Die-cut, Kiss-cut

In the previous articles of the ‘Become a Sticker Maker’ series, we explored the essential equipment and expertise needed to thrive as a sticker maker and delved into the specifics of printers and cutters. We provided key features influencing printer performance and functionality and examined the most popular types of printers used by sticker makers worldwide. We discussed the importance of choosing the right printer to set the foundation for producing standout stickers, and covered various types of printers, cutters, and printer-cutter combinations. Now, we’ll take it a step further by focusing on the methods for finishing and protecting stickers, providing tips to ensure your stickers are durable and high-quality 

In the growing market of personalized stickers, it is important to stand out not only with an interesting and unique offer but also by providing high-quality, durable products. This will help create a base of returning customers who will gladly use your services, knowing that you deliver stickers well-protected against damage. Staying updated with the latest trends and technologies in sticker production can give your business a competitive edge. Quality products and innovation ensure customer satisfaction and long-term success. Therefore, make sure to stay current with technological advancements that you can apply to offer your customers the highest quality printed products. 

Materials Used for Sticker Printing


Materials most commonly used by sticker makers are vinyl and paper. The chosen material affects the sticker price and durability, so the selection of materials depends on the intended use of the stickers by your customers and their budget. It is best to offer customers a choice among several types of materials, specifying the characteristics of stickers made from each material and their resistance to various factors. This approach allows customers to make informed decisions based on their needs and ensures they receive a product that meets their expectations. 

Paper stickers are a cheaper option but are less durable and more susceptible to damage from weather conditions and other factors. For this reason, they are often used for short-term applications, such as in promotional materials and for decorating children’s items. On the other hand, vinyl stickers are more resistant to UV rays, moisture, and temperature, making them ideal for outdoor use, such as car decals and advertisements. 

Is Extra Protection Essential for All Stickers?

Extra sticker protection is not always necessary, for example, on self-adhesive film that is resistant to harsh conditions and changing factors, or even for less durable solvent prints. When stickers are used indoors or outdoors for a limited time, they perform well without additional protection. However, if you plan to sell stickers designed for more demanding conditions, where the printed surface will be exposed to dirt, fluctuating temperatures, sunlight, or chemical agents, laminating becomes essential. Examples include stickers for cars, construction equipment, or agricultural machinery. In these applications, protection is crucial to ensure the stickers continue to function effectively and maintain their aesthetic appeal. 

Effective Sticker Protection Techniques: Lamination 

Laminating provides additional protection for the print by adding a clear film layer that extends the stickers’ lifespan. It’s also worth noting that laminating not only protects against mechanical damage but also UV radiation, which can cause colors to fade. Laminating helps stickers retain their vibrant colors for longer, which customers will appreciate and likely lead to repeat purchases in the future. Laminated stickers are thicker and stiffer than those printed on film of the same thickness. The average thickness of standard printing films is approximately 100 μ, and the thickness of the laminate is about 70 μ. Therefore, it can be assumed that the laminate increases the thickness of the stickers by about 3/4 of their original thickness. This greater thickness is often a desired effect. However, in some applications, this added thickness can make the stickers more difficult to apply, potentially reducing their durability. 

Effective Sticker Protection Techniques: Varnishing

Varnishing stickers makes them more resistant to abrasion, reducing the chances of damage or peeling from the surface. One of the best methods to enhance sticker durability in this case is UV-cured varnishes. Varnishing is also often used for additional decoration and enhancement of stickers, decals, or labels. This application is frequently employed by companies creating product labels to attract customers’ attention. Commonly used varnishes in these cases include selective, raised, sensory coating, or Braille marking layers. These varnishes can also provide various finishes, such as matte, glossy, or glitter-like effects, further enhancing the visual appeal and functionality of the stickers. 

Additionally, to ensure the durability of stickers, it is important to provide customers with information on proper application and care. This way, stickers purchased by your customers will not be quickly damaged due to improper use, preventing dissatisfaction with the purchase. If stickers are not applied or maintained correctly, customers might mistakenly blame the product quality, thinking you supply inferior products. By educating your customers on these aspects, you can help them achieve the best results and maintain a positive perception of your product quality.