What’s the Difference Between Stickers and Decals?

Car Decals

The confusion around what is a decal and what is a sticker may come from vinyl cut graphics and lettering, but according to the experts, all decals are stickers, but not all stickers are decals. A decal, while a decorative sticker, is usually used outdoors. They’re transferred from one surface to another and will have three layers – a mounting film on the front, transport paper on the back, and the decal itself. A sticker can be a kind of label, but not all labels are stickers. Tamper-proof stickers are either printed, made from cut vinyl material, and the main difference is in application or purpose. Stickers are generally stuck on any sized surfaces. Decals may have larger formats and are more likely to be stuck on walls, floors and glass. By using a vinyl base, which is a good quality material, stickers can last in outdoor conditions and can be used for car stickers Australia-wide, or for more long-term circumstances.


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What is a Decal?

Basically, decals are decorative stickers, usually for outdoor use. Decal stickers are made up of paper on the back, the decal itself, and paper on the front and they can be transferred from one surface to another. A decal sticker design for car use, for instance, will go through an eco-solvent printing process. Vinyl is generally the material they’re printed on, though UV over laminate may also be used. Decals can be indoors on cars, water bottles, laptops and any smooth surface. Decals can be in either printed or cut form. Print cut vinyl decals can have images and patterns, or alternatively decals can come in a solid single colour. The material used by Glenbrae Signs decals is designed to last from five to seven years.

Car Sticker

What is a Sticker?

A sticker can be a kind of label, either printed or made from cut vinyl, which will last if it’s for an outside sign. Stickers usually have two layers – the paper you peel off and the decorative part with an adhesive on the back and information or decorative design on the front. The term ‘sticker’ can mean anything from a stamp to a beer bottle label to car stickers. A quality, durable sticker can last up to eight years or even more.


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Vinyl Sticker

What is a Vinyl Sticker?

Vinyl stickers are wall decals and are cut with a Vinyl cutting plotter. These vinyl stickers are also known as tattoos, vinyl or wall stickers, They can be used to decorate a room, for commercial use as a sign to promote a business, a service, or a brand on a vehicle, a sandwich board or in a shop window. They can be fixed to a wall on glass or other smooth surface for informational purposes or decoration.

What Surfaces Do Vinyl Stickers Adhere To?

Vinyl stickers will adhere to any clean, smooth surface, with very few exceptions. However, the main ones include glass, plastic, smooth sealed wood, and metal. You can put one on your computer, your window, a wall or your vehicle provided the surface is flat and smooth.  For superior quality, Glenbrae signs can supply and fix the design or slogan, decoration or advertisement on the surface you choose. So, if you want a  professional job, don’t do it yourself, call in the experts.

Will a Sticker Damage My Car’s Paintwork?

Stickers for cars are a popular way to have your brand seen all over town, but unless it’s stuck on professionally, you might have trouble removing it but it should not damage it at all, providing your car’s paint job is not inferior, or the wrong decal has been stuck on it.  It’s highly unlikely that a decal or sticker could remove paint, and in any case, the adhesives are made from acrylic which won’t affect the paint’s chemistry. But to be on the safe side, if you order vinyl decal film online to stick on the car’s body, choose the ‘car safe’ one option. If you don’t, you’ll get a decal with permanent adhesive which is not designed for use on vehicles, so it may damage the paint. The best option is to hire the professionals at Glenbrae SIgns to do the job for you, then you’ll know your car or wall paintwork is safe.


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Car Stickers

Are Decals Easy to Take Off?

Taking a decal from a painted wall can be a bit risky unless you are using a variety of removable wall decals. Vinyl wall stickers can be taken down effectively by warming the surface with a hair dryer on a warm setting. You slowly heat the corner and keep on heating and peeling until the sticker is removed. Use warm soapy water and a white cloth to remove any glue residue. If it doesn’t budge, try eucalyptus oil.

With over 100 years of collective experience in the signage industry, our Glenbrae Signs dedicated team of signwriters, designers and production staff make us a one-stop shop for signage and custom graphics. Glenbrae provides superior vehicle and site Signage, custom car stickers, banners, displays, 3d lettering, websites and all aspects of corporate branding. We use the most up-to-date technology and equipment, providing creating innovative solutions for any budget. Check us out online, drop in for a chat, or send an email to info@glenbraesigns.com.au. Whether you’re in the Melbourne area or not, give us a call on (03) 9761 9999, and we can talk it through over the phone.