Labels, Stickers, and Decals: Which Is Best for Your Product?

Labels, Stickers and Decals

Every now and then, you will find yourself wondering which is the best adhesive-type label for your product – labels, stickers and decals are some of the most common choices. Before you go and say that these are the same, let us first enlighten you. These are similar, yes, since these are attached to items with the use of an adhesive, but in reality, these are actually pretty different from one another.

To help you understand the differences, here are the definitions of each one of the adhesive-type items we just mentioned:

Label – a small item made out of cloth, paper, plastic or other material that is used to identify an object by being attached to it. Information you can find on these things can include the brand, company name, ingredients, materials used to create the item, and many more.

Sticker – a piece of paper material that has a sticky substance at the back for attaching to surfaces. This usually carries either a message or a picture on it.

Decal – special paper with a design or message on it that can be transferred to a smooth surface such as metal, glass or porcelain. This special paper is then peeled off once the design is properly adhered to the surface it is applied to.

While these may seem to have similarities, as you can see from the definitions, these three are actually used in many different applications and some of these can actually cross over to other applications ideal for their other counterparts, but not all can be used for all the applications each one is made for. If you find yourself confused over which can be used where, here are some examples and ideas as to where each one of these are and can be utilized effectively:

Labels – these are used, as the definition points out, to mark items (usually products) in order to help consumers identify what this is. Identification information can include brand, company address, contact information, materials or ingredients used to create the product, size, and many more. These are often attached with the use of adhesives however, some labels, like those used for clothing, are attached via sewing. Some of the products you will find these attached to include food, containers of food (like wine bottles, jars for jam, and the like), containers for chemicals and household cleaning items, and a whole lot more. Labels can come in rolls, as individual pieces or in sheets, depending on how many you order and who you order these from.

Stickers – these are sometimes used in lieu of labels when the company only needs to put their brand on an item. The term “sticker” is sometimes used for many different things, and this can include labels (where the term used is sticker label) that are attached to products via an adhesive backing. Stickers can carry anything from images to information, which is why it can be used on many different things. This can be used on vehicle bumpers (bumper stickers), as decorations that can be attached to any clean, flat surface (stickers used on skateboards, sticker albums, etc.) and for pricing as well as inventory purposes (barcoded stickers).

Decals – these are attached to clean surfaces with the use of a special adhesive and a peel off paper that leaves the design on the item without any paper or other materials sticking to it. You can see these used on a wide variety of items and applications, most of which are for decorative purposes. You can see decals used on vehicles to mark these for the companies that use them, on rear or front windshields to decorate them, on glass products for marking or decorative purposes and even on walls for the same reason. 

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