What Is a Sticker? The Difference Between Stickers

You can hardly argue the following simple statement—if you are looking for convenience in use and rather cheap ways to make your brand stand out, then stickers are among the very first solutions to consider. Colorful, creative and versatile, their multifunctionality will come in handy for amateurs, small businesses, large enterprises and corporations alike. For newcomers in the field, it may seem a daunting task to understand which type of stickers will be suitable for their projects.

Apple MacBook with stickers

Vinyl or Paper. Which to Choose?

That is a traditional debate when it comes to selecting which type of sticker is more useful. Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, so, if customers would like to make the most out of this deal, they have to determine their objectives first.

In terms of durability and quality in the long term, vinyl stickers are the clear winners. On the one hand, they don’t fade over time and are more resistant to the influence of different environmental phenomena and other factors, including oil or water. On the other hand, these layouts are much easier to remove than their paper substitutions.

The other difference between stickers under consideration also relates to the medium of the appliance. While vinyl options are multifunctional and will work both indoors and outdoors, paper stickers are designed mainly for indoor use.

However, waterproof vinyl stickers lose the battle to paper ones by some means. First of all, for customers looking for the least expensive and the most eco-friendly solutions, paper is your number-one choice. Available in divergent formats, from uncoated to fluorescent and glossy stickers, these layouts will serve brilliantly for home purposes (decorating your own production) or large marketing needs (if the volume of goods to label is huge and cost efficiency is a factor).

When it comes to analyzing the difference between printable vinyl and sticker paper, the list of criteria includes their tear resistance, waterproof ability and durability. In terms of printing, sticker paper is more advantageous for desktop publishing applications, considerably less hassle. Although printing thin vinyl stickers of around three millimeters or even thinner won’t be great trouble, other options require some additional preparation and knowledge.

Never underestimate the potential of sticker paper as well. If you are going to make your brand identity superb on multiple objects that aren’t meant to last long (that could be several packaging materials or temporary crafts sent as a gift to your loyal and regular customers), it will function magnificently. Besides, fewer printer jams and a smoother cutting experience are guaranteed.

Different kinds of sticker paper

Die Cut and Kiss Cut Stickers

The most important difference between die cut and kiss cut designs lies in the peculiarities faced during cutting. The first option under analysis is distinguished by its finish on the backing part. The process is performed by laser so that the sticker design and custom shape of the background area will align.

In turn, kiss cut stickers are pretty similar to the previous option in terms of their production. However, there will be extra backing framing left around the main design. Since they can be peeled smoothly, they are preferred when it comes to creating rolled stickers. Using laser technology for cutting is more gentle here.

Kiss cut and die cut stickers with spooky hammerhead shark

Difference Between Glossy, Matte and Transparent Stickers

Traditional paper stickers are made of mainly low-profile materials and have an additional layer to create their final finish. Although paper stickers are vulnerable to such elements as moisture or the influence of direct sun rays, they will work for those who don’t want overly bright stickers and would prefer calmer options with a matte finish. There are two other options for both kinds of stickers to take into account:

  • Glossy layouts include an additional white border around the entire design. Its width is usually about ⅛ inch, but this dimension can be adjusted. Whether you make extra-large stickers of 14 × 14 inches or small varieties of 2.85 × 3.80 inches, this solution is still valid.
  • The main difference between glossy and transparent stickers lies in the tone of their border. In this case, the latter is colorless. Such transparent elements of your artwork are perfect for resting ornaments for plastic or glass surfaces.
Matte vs glossy vs transparent stickers

Difference Between Decals and Stickers

You won’t make a mistake if you title a decal as a sticker. The vice versa synonymization is forbidden, though. In simple terms, a decal can be created from the same materials as stickers, but they are of larger dimensions that will be applied to floors, vehicles, walls and other large objects.

Decals are usually used for outdoor decoration purposes. That’s why vinyl options are recommended. To ensure they are high enough quality to apply to the target area, these designs include three layers, having two backings on the back and front part of the decal itself.

Decal with angly milk and stickers for various use

Difference Between Stickers and Labels

These two notions seem rather confusing for the majority of beginners. The materials can be the same, but the crucial distinguishing feature is their purpose. While labels are mostly used in commercial solutions to highlight your brand identity, stickers are of more promotional and personal use.

Overall, labels are more informative and are recommended to include text content as well. Apart from purely brand labels, there are grade layouts for emphasizing some quality aspects (for instance, prima and deluxe labeling) and descriptive designs to convey information about the company’s goods (for example, they may contain data about date of manufacturing, rules of care and maintenance, etc.). On the contrary, stickers may be just graphic illustrations and placed anywhere you like—on your mag, laptop, window and more.

Birds label for clothes and “Hello” sticker

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