Those who have been using decals in the past or intend to use it in the future, it is interesting to know a few facts as well as the process through which stickers are made. Here is a guide to how customized decals are made:
What is the Process of Sticker Making?
Types of Materials:
Stickers are made from a variety of materials, therefore giving one options so that one can choose according to their usage requirements and budget. The most popular material used is Litho stock, taking its name from lithography printing. It is made from paper; it is not water resistant and is very budget friendly. It can or cannot have coating over it.
Another common material used is Vinyl, and it is used to make stickers that will be water resistant and damage resistant. White Vinyl is the most durable sticker paper and is slightly more expensive than paper ones; clear vinyl is an addition in printing outdoor stickers. Vinyl stickers or clear vinyl stickers can be easily used both indoors and outdoors as it can withstand high temperatures without curling or colors fading.
Types of Coating:
As you may have seen, stickers come mainly in two types of coating glossy and matte. There is another option as well of getting UV coating to make it resistant to the sun. The matte coating, as the name suggests, make the sticker appear plain without glare and smooth as compared to without coating.
The glossy coating gives it gloss, making the sticker look new for longer as it adds shine to the paper. It makes designs remain attractive for longer and makes the vibrant designs stand out.
UV coating is applied using Ultra Violet rays making the paper extra glossy with an additional stronger layer of protection. Not only does it make the sticker look shinier but it also makes it damage and weather resistant particularly able to withstand high temperatures.
Types of Adhesive:
Basically, stickers that are made these days are self-adhesive instead of requiring external factor like glue or liquid to stick to a surface. These adhesives are known as pressure sensitive adhesive or PSA. They are the most common type of adhesive used for industrial and personal use. PSA is usually made from rubber and resin. The rubber is then applied on to a strong surface of cellophane and once that is created, a coating agent also known as the release agent is attached. You might have seen the yellow or white paper at the back of a sticker which is the first thing that you discard before applying a sticker. The release liner protects the stickiness from any external dirt and thus it is made from waterproof and damage proof material. It does not slip away from the sticker and stays put.
To make release liners stronger, silicon is mixed into it, as it has a higher waterproof index and is heat resistant. Also adding polyolefin coating to the release agent makes it impossible to wrinkle as it does not let any moisture from humidity in the air to enter.
Types of Printing:
The most common sticker printing methodology is screen-printing, as it is cheaper and stickers can be printed in bulk within minutes. However, this is an old method and lots of new and modern methods have since been introduced. Offset printing is also quite popular due to its economical pricing and vibrant color printing. Four separate inks are used for printing making the pictures and text stand out. Other than that digital printing has become widely popular as it can also produce customized decals in bulk and at shorter time than the other methods discussed. One can even do digital printing from home and this is used widely by people across the population.
The amount of materials used, chemicals brought together and the inks used can make the production of a simple sticker look daunting. However, for a professional it is not so, and they can guide one better about which type of sticker to use for the purpose that one requires.