Are you completely new to stickers and want to learn as much about them as possible? Or are you already a sticker marketeer who is interested to understand how your marketing tools are made?

In this article, we will take you behind the scenes of the sticker making process from you submitting your artwork to delivery.

To start with, let’s look at the different layers stickers consist of:

  1. A laminate that protects your design and increases its durability.
  2. This is your design. This can be printed exactly as you like.
  3. You can choose your material base. Most sticker printers offer a great range.
  4. This material is then backed with a glue that is suitable for many different uses.
  5. Finally, a thick backing paper makes sure your sticker sits flat and is easy to peel.

We will be taking a closer look at each component to make you the ultimate sticker expert.

1. Submit artwork

Your artwork forms the foundation of your sticker. It is essential that you submit a file of as high resolution as possible. We recommend a vector file or a bitmap of at least 300 dpis.

To achieve the best possible outcome, you should keep your design as simple as possible. Convert your colors to CMYK and make sure your fonts are converted to outlines. Make sure you choose a sticker supplier that sends you a digital design proof before they print your design. This way, you can double-check your proof and ask for changes if necessary.

2. Printing

After you have approved your design, let your sticker printer work their magic.

The material you have chosen as you placed your order will now be fed to the printer. All media feeds equally well, so your choice really depends on the effect you are after. Did you choose a transparent sticker because it will be applied to windows? Or are you after a biodegradable sticker to match your packaging? This is where your ideas come to live.

Most supplies work with a digital inkjet printer. It fired small dots of ink at the material until it applied a layer of about 15 microns at 1440 dpi. This amount of detail allows for a high resolution, great colors and an amazingly vibrant result.

3. Lamination

A gloss or matte will then be applied to protect your design and increase the durability of your sticker. This layer makes it resistant to water, sunlight and scratches.

If you are after a biodegradable option, this step is usually skipped, as the laminate is not necessarily compostable. However, there are sustainable sticker options that work with a bioplastic material. Reach out to your supplier if you are unsure which sticker is right for you.

4. Cutting

The shape you chose when placing your order is brought to life here, The most popular shapes are round and square. These are perfect for the durability of your sticker: the fewer edges your sticker has, the less likely it is to peel.

You can also choose between a die and a kiss cut. Die cut stickers follow the shape of your design and each sticker will be individually cut. Kiss cut stickers are cut through the vinyl layer only, not the backing paper. When peeled, these stickers will leave a border. The image below illustrates this. If you get your stickers on sheets, they will be kiss cut as well.

As these terms indicate, stickers are traditionally cut with dies. More modern technologies include laser cutting which is more versatile, quicker and cheaper.

And that’s it, everything you need to know about the sticker printing process. We hope that this article helped you to understand custom stickers a little better so next time you order stickers for your business, you know exactly what happens after you approve your proof. Should you have any questions, please leave a comment below!