difference between Gloss and Matte
Never underestimate a good cover lamination, or as it’s more commonly known, its finish. We produce both 250gsm and 300gsm in matte and gloss for soft covers, and it’s a feature that requires your attention. After all, it houses your entire work.
The main difference is the ‘shine’ of the paper under light – gloss is shinier and more vibrant in colour than matte, which is considered understated. They both feel different to the touch, and despite having more coating than matte, gloss is a little bit thinner.
Gloss: Cover has a higher sheen coating which further enhances colours and sharpness. Great for bright colours. Also applies an additional layer of protection.
Matt: Cover does not have a coating at all, excellent for pastel colours and a natural, soft finish.
Gloss is the more visually attractive of the two, and the more common – its colours are of a higher contrast and the images are cleaner and crisper. It works better for darker colours. There is a shine to the card, as it has a reflective finish.
A gloss finish gives off the impression of a richer product, and has durable qualities: it repels dirt, dust, fingerprints and can be wiped clean.
The downside however, is that scratches, scuffs, creases and dents are more visible.
Recommended for: Biographies, children’s books, cookery books, bookmarks, posters, brochures, books for young adults, training manuals, and employee manuals.
Matte finish offers an understated, natural and soft look – it’s not as reflective and can take more of a beating than gloss. It’s considered more professional and is the more fashionable option.
A benefit is that as it is not as common as gloss, it automatically draws attention. However, the finish does lessen the intensity of the colour on the cover, producing a washed-out look, and the finish can be more likely to show stains and spills.
Recommended for: Novels, photo books, anthologies of student's work, and poetry books.
And the Winner is...
We feel novels are most commonly and best suited with a matte cover, and if you’re a non-fiction writer, stick to gloss for now.
Having a play around with our online instant quote calculator will begin to build a picture for you regarding the costings of your print which may be a factor in your final decision also.
Ordering proof copies of your book in both gloss and matte can give you the ability to compare and contrast finishes. You will need to request those sample proofs separately – so our printers know what to print. There is a little extra fee to pay, but just think about that peace of mind assurance that comes with it.