How are decals different from stickers?

How are decals different from stickers?

If you're investing in brand building and are looking to decorate windows, vans, or other surfaces, or you are looking to get printing done for your product labels, then you have probably considered getting some stickers or decals.

The question is, what type of adhesive and printing methods is the best to use for your given circumstances.

Is there even a difference between stickers and decals, and if so, what's the difference?


What Are Stickers

Stickers are made of two layers; a decorative layer which is printed on the front and has adhesive on the back, and a paper backing that can be peeled off, allowing the user to stick the decorative part on to their chosen object.

Stickers can be made from a number of different materials, but stickers that are designed for outside use are normally made of vinyl or polyester.

You can expect a good outdoor sticker to last for as long as eight years. When used indoors, stickers can be expected to last even longer than that.


What About Decals

Decals are a subset of 'stickers'. A decal is a decorative sticker which is intended for outdoor use.

They have three layers; paper backing, the decal itself, and then more paper on the front.

Decals usually last for about three years if they are laminated and used outdoors.

They are usually made with an eco-solvent printing process, and printed onto vinyl or clear polyester.


The Terminology is Often Loosely Applied

The above is a relatively strict definition, but it's important to note that people don't always use such a strict definition.

You may find that a lot of branding companies and even some printers tend to be rather loose with the wording that they use.

Some people use the word 'decals' to mean 'transfers', while others consider any form of adhesive media that is used outdoors to be a decal.

It gets even more confusing when you think about vinyl cut graphics and lettering.

These are often supplied with a pre-masking sheet and this makes them different from a sticker, but they're not strictly a vinyl either.


Can you see the confusion?

If you are looking for high-quality self-adhesive printed products, then the best thing to do is consider where the product will be applied and what it will be applied to.

Think about the printing that you want to be done on it, and how the application can best be achieved to ensure that the image looks its best and lines up perfectly, and then shop based on those attributes.

That will help you make decisions such as whether vinyl stickers are better than paper stickers (in most cases, they are!), and whether you want a 'slap on' sticker, or a decal.


Digital Printing Services to Meet Your Needs

Now that we understand the difference between stickers and decals, you now need to consider the printing aspect of the sticker or decal.

This is where Onpack can assist you.

We offer a wide range of digital printing services. We specialise in label printing for a large variety of products, with stickers and labels that will adhere to metal, plastic, glass, and cardboard and that will present a long-lasting, clean and professional appearance on all those materials.  

Our glossy, vibrant labels and stickers will give your products a high quality, professional appearance.

We recommend sticker-style self-adhesive labels for most products because they are easy to apply and they will last for a long time without cracking or peeling.

If you are not sure what you need or what would work best with your product, then please do not hesitate to give us a call for a consultation.

We would be happy to discuss your product needs and work out prototypes with you to help you achieve your desired result.

Onpack is a digital label printing specialist that is committed to innovation and to providing the highest quality, clearest and most long lasting labels.

We care about the environment, and we care about making the products that our labels are designed to look great too.

Onpack is an Australian owned company and we offer a personalised digital printing service catering to each individual brief and label requirement.

Please call us today on +61 3 8388 8100 for all your digital label requirements.