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Home » Sticker Blog » Sticker vs decal: Unravelling the differences and their unique uses

Sticker vs decal: Unravelling the differences and their unique uses


Decal or stickers? These two terms are often used interchangeably, but are they really the same thing? While both serve similar purposes, there are subtle yet significant differences between them. In this blog, we’ll explore what sets decals apart from stickers, their distinct characteristics, and how they are used in various applications.

Understanding stickers

Let’s start with stickers. Stickers are adhesive-backed labels or designs that can be affixed to surfaces for decoration, identification, or informational purposes. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, with vinyl and paper being common options. Stickers are often used for branding, product labelling, packaging, and personal expression.

Key features of stickers include:

  1. Adhesive backing: stickers typically have adhesive backing that allows them to stick to surfaces securely.
  2. Wide variety: stickers come in a wide variety of designs, ranging from simple shapes and logos to intricate illustrations and graphics.
  3. Temporary or permanent: stickers can be either temporary or permanent, depending on the type of adhesive used.

Deciphering decals

Decals, on the other hand, are a specific type of sticker characterised by their transferable nature. Unlike traditional stickers, decals are usually made from a thin film material (such as vinyl or polyester) that can be transferred from an application tape to another surface. Decals are commonly used for decorative purposes, vehicle graphics, signage, and labelling.

Key features of decals include:

  1. Transferable design: decals have a design or image that can be transferred onto a surface using a transfer tape or backing paper.
  2. Versatility: decals are highly versatile and can be applied to various surfaces, including vehicles, windows, walls, and electronics.
  3. Durability: decals are often made from durable materials that are resistant to fading, weathering, and wear, making them suitable for outdoor use.

Decals vs. stickers: What sets them apart?

While stickers and decals share some similarities, there are a few key distinctions that differentiate them:

  1. Application method: stickers are applied directly to surfaces, while decals involve a transfer process where the design is transferred onto the desired surface.
  2. Material thickness: decals are typically thinner than stickers. Decals are designed to be transferred onto surfaces smoothly without leaving a noticeable border.
  3. Versatility of use: stickers are often used for a wide range of purposes, including branding, labelling, and decoration, whereas decals are primarily used for decorative applications such as vehicle graphics and signage.

Conclusion – decal or stickers

In summary, while stickers and decals labels may seem similar at first glance, they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Stickers are versatile adhesive-backed labels used for decoration, identification, and branding. Decals on the other hand are transferable designs that can be applied to surfaces for decorative or informational purposes. Understanding the differences between stickers and decals can help you choose the right option for your specific needs. Whether you’re looking to add a personal touch to your belongings or create eye-catching graphics for your vehicle or storefront, we can help you create your perfect design.