What Is The Difference Between A Decal & A Sticker?

If you are searching for Custom Sticker Printing services, then you will likely have come across the terms “sticker” and “decal”. Some websites may have seemingly used these two interchangeably, leading to your confusion. Are stickers and decals the exact same thing? Or are there differences in their materials or purposes?

This article aims to answer these questions and more, giving you the information needed to determine if your business should be using stickers or decals.

An Introduction To Stickers

A sticker is an informative and decorative piece, that allows you to express your personal taste and communicate a message across to an audience. Equally important is their mobility in that they can easily be transported given their size while not being a permeant feature once used. Furthermore, stickers are often effective at demonstrating an owner’s likes or dislikes.

Common spots for sticker usage include bottles, laptops and phones. They are typically made from several materials, including that of polyester and vinyl. In general, these are durable materials that allow them to have a longer lifespan while being resistant to general conditions.

A sticker usually consists of two layers. The first of which is the decorative layer which houses the design on the front side as well as an adhesive on the back side for sticking purposes. In addition, a sticker has a second layer which is the paper on the back. The paper allows the sticker to be transported without being stuck together. When you wish to apply the sticker, the paper layer must first be peeled off, exposing the adhesive to the desired surface.

An Introduction To Decals

Decals are a type of sticker, being built specifically for outdoor conditions. While they are constructed to be more durable than standard stickers, they do not typically last for more than 3 years when exposed to weather elements.

Unlike the conventional sticker, decals are usually made with three layers. This includes:

  • The back paper layer
  • The design layer
  • A paper layer that is found at the front

As such, it can be described as having a decorative and adhesive layer sandwiched by two paper layers. Decals are typically manufactured using latex inks and a thermal colour printer. Fron there, they can either be printed in vinyl or clear polyester.

Common uses of decals include those on vehicles for decorative purposes. When you see a car with an attractive print, it is actually a fully body decal that has been pasted onto its body.

Sticker Printing Services

Regardless of whether you are looking for conventional stickers or decals for your business, you will probably need custom sticker printing. While many of these businesses will likely have standard designs to choose from, you will likely require a personalised solution in order to maximise the effectiveness of your branding or message.