Print Tips
Sticker Printing 101: Stickers That Leave an Impression
  by:  |  May 16, 2017

Last updated on May 26th, 2017 at 11:59 am

When you print stickers, you definitely want to leave a mark — and by mark we don’t mean sticky residue. Stickers are intended to make an impression. It would be a shame if you ordered stickers only to find out the design and specs were inappropriate for the intended application.

Luckily this could all be avoided with a little foresight, and by asking yourself the right questions. Here are 6 things you should ask yourself before you order stickers.

1. What will I use my custom stickers for?

Not all stickers should be created the same way. Stickers meant for tagging and archiving for instance, should be designed differently from stickers meant for packaging and promotion. The stocks, quantities, sizes, die cuts, finishes, and other specs will have to be different depending on the situation. A good printing service will have options that will help you match your stickers to your specific need.


2. Should I go with standard or custom shaped stickers?

custom-shaped sticker

A custom-shaped sticker, when paired with a great design, will have little difficulty standing out. The right custom shape can really make an otherwise ordinary design “pop.” But standard shapes are popular for good reason as well. Many logos for instance, are complemented quite well by classic square, rectangle, circle, and oval stickers. Standard shapes, as a rule, tend to be more economical per piece, as there is no need to set or create a new die-cut pattern.


3. Will I need professional sticker printing?

Do you need a significant quantity at an economical price? Is quality important? If the answer to both is yes, then you definitely need professional sticker printing. Home sticker printing as a rule is unable to match the economy of scale and the quality a professional printing company is able to provide. A professional printer will also be able to provide you services beyond simple sticker printing, including technical support as well as design tips and ideas.


4. Could I afford quality custom stickers?

While price is important for most of us, value is really what you should go for. Cheap stickers from a substandard printing service might not accurately represent your brand. They probably couldn’t care less if colors are printed accurately, or if the edges of your designs are trimmed off poorly.

If your brand is important to you, then those stickers present poor value. If those poorly-made stickers don’t give you the return on investment better quality stickers offer, then the “cheap” stickers end up being more expensive.

There may be times having more stickers in a standard shape and a normal stock will be more practical than having only a few custom die-cut stickers with a premium stock. Other times the opposite might be true. The key is to understand what exactly you need your stickers for. After that, it’s a matter of choosing the specs that give you the most value for your specific application.


5. Should I choose rolled over cut-to-size stickers?

roll and sheet stickers

Neither format is necessarily better than the other. They both can be convenient for different reasons. Cut-to-size stickers are much easier to hand out, but rolled stickers are much easier to store, peel, and dispense, since there are no loose leaves to deal with.

Certain specs are only available in rolls or cut-to-size. For instance, quantities below 250 stickers can only be ordered as cut-to-size, and textured or clear stickers can only be ordered in rolls. If you would like more information on possible sticker options, call our customer service team.


6. Should I hire a professional designer?

sticker design in adobe CS

We provide a free design tool that should give both designers and non-designers an easy way to create print-ready sticker designs. But regardless of whether they use our tools or a different design app, having an experienced graphic design professional create your stickers can help with issues we can’t directly address, such as layouts, kerning, and overall balance. Having a designer work on your stickers is not absolutely necessary, but it can help.

If you’re a design newbie, you might find this article helpful:

A Simple Guide to Making Better Stickers and Labels.