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What’s the Difference Between a Decal and a Sticker?

Jan 13th, 2020

If you are a startup who has recently set up shop, then the next step will involve trying to promote your new business. Fortunately for you, a very easy way to get some brand recognition is to purchase some decals and stickers.

However, some people are not aware of the difference between decals and stickers, and may not be aware of what labels are or how they work. Here, we will discuss the differences between decals and stickers, as well as labels, and help you decide which option is best in order to promote your startup or your established enterprise.

What’s the Difference Between a Decal and a Sticker?

What to Consider Before Deciding

Before you decide on which option is best for you, there are three things that you will need to consider. The first thing you will need to decide on is the size that you need. For example, do you need something that will be big enough to cover your entire delivery or service truck, car, or van, or do you only need something small enough to fit the trunk of your car?

Colour should be the second thing that you will need to consider. Here, you will need to think about whether you want a few primary or basic colours or if you want to go with just a simple, single colour. You may also want to go all out and select everything that a rainbow has to offer, or you may opt for a few tints or shades instead.

The third thing you will need to think about is how long you want it to stick on your vehicle or storefront. For example, do you want something that will only last for a few hours, or do you want to purchase something that will last for months or even a few years?

Once you have concrete answers to the aforementioned three questions, then you will need to determine what graphical style you want for your business. Here, the debate of whether to go with a label, decal, or sticker heats up, as we shall see below.

What are Stickers?

It is possible for a sticker to be a kind of label. However, not all labels are actually stickers. That is, stickers can be fabricated from vinyl that is cut, or they can be printed. There are also blank types available where you can opt to either draw or write on them without any personal aid. As an added tip, if you want to buy something that will withstand the harsh outdoor elements, then you should buy a sticker that is manufactured from polyester or vinyl material.

It should also be noted that stickers tend to have two layers in most cases. That is, there is usually a paper layer on the back, which you will need to remove at some point, and the decorative component, which has a sticky adhesive on the back and an intricate pattern on the front side.

Also, the label “sticker,” can refer to a wide array of items, from the label on a bottle of wine to elementary stars and even postage stamps. Finally, a good sticker will be very durable and can last nearly a decade in some cases.

What are Labels?

Simply put, a label is a sticker that is informative in nature. In other words, they are designed with descriptions or instructions that are written on the front. It should also be noted that they are normally not intended for outdoor use. Instead, they work best when they are used for packaging, shipping labels, address labels, and name tags.

What are Decals?

First and foremost, we should mention that not all stickers are decals, but all decals are stickers. In other words, decals are usually designed for the outdoors and serve as a decorative sticker of sorts. Moreover, the design of a typical decal can be transferred from one surface to another without issue and will also consist of three layers; namely the paper on the front, the paper on the back, and the decal itself.

Moreover, decals are not as durable as most stickers, and their average lifespan is only three years when placed on an outdoor surface, and even then they will only last that long if they are laminated. As for how they are fabricated, they are often made via a print method that is eco-solvent.

However, in some cases, they may be made with a thermal colour printer that uses latex inks or something congruent. They are also often printed on either polyester that is clear or on vinyl that is printed.

Finally, it should also be mentioned that stickers that are made with cut vinyl are also a type of decal. We hope that we have provided you with sufficient information about the differences between decals, stickers, and labels so that you can make a wise and informed decision in terms of which to go with for your marketing campaign.

The Club Ink Difference

If you would like to learn more about stickers, labels, and decals, as well as their pros and cons, then you can do so by visiting our new website. Club Ink is dedicated to printing the ideas of our clients, and specialize in large format textiles and printing. We also provide custom decal and sticker services and can create customized and beautiful labels for jars and bottles for the purposes of events, promotional galas, and/or re-branding strategies.

In regards to our custom-sized decals, we can create dual or single-sided decals, as well as decals that can be cut to any shape, size, or contour of your choosing. We can use either removable or permanent adhesives and have decades of experience in creating unique decals, stickers, labels, displays, banners, posters, signs, and textiles.

To learn more about our custom wall decal and sticker services, please give us a call at 416-694-1996 for a free, no-obligation quote and consultation in order to discuss your business marketing needs in confidence.


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