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Gloss vs Matte: Choosing the Right Clear Label

Clear matte labels and clear gloss labels side-by-side on clear glass candle jars

Adding clear labels to products can provide a very professional and sophisticated look. But how do you know which clear label finish will work best for your specific purpose? What's the difference between a matte finish and a gloss one?

Below, we break down the two label materials and their finishes, so you can find the create the best looking label for your product.

Clear Matte Labels

Matte is a term used to describe a non-shiny, flat texture. As a label, it's a translucent material that looks frosted. Clear matte labels are popular because of their versatility. They can be luxurious or natural depending on the corresponding design, use, and placement.

Clear Matte Label Ideas

Here are few instances when you might want to choose clear matte labels.

If You're Looking for Subtlety

Clear matte labels on Cocoàgogo brand lotion bars Material: Clear Matte Inkjet

The sheen of clear matte labels is great for displaying product or company information. The facesheet is smooth and won't glare like their glossy counterparts, so it doesn't detract from your product or other packaging.

If You're Looking for Elegance

Tin candle jar with a clear matte product label Material: Clear Matte Laser

Clear matte labels are known for their ability to add a luxurious feel to a product. You can often see this with invitations, table settings and house decorations, and upscale products and services. They exude sophistication and add a touch of class to your already luxurious product.

If Your Product or Brand is Organic

Clear matte labels on Soapbox brand fabric softener Material: Clear Matte Laser

Matte is often associated with organic products for its natural texture (versus the artificial shine of clear gloss labels). Clear matte labels offer a more wholesome, unpolished look that brands want to capitalize on. The food and beverage and bath and body industries are two sectors that frequently use matte labels for this purpose.

If You're Going for A Specific Look

Round tin jar with a clear matte product label Material: Clear Matte Inkjet

Clear matte labels have the unique ability to be both warm and inviting and cold and wintery. A clear matte label with a pastel background brings up associations of springtime and happiness whereas a black background with the same frosted label can be wintery and more formal.

Start Shopping

If you've decided on clear matte labels for your products or business, explore your options for inkjet printers or laser printers. You can also see how other customers are using them for projects with their inkjet and laser printers.

Clear Gloss Labels

Gloss is usually the addition of a shiny topcoat. As a label, it's completely transparent and blends in to almost any surface its applied to. Clear gloss labels are popular among labelers for their polished and professional appearance. They reflect light, help colors pop, and are great in instances when a "barely there" effect is preferred.

Clear Gloss Label Ideas

Below, we break down some of the common uses and associations of clear gloss labels.

If You're Looking for Simplicity

Clear plastic spice jar/bottle with clear gloss product label Material: Clear Gloss Inkjet

Glossy labels can help show off your product without detracting from it. These completely see-through labels will make it look as if your product or company information has been printed directly onto your packaging. This is especially true with surfaces of metal, plastic, or glass.

If You're Looking for Eye Catching & Vibrant

Beer bottles with clear gloss product labels Material: Clear Gloss Laser

The added shine of clear gloss labels reflects light that hits it, grabbing the attention of consumers and accentuating the colors printed on your label. This increases the contrast of your image, making the colors more intense. Think back to when we used to get photographs printed – full color photographs and designs with intricate details were striking when printed on glossy photo paper. The same principle applies to labels.

If Your Container is Shiny

Wax melt clamshell with clear gloss product label Material: Clear Gloss Inkjet

Clear gloss labels blend in on bottles and jars that have the same finish. If you want it to look like you printed directly on your surface without the upcharge, add gloss labels. When paired with other shiny, reflective surfaces, clear gloss labels can create the "no label look."

Start Shopping

If you've decided on clear gloss labels for your products or business, explore your options for inkjet printers or laser printers. You can also learn more about the benefits of clear gloss labels or see how other customers are using them for projects with their inkjet and laser printers.

Clear Gloss & Clear Matte Label Examples

Tip: Click on the image below to view examples.




Whichever clear label finish you're considering, we know you can create something incredible. Our clear gloss and clear matte materials work great with a variety of different products and projects.

Questions? We're here to help. Contact our customer service team at 1-888-575-2235.

Before getting started, check out these clear label examples. The visibility and accuracy of colors in your design may vary depending on how you use your clear labels.