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Custom Printed Stickers vs. Decals vs. Labels: What’s The Difference?

This post was tagged with custom printed stickers

Custom printed stickers & labels & decals - the confusionThe term sticker seemed to be abundantly clear before you tried to order some custom printed stickers online, didn’t it? Now you come across words like label and decals, but they all seem to do the same thing. So, how are they different? Here’s the skinny.

Custom printed stickers

Stickers are the most generic term. They can be made for indoor and outdoor use, and come in various sizes and shapes. At TattooFun, we make circle, oval, square and rectangular stickers, in sizes from 8” by 4” to 12” by 4”, but we can also do a custom size on demand. We do stickers for indoor use and bumper stickers, designed to withstand the elements.

Stickers tend to be decorative or graphic. This is not to say that they don’t use phrases, but their main goal is to produce a visual impact. They can not only spread a message, but increase brand visibility and recognizability.


We label things that we want to identify and sort. Labels give some information, which is their main communicative purpose. Labels are used to give nutritional information, for example, on food and beverages. Labels can have many different forms, but if they have adhesive backing, they’re described as stickers.


Since decal is an unusual word, some people think it’s just a fancy, industry-specific way of referring to stickers. It’s not. Or they say that decals are large size (wall-size) stickers. Again, no.

The word decal is short from decalcomania, ultimately derived from the French decalquer, meaning “to trace, to produce an image using tracing paper”. The crucial feature here is the transfer. Decals are stickers that are transferred onto the desired surface.

When you have a decal, that product has 3 parts – the backing paper that you peel off, the part that will stick to the surface and transferring foil that you will use to put the decal onto the surface and then peel it away. With stickers and labels, you only have 2 parts – the backing paper and the sticker which will be stuck on a surface.

Get custom printed stickers at TattooFun

Trust TattooFun to make your ideas come to life when it comes to custom printed stickers, labels and bumper stickers. At the moment, we’re not offering decals. But we are industry leaders when it comes to custom printed stickers – we offer you USA-made, top-quality products at the most reasonable prices. TattooFun guarantees you 100% customer satisfaction and a low price. Our assistants are on standby every weekday from 8AM to 5PM PST. Reach us via phone, SMS or our website form. We are here for all your ideas, comments and questions!