Some of our BOXers come to us and ask, "Should I laminate my canvas Matte or Satin (glossy)?" or another common question would be, "Do you think my print would look best on the lustre, matte or metallic photo paper?"
Well to give you my personal opinion I'll have to say ....It depends. Yeah, I know, doesn't really answer your question but it's the truth. It actually just depends on what your image is. Portrait or landscape? Colour or B&W? Studio or outdoors? And of course subject emphasis.
For me, I'd have to go with a matte finish and our luster paper if you're indecisive. This is your safest bet and you're always guaranteed exactly what you're looking for in a professional print. The colours are true to life (skin tone, sky colour) and there isn't an over exaggeration, if you will, of shine and contrast in various parts of the image. The matte lamination provides a dull and subtle finish which puts more emphasis on the contouring and shapes as opposed to colors. A true artist's touch. Likewise, you can probably figure out which I prefer for black and white images. Studio portraits of humans (and even pets) should also be printed on our Pro Lustre PD because it does a great job at matching up true to real life skin tones rather than making everything shiny.
I personally feel that metallic/glossy finishes looks best with landscape images with lots of deep saturation and high dynamic range. The colors tend to punch and emphasize far greater than they would on a matte or luster. Don't get me wrong I prefer the matte and lustre over glossy and metallic but for some images where the colours are super vivid, I'd choose metallic EVERY time. If you're looking for that WOW-factor or the eye-popping piece that people will receive when they first walk into the room, then metallic is for you. It's very capturing and almost impossible not to notice, especially when there's properly angled lighting to make the colours and rich blacks stand out.
Below I have put two images. One which I believe is most suitable for matte and the other which i believe is best for glossy. Agree or disagree, to each our own.
This image would be matte everytime. Strictly because it's black and white. The focus is on the symmetry, the contouring, lines, bars and the entire composition of the bridge. If this was in colour, let alone a metallic finish, it would take away attention from where the artist is wanting you to pay attention to and that's into the small details of the image itself. Image courtesy of John Lee.
Probably because we have one hanging in our store and whenever customers walk in they say WOW WHAT'S THAT!? But it's also because of the vivid colours in the image. The blues will pop and so will that yellow-ish orange. It tips the color scale and makes you notice it instantly. Definitely metallic all the way for this super saturated landscape image courtesy of our friend Richard Mraz.