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What is the Difference Between Glossy and Luster Finish Inkjet Paper?
Many Red River Paper customers and readers have asked "What is the difference between glossy and luster finish inkjet media".
Glossy and Luster are both surfaces of photographic inkjet paper. Both are designed to mimic print paper surfaces available from traditional photo labs. For the most part, you will find glossy and luster papers as RC, resin coated, or photobase media. This is the paper type that looks and feels most like a lab print.
The luster surface is also called satin, pearl, and sometimes semi-gloss. The photographic industry term for luster is the "E-Surface". Luster inkjet paper has a repeating textured surface. At certain angles it can look like the surface of an orange or automotive paint. This texture serves two important functions:
1) Allows the paper to better withstand handling. The texture hides minor scratches and scuffs from wear and handling.
2) Lower direct reflection of light to the viewer. This makes for less glare, shine, and makes the image easier to see at all angles.
Below are three examples of the Luster (Satin) surface as represented by three different Red River brand inkjet papers.
Glossy inkjet paper is characterized by a smooth, highly reflective surface. The photographic industry refers to glossy as the "F-Surface". High gloss paper can be extremely smooth (like a coated plastic), or it may have a very slight texture (such as most RC inkjet media). Glossy paper is desired when you want the most like reflected back at the viewer. This makes for more saturated color and the ability to see sharp details. It's no wonder that high gloss inkjet paper has the highest D-Max (deepest black) of all inkjet media.
Choice Between Glossy and Luster
The choice of surface is ultimately subjective. The best selling surface at probably two to one is luster over glossy. This is likely because luster is what virtually all photo labs use when you get your digital files (film) processed there. For the biggest impact, glossy paper is more popular. But for a more traditional look, better handling, and more subtle surface Luster inkjet papers are the most popular.
About Red River Paper
Inkjet paper from inkjet paper experts. Red River was founded in 1997 and has over 40 years experience in fine papers. We hand pick fine paper from mills around the world and bring them to our plant in Dallas, Texas. From here, we convert the paper to various sheet sizes and rolls, as well as add special features available only from Red River. We offer wholesale direct pricing, and the convenience of over 30 different inkjet papers under one roof. Red River Paper invests the time and money to understand and test the latest inkjet technology from Epson, Canon, HP, Lexmark and others so you do not have too. Our client services representatives are well versed in our products and inkjet printing, and can give our clients helpful advice on which Red River papers will suit their needs.
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