Labels and stickers are not the same
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Most people think labels and stickers are the same and use these words interchangeably like comparing a movie to a film or a car to an automobile. Well surprise, surprise. There are two meaningful differences when it comes to stickers vs. labels. How they are made and how they are used in real-life applications. As a leading producer of both self-adhesive labels and stickers, we want to provide a clear breakdown of the differences and when you should use each.
How they’re the same
- Labels and stickers are both sticky
- Both are often made of durable film or vinyl material and come on a paper backing to protect the “sticky” adhesive
- They’re available with permanent or removable adhesive
- Both are often printed using similar pieces of equipment
What is a label?
A label’s main purpose is to identify a product or an object. They provide information on items such as product packaging, shipping boxes and envelopes, warehouse shelves, and more.
Labels are generally available in paper or film materials. The materials are often thinner and are quick and easy to peel from the backing.
They come in primarily two formats: sheets and rolls. Sheet labels are perfect for smaller projects and hand applications. Roll labels are great for higher volume jobs and work for both hand and machine applications.
What is a sticker?
Stickers are the “hero” on their own. They’re ideal for promoting a brand or a cause, representing a team or club, or for self-expression. Typically, professionally printed and individually cut, they usually come in a stack instead of on a sheet or roll.
Custom stickers are ideal for passing out or selling without knowing their final destination. The end-users will decide what to do with the stickers. They might put them on their laptop, thermal water bottles, skateboard helmet, or car window or just keep them as “swag” stickers.
Since you don’t know where it will end up, you should order stickers with extra durability as they are often exposed to tough environments. Most stickers are made of either extra durable film or vinyl materials. For quality labels, look for a UV laminate or varnish that protects against things such as water, sunlight, and incidental scratches and scuffing.
Die-cut vs. kiss-cut stickers
If you’ve heard the terms die-cut stickers and kiss-cut stickers but don’t know the difference, we’re here to help.
Die-cut stickers are cut to size without any extra backing or liner around the sticker. These are perfect if you want a custom shape like a palm tree or a banana.
Kiss-cut stickers are cut through the top vinyl layer only with the paper backing intact. With this option, some printers will allow you to add things like your company’s contact information or website around the outer edge. Currently, printing on the outer paper is not possible with Avery.
So, as you can see there really is a difference between a label and a sticker. Both are awesome and both have their unique place in the world.
We hope this provides you with some valuable knowledge to drop at your next cocktail party or when you actually need to decide which product is perfect for you.
Avery sells both blank and custom labels and stickers. If you have a question or need some help, let us know in the comments below, or our expert customer service team is always here for you. They will answer any label or sticker questions and ensure you get the perfect solution for your next project. Call them at (800) 942-8379 or use the chat feature on avery.com.