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Stickers vs Decals: Similarities and Differences between Stickers and Decals

Stickers vs decals

Stickers and Decals: Are they the same thing?

Call them what you will, but in truth, there is very little, if no difference at all, between stickers and decals. Really, it’s up to your preference and how you describe these multifaceted tools.

Stickers and decals are used for everything from cost-effective marketing to expressing fandom. Where you may see some difference in verbiage is simply in how people plan to use stickers or decals.

Oftentimes, stickers tend to be associated with a more liberal or broad-based aesthetic and use. When we think stickers, we often think of our first introduction to them. Likely in childhood, we received stickers for good grades in school, a successful visit to the dentist’s office or even potentially a sticker sheet or roll labels that accompanied coloring and activity books.

That said, stickers are sometimes thought of as being placed somewhat haphazardly or at least without any real purpose beyond being noticed.

Still, many of our customers also identify stickers as being useful tools that are maybe not purposefully placed but strategically used. Stickers can help with brand recognition and exposure.

Many business owners will purchase die-cut stickers to use as a giveaway when participating as a vendor and looking to share their brand awareness with others. While the placement isn’t so much a priority, the handing out of such swag is.

Here is a brief list of what many identify as stickers:

Die cut stickers - 

In general, die cut stickers are those that have been made to the exact shape as a particular logo or pattern. In contrast, you may find simple labels as rounded rectangles with very little design work.

Clear stickers - 

Clear stickers are those that come with an option for being transparent.

Holographic Stickers -  

As the name would suggest, holographic stickers are those that have a shiny, iridescent structure to them. This type of sticker is common for use in electronics and computer products.

Kiss cut stickers -  

Exclusively, kiss cut stickers are those where the image has been made through a die cut process with little or no allowance for excess sticker material. Generally speaking, these are stickers that have one smooth edge free of any adhesive.

Transfer stickers -  

A transfer sticker is the type of decal given to you when you purchase an item. Usually, these are stickers that already have adhesive on one side and require you to simply remove the paper backing and apply it to whatever surface you want.

Sticker sheets - 

As the name suggests, sticker sheets give you the option of selecting several images or designs at once. A single sheet may include dozens of individual stickers.

Bumper stickers -  

As stickers go, bumper stickers are generally on the bigger side. These usually come individually cut and sit below your car’s rear window. With some exceptions, you can typically use these to add humor or add an element of sportiness to your vehicle while driving on the roads.

Custom stickers -  

If you are looking for a sticker that can be made to look exactly how you want it, then this is the type of option that may work best for you. Simply describe what you are looking for in terms of design, size and color and we will make it happen!

Decals vs. Stickers

Decals, on the other hand, while still perfectly interchangeable with the word stickers, are typically thought of when someone is intentionally displaying a design.

Be it a wall decal outside your place of business, a street decal used to navigate foot and vehicle traffic or dry erase decals for use over and over again on containers, calendars and more.

Decals have specific uses and applications, rather than simply being something for placement or display.

When speaking to customers or clients who identify as car enthusiasts, you may hear the term decal used quite a bit.  In fact, when working with a client in the wholesale or racing industry, decals are often used to label cars and equipment.

It is a quick process that can also be cost-effective. Oftentimes, these decals provide pertinent information such as the car owner’s name or sponsor logos.

differences between stickers and decals

Examples of decals

Wall decals -  

Wall decals are often used in new construction. In some cases, they may be stuck to a wall before any paint is applied, creating the perfect decoration from the get-go. These decals can also be traditional stickers or even vinyl cutouts.

Stickers Window cling decals -  

Window cling decals are another great example of a decal. In particular, window clings are able to be applied to the inside of a window and provide you with an easy way to have some form of graphic design without having to worry about any type of installation or set-up.

Indoor floor decals -  

In most cases, indoor floor decals are those that sit on a hard surface. In terms of what type of flooring they sit on is inconsequential as it will generally be determined by the size and weight of the actual decal itself.

Outdoor wall decals -   

While wall decals in general are used to sit on any type of wall, outdoor decals are durable enough to face up to all weather conditions. These decals sit up against the elements and anything else Mother Nature may throw at them with ease.

Car decals - 

A car decal is another example of the type of decal that is adhered to some form of transportation. Be it family bikes or race cars, car stickers sit on the exterior and may even double as bumper stickers. They provide decoration without taking away from the overall look or design of the vehicle.

Street decals -   

Street decals are used for way-finding purposes. You can identify these types of decals to be found along roadways that sit within the city limits. They can also mark the ground for parking, space-saving and even marathon starting and finish lines!

Dry erase decals -  

Dry erase decals are those that sit on glass or any other smooth, hard surface. These decals are commonly used in offices or classrooms to provide information that changes regularly. Like a blackboard, info on a dry erase decal can be wiped away over and over again.

Are labels stickers or decals?

Labels are another example of an item that sit on the fence. Labels are used for identification purposes - whether it is to tell you what product or service is being sold or for which brand a certain garment sits under.

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Here are some other options that can fit in either the stickers or decals category.

Custom Iron-on labels -  

Custom iron-on labels sit on clothing and provide both a stylish and practical way to identify and label items. 

Roll Labels -   

Our custom cut roll labels are an easy way to brand and package your product with durable materials. We also offer an over-laminate for extra protection. This keeps your brand logo top condition for visibility and recognition.

Etched-like on gold vinyl-

Etched-Like on gold is an effective way to stand out. Upload your logo or vector art and we'll create the etched effect for you. Our unique Etched-Like on gold vinyl makes your product, packaging, art or gifts to stand out. Our proof approval process lets you work directly with us to ensure your stickers will look exactly how you want.

Perforated vinyl -

Perforated vinyl window signs are a unique way to make your business windows stand out. Perforated window signs are printed and attached to the windows from outside, look great from the exterior and virtually invisible from the inside. This is a great alternative to other sign types and banners and a great marketing tool to make your business stand out.

Vinyl sticker cutouts -  

Vinyl cutouts sit somewhere between wall decals and stickers. Like a wall decal, they sit on the  wall and sit like a sticker. Vinyl decals sit on top of the wall like any other decal, however they can also sit as a typical sheet style sticker.

Vinyl cutouts are those that sit next to each other in two dimensions with adhesive on all four sides so they can be applied quickly to walls or surfaces.

Ultimately, you can call them what you want, and trust that Sira Print can deliver, no matter your style of wording.

You may find that on our site, we begin to use the word “sticker: when we start describing the product itself. So, whether you’re placing an order for a wall decal or a sticker sheet, we will refer to the product itself as a sticker for the simplicity of identifying your desires for the product itself.

This includes whether you want it to be clear, paper, laminated and so on.

Whatever the reason you want to display a design, and no matter what you call it, we specialize in sticker and decal creation.

Ordering stickers and decals online

Ordering is as easy as ever. Simply upload your design or use an online template like Canva.com to create your own unique graphics and/or message. We will handle the rest.

Naturally, you’ll want to make sure your stickers and decals are exactly what you’re expecting before you hit “go”. We work to meet and exceed your expectations.

We will provide a PDF proof within 24-36 hours.this proof before we take your project to print. As if that’s not awesome enough, we boast a 1-3 Business Day Turnaround plus Free Shipping, making costly and continuous orders a thing of the past.

Opt for your first or next round of stickers and decals via Sira Print and you’re sure to save time and money!