Many people use the words decals and stickers interchangeably, often assuming that they are the same thing. Yet this isn’t quite the case. Here’s how to differentiate between vehicle decals and stickers.

Vehicle Stickers

Most of us are pretty familiar with stickers. They’re a type of label that consists of two layers and can be made from paper, vinyl or plastic. The front layer has the design on it with an adhesive backing, and the back layer is a thin piece of paper that is peeled off to allow the sticker to be stuck to a surface. A sticker can be something as simple as a stamp or a label on a food item. You can find stickers on both the inside and outside of vehicles, especially on the windows.

Vehicle Decals

When trying to understand the difference between vehicle decals and stickers, it’s important to note that all decals are stickers, but not all stickers are decals. In some cases, decals work where stickers don’t.

Short for decalcomania, decals differ from stickers in that they consist of three layers. As well as the design itself with adhesive and backing paper, they also have a piece of transfer or masking paper on front. Both the front and back papers are peeled off. A front paper is used if the design is quite intricate, large or complex, as it makes it easier to apply. This is especially the case if a decal consists of different letters, as the tape can be peeled off with all the letters and applied like a normal sticker. You tend to see decals used to fill larger surfaces on vehicles, whereas stickers are more suitable for smaller applications.

If you have a complex image that you want to use as part of your vehicle branding, which might consist of letters, numbers or other designs, you might find it easier to choose a decal. Similarly, if you need a sticker that is greater than one square foot, go for a decal.

Quality can be comparable between decals and stickers, although you probably tend to pay more for decals, as there are more stages involved in the manufacturing process.

Read our Ultimate Guide To Vehicle Graphics

If you’re thinking about branding your vehicle we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know.

Ultimate Guide To Vehicle Graphics

John E Wright

John E Wright’s fully trained fitting staff can help transform your vehicle into something really unique. Whether you’re looking for a full wrap, vinyl letters or  help to re-brand your fleet, John E Wright can help your vehicle become more than just a mode of transport – it’s the next step in your marketing plan. Get in touch and tell us about your requirements, or upload your design directly to our printers through our website. It’s so easy, and you’d be surprised at how cost effective it can be.