Stickers vs. Labels – What is the Difference?

Sticker vs Labels

Think labels and stickers are the same? They’re not.

Most people think labels and stickers are the same and use these words interchangeably like comparing a movie to a film or a car to an automobile.

Well surprise, surprise. There are two meaningful differences between labels and stickers. How they are made and how they are used in real-life applications.

As a leading producer of both self-adhesive labels and stickers, we wanted to provide a clear breakdown of the differences and when you should use each.

How they’re the same

  • Labels and stickers are both sticky.
  • Both are often made of durable vinyl or film material and come on a paper backing to protect the “sticky” adhesive.
  • They’re available with permanent or removable adhesive.
  • Both are often printed using similar pieces of equipment.

What is a label?

The main purpose of a label is to identify a product or an object. Labels provide information. They are applied to items such as product packaging, shipping boxes and envelopes, warehouse shelves, and more.

Labels usually are available in either paper or film materials. The materials are often thinner and are designed for quick and easy peeling from the backing.

Labels come in primarily two formats. Sheet labels are perfect for smaller projects and they have to be applied by hand. Roll labels are great for higher volume jobs and can be applied by hand or machine.

custom sticker

What is a sticker?

Stickers are the “hero” on their own. They are often professionally printed and are used to promote a brand or a cause, represent a team or club, or for self-expression. Typically individually cut, they usually come in a stack as opposed to on a sheet or roll.

Custom stickers are meant to be passed out or sold without knowing their final destination. The end-users decide what to do with the stickers. They might put them on their laptop, thermal water bottle, skateboard helmet, car window or just keep them as “swag” stickers.

Stickers are often exposed to tough environments so they require added durability. Most stickers are made of either vinyl or film materials that have a UV varnish or laminate to protect them from things such as water, sunlight and incidental scratches and scuffing,

Die-cut vs Kiss-cut stickers

Die-cut vs Kiss-cut stickers

Die-cut stickers are cut to size and don’t have any extra backing or liner around the sticker. These are perfect if you want a custom shape like a palm tree or a banana.

Stickers are available in die-cut or kiss-cut formats.

Kiss-cut stickers are cut through the top vinyl layer only, leaving the paper backing intact. This allows you to add things like your company’s contact information or website around the outer edge.

So, as you can see there really is a difference between a label and a sticker. Both are awesome and both have their unique place in the world.

We hope this provides you with some valuable knowledge to drop at your next cocktail party or when you actually need to decide which product is perfect for you.

If you have any other questions, feel free to call the helpful Avery Customer Care Center at 1800 644 353.