Luster, Matte, Canvas, Glossy - How to Choose your Photo Paper

Posted by Priyanka Acharya on

If you've printed photos before, you probably already know the difference between matte and glossy finish. But if you ever want to print an enlargement, a portfolio, or an artwork, it would be good to know what options you have for the photo paper, and which is most suitable for your preferences.


Luster photo paper has become the most popular of the bunch in recent years. This is because it is resistant to those annoying fingerprint marks that are highly visible on glossy paper, and it also does not wrinkle easily. While the name "luster" makes it sound shiny, actually many people who used to print on silver halide matte paper now choose luster paper. It has a rich, posh, and modern look, making it the best all around choice if you are printing an enlarged photograph to display. At Konica Color Lab we offer luster paper for print sizes 12x15 inches and above.


Glossy photo paper is another popular choice because of how bright it is. If there is a lot of color in the photograph, glossy paper lets the range of colors shine brilliantly. We have noticed that customers who are printing old or vintage photos prefer glossy paper because those photos can be dull, and this paper brightens them up. We offer glossy prints in all sizes.


Canvas paper is the easiest to identify due to it's unique texture that anyone would recognize as the traditional artist's medium. If you have purchased a high resolution digital copy of a painting, printing it on canvas paper would make it as close as possible to owning the original artwork. Or if you are printing your own or your kid's creation, canvas paper is the best way to honor it as genuine art. It is however the most expensive media, so you may prefer to use it for single pieces as opposed to a gallery wall in your home. At Konica Color Lab we print on canvas for sizes 12x18 inches and larger.

Enhanced Matte

Enhanced matte paper is something we don't keep on the main menu because it is a very specific paper that is only requested by professional photographers. The paper has yellow mixed in, and is suitable for printing professional portfolios, such as a model or architect portfolio. Otherwise we've observed that people with high interest in photography and printing are the ones who request this specific media. We can print on enhanced matte paper for sizes 12x15 up to 20x30 inches.


As mentioned earlier, matte has mostly been replaced with luster paper these days, with luster having the modern look that people are looking for. The main reason that our customers have requested matte finish for their 4x6 prints is because there is less chance of the photos sticking together, which is a common problem in our tropical climate, but one that is best resolved by keeping prints in a slip-in album. Otherwise some prefer the soft look and dull finish of this paper. We make matte prints up to size 8x10 inches.

Head on over to our Prints and Enlargements section if you are ready to order your print on the paper best suited for you, or get in touch via the contact form to get one on one guidance for all your printing needs.


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