Why Gloss Level Impacts Color on Nameplates and Labels

Consideration of the gloss level of a color is an important aspect of specifying color that is often overlooked. Colors can look dramatically different when the gloss level is changed. Therefore understanding the requirement up front helps to facilitate colors that successfully support your product identification. Two options are available for the specification of gloss level: a description and a target master.


Using a description to specify gloss typically involves designating high, medium, or low gloss. More specific gloss levels are defined as a percentage of gloss, e.g. 30% or 60%. Visually, you can distinguish between various gloss levels. However, accuracy and consistency are assured by reading gloss levels on a 60 degree gloss meter.

Target master

A target color chip with the desired gloss level also clearly communicates your intention. The PMS system includes coated and uncoated colors which assist in specifying gloss along with color.

Overall Gloss

overall gloss

Color chips illustrate the use of high and low gloss options in protective topcoats.

A protective topcoat is applied to most product identification. In addition to protecting the printing, the topcoat determines the overall gloss of the part. Standard or custom gloss levels are available to meet your specific needs.

Selective Gloss

selective gloss nameplates

Application of a selective gloss is an attractive option for increasing contrast and adding visual interest when designing product identification. A simple, yet effective, option is using a low gloss background color contrasted with high gloss bright metal graphics. Selective gloss levels are also highly effective in creating subtle patterns. Pinstripes, grids or dot patterns printed in contrasting gloss on a color add detail and visual dimension.

Download your free copy of "Color Specifying for Product Identification" for additional information on color development for nameplates and labels.

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