Learn the process: How stickers are made

No matter if you are a business owner looking to invest in stickers, a designer who wants to see their art come to life or a creative person who wants to make a special day a little more special, learning more about stickers can help you find your perfect match. 

In this article, we will outline the sticker printing process, so next time you find yourself in need of custom stickers, you know exactly what to look out for. This is also a great way to perfect the process of printing stickers at home. 

Are you ready to find out how stickers are made? Then let’s not waste any time! 

  1. Material

If you are familiar with stickers, you will know that there are plenty of materials to choose from. Your options range from standard white vinyl, to metallic and glitter effects, fluorescent and transparent vinyls, heavy duty and eco-friendly options. 

Sticker printing companies usually hold large quantities of stock, ready to go when you place your order. The first step of sticker printing is to feed the printer the right media. Your chosen material marks the foundation of your stickers and determines its resistance, longevity and look.

  1. Print 

Next, your design is printed on your chosen material. Most printing companies use digital printers. Digital printing ensures great quality and delivers fast results. Its set-up cost is also very low, which means that you can order a lower quantity of stickers for a reasonable price.

Depending on the look you are going for, your printing company of choice will add a so-called white layer. White ink is used on effect materials to dilute the eye-catching features. This means, you can choose which parts of your design you would like to appear in a metallic or clear look. 

  1. Laminate 

After your design has been printed, your stickers are laminated. If you opted for eco-friendly or biodegradable stickers, this step is usually skipped as it interferes with the decomposition of the materials. However, if you choose vinyl stickers, they will get laminated. 

You can often choose between a glossy or matte finish, giving your sticker the look you are after. On top of that, a lamination protects your stickers from the elements, making it water- and scratch-proof. This means your stickers can last up to three years.

  1. Cut 

Finally, your stickers are ready to be cut. The cut line, meaning the edge of your stickers, is usually indicated on your digital design proof. If you picked a die cut sticker, your stickers will be cut along the edge of your design. Other than that, you can also opt for traditional shapes like square, round or rectangular. 

There are different options, depending on the material that is being cut. Flatbed cutters, for example, are big, flat tables that hold your stickers while an ultra sharp blade cuts the material. Then, you can also opt for laser cutting to precisely cut stickers. These cut so fast, you can barely follow the laser with your eyes. We have slowed it down for you below. However, a laser cutter should not be used for PVC materials due to the fumes released in the process. 

And that is everything you need to know about the sticker making process. What do you think? Are you ready to tackle your next batch of custom stickers? We are excited to see how they will turn out, so please feel free to share them in the comment section below.