The Differences: Print v/s Onscreen

by | Mar 30, 2023 | Facts

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your photos printed out in a physical book. The feeling of your fingers brushing against archival quality paper as you flip through pages of your most cherished moments…. It’s simply unparalleled! 

That being said, have you ever experienced printing out your photos but having the finished results looking nothing like you expected it to? 

If you answered yes, then this blog is for you. 

“Why do my photos look different?”

At Pixajoy the process to create your personalised photo books, prints and gifts are done 100% online. Therefore it’s crucial that you understand that at times, your printed items may look a little different in print vs onscreen. This is mostly due to the differences in resolution between devices, colour calibrations and even the materials selected to print the photos out. 



When it comes to viewing your photos onscreen, the colours often look brighter and details appear more sharp. This is because the monitor of your screen provides backlight which makes images look more detailed. Additionally, computer monitors are also equipped with RGB colour mode which optimises the look of images for screen view. To sum it up, computer monitors were designed to ensure that whatever images you see on screen looks good no matter what.

On Print

The absence of the backlight provided by the monitor screen is why prints may appear darker or less detailed when printed out.  In addition to the differences between photographs displayed on a screen and those in a printed photo book, there are also differences between papers. 

In some cases, your printed images may appear warmer or cooler, textured or smooth, depending on the type of paper and format you choose. For example, due to their matte paper surface and tactile texture, uncoated or semi-coated papers typically produce a more subdued print result. 

Paper Material & Outcomes

Matte Paper

Printed on: 150gsm Art Paper

Images appear smooth and completely shine-free. The matte lamination paper will make your images water, fade and tear-resistant while also lending it a classy and elegant look. 

Suitable for vintage photos, sketches/illustations/artwork, Instagram effects & filters.

Gloss Paper

Printed on: 150gsm Art Paper

Images appear more shiny and vivid. This type of paper format also offers the best in dynamic contrast and will make your images appear more vivid and shiny. Bonus points is that it’s also fade, tear and water resistant. 

Suitable for travel photos, fashion photos, photos with bright/vivid colours.

Lustre Paper

Printed on: 190gsm Photo Lustre Paper

With a beautiful pearly/sandy texture, the premium photo lustre paper offers great longevity and softens your images to give it a more decadent appeal. 

Suitable for wedding photos, graduation photos, memorial photos, black & white photos.

Linen Paper

Printed on: 240gsm Textured Linen Paper

Exuding a somewhat rustic feel, the images printed on this subtly embossed and linen textured paper appear more stunning and sophisticated; reminiscent of a fine art print. 

Suitable for wedding photos, nature photos, travel photos and baby photos.

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