Sticker terminology

  • Stickers – the common term used to describe a wide variety of adhesive products – including bumper stickers, wall stickers, window stickers, and labels.
  • Labels – stickers and labels are sometimes used interchangeably, however, most printers refer to labels as adhesive labels that are well suited for product labels. Labels may be paper or synthetic so depending on the type of label they may or may not be waterproof. Labels are often printed on high-resolution digital printers whereas vinyl stickers are often printed on wide-format printers that give greater flexibility and UV-resistant print but a lower print resolution. 
  • Kiss-cut – a shallow cut around the sticker that cuts through the sticker but does not cut through the backing layer. For example, you could have a kiss-cut circular sticker that is provided on a square or rectangular backing sheet, but when you peel the sticker off, you peel off the circular sticker. Kiss-cut stickers may be provided individually cut or on a sticker sheet. 
  • Die-cut (or router-cut) – similar to kiss-cut, but in this case the cut goes right through the stock including the backing sheet. By using this method you can produce custom stickers of different shapes, or produce lettering which can then be transferred onto another surface. They may be cut using a standard die form or router-cut to custom shape.
  • Front-adhesive sticker (reverse-printed clear vinyl) – these are a special type of sticker, often used on windows, where the sticker is designed to be viewed from the adhesive side. This means the sticker could be applied to the inside of a shop window and be visible from the outside.
  • Large format or wide format stickers – larger stickers are typically used for window displays, signage, car wraps, wall murals and more. The term ‘wide format’ and ‘large format’ is also used to refer to the type of printers that are typically used to print vinyl stickers including smaller stickers like bumper stickers or other custom stickers. 
  • Sticker transfer or vinyl kiss-cut lettering – these stickers may be printed or unprinted vinyl that is then kiss-cut – often in the shape of letters but may be logos or other shapes too. Once cut, they are weeded manually – this is the process of removing unwanted vinyl from the design. Transfer paper is then applied to the finished sticker which is then used to transfer (install) the cut vinyl onto its intended surface. 

Paper or vinyl?

Stickers are generally either paper-based or vinyl. Most of the stickers we print are long-lasting vinyl stickers. Paper stickers generally have low water resistance but can be a good low-cost option for labels. Vinyl stickers are water-resistant and generally long-lasting.

Sheets, rolls, or individually cut?

We can provide stickers on sheets (eg. A3 or A4 or another size) with individual stickers kiss-cut into the sheet. Individually cut stickers may be trimmed to size (rectangle shape – cut to the edge), kiss-cut, or router-cut/die-cut to size. Depending on your type of sticker or label, the application, and the quantity required, we can advise the most suitable finish. Note that some products may only be available in certain finishes – for example, our labels are finished either on rolls of 500 or on A3 sheets depending on the size and type of label. 

How long do vinyl stickers last?

It is hard to give an exact length of time for the lifetime of a sticker as it can be affected by the type of stock used, the surface it is installed on, if the surface is clean, if the installation is done properly, sunlight exposure, water/rain exposure, and being exposed to bumps, scratches or people picking at it.

If you require really long-lasting stickers, you can ask for a quote for premium/polymeric vinyl stickers – and optionally laminate for additional protection – both options are designed to last several years outdoors.
Note that our labels are generally printed using different printing technology and do not have the same level of UV resistance as our other stickers. 

What different types of vinyl are there?

There are hundreds of different types of vinyl available – depending on the purpose of the product. When requesting a quote please let us know the purpose of the product so we can ensure the correct type of stock is used.

Some examples of different vinyl stocks we typically use:

  • Standard vinyl / monomeric vinyl is perfect for short to medium-term window displays, signs and stickers.
  • Long-lasting premium vinyl / polymeric vinyl is a longer-lasting vinyl used for outdoor/long-term applications such as signage/windows and car bumper stickers.
  • High-tack (hi-tack) vinyl is a long-lasting vinyl that is used where a permanent strong adhesive is required. Uses include smooth concrete, brick wall, and patterned tile. 
  • Specialty wall stock specially designed to adhere to most internal painted wall surfaces.
  • One-way vision or perforated window stock is commonly used to create a visually appealing window display that you can still see through from the inside. This type of stock is also commonly used for vehicle rear-windows, bus window advertisements, etc.
  • Laminate – stickers can be laminated for additional protection from scratches and from UV. Laminates can be either gloss or matt, which also helps give the sticker a nice finish.

How to order stickers

Refer to our stickers & labels page or large format stickers for information about ordering and to request a quote.