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On the surface, it’s not at all difficult to see why stickers and decals are so readily compared – both stick to things (surprise surprise) and both often feature some kind of graphic. These terms are used interchangeably to a degree, but highlighting the differences between the two makes it much easier to know what you want when you’re looking for custom adhesives, as stickers and decals often serve very different purposes when it comes to showing off images. In a consumer sense, asking for either of these products can provide you with different products, so in this article we take a look at the key differences between the two to give you a better understanding of what’s best for your situation.

What is a decal?

Decals, otherwise known as vinyl labels, are usually used for commercial purposes due to their ability to withstand outdoor elements while still retaining their pleasing aesthetics. Generally, decals are used to decorate room interiors and are often used as commercial signage as a way to promote a business, a service, or a brand on a vehicle – this is why you will so frequently see decals on shop windows, where they will be fixed as a means of information, branding, advertising or simply for decoration. Although some might be concerned about the ability for decals to stick on certain surfaces, they will for the most part adhere to any clean, smooth surface, with the most common surfaces being glass, plastic, sealed wood, and metal. In the case of motor vehicles, sticking a decal on is a great way to show off a brand without needing to repaint the entire car, as decals can for the most part won’t remove paint, as the adhesives are made from acrylic. Even with this being the case, getting your decal stuck on professional is always the best course of action.

Why would you go for stickers?

Stickers are often a much better option for people wanting an adhesive product printed on paper that won’t necessarily get used outdoors. Things like packaging, paperwork, clothing and similar products are perfect for regular sticker use, with the added benefit also being a much lower cost overall. For this reason, stickers are an excellent way to cheaply advertise, as they can be affixed to a great number of things and are also a great promotional tool for you to hand out to customers, something that decals are not usually suited to. Their affordability also means they can be constantly updated if you need to without a huge hit to your budget – plus, the quick turnaround will mean you’re never waiting long for your new stickers to arrive! Finally, the overall brand awareness that stickers can help generate can mean that you can grow your customer base without a great deal of work on your part, as eye-catching designs might quickly be affixed to laptops, cars and other places people like to show off!

Which is the right solution for you?

As you might be able to tell, stickers and decals are often suited for different audiences and purposes overall. If you’re looking to a long term, weatherproof solution, decals are probably your best bet, otherwise cheap and cheerful stickers might be the way to go to help spread the word about your business.