A Brief Guide To Vehicle Stickers & Decals

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There are many different types of stickers / decals.  For the purpose of this guide we will be concentrating on two common types of vehicle graphics.

Die-cut stickers.  Probably the most common type of vehicle decal, die-cut stickers are cut from a sheet of coloured vinyl using a personal computer and a vinyl cutter.  Imagine a printer,  except, there is a blade instead of ink.  The sticker design is produced using specialist software, then sent to the vinyl cutter, which in turn cuts the design onto the sheet of vinyl.

Once the design is cut, the sheet/roll of vinyl is removed from the vinyl cutter and the excess vinyl removed (weeded) using a craft knife or sharp point.  This leaves the finished design which needs to have application tape applied before fitting.  Die-cut stickers are usually cut for external application, though it is easy enough to reverse the design so it can be applied internally and viewed correctly through glass (such as a car window).  These are generally single-colour stickers though multiple colours can be applied via layering.

These are typically inexpensive, long lasting and can generally be stuck on any smooth, flat, surface.  Die-cut stickers are just as easy to remove as they are to apply.

Printed stickers.  These are typically more specialist than die-cut stickers due to the equipment required to produce good quality, long-lasting stickers.  Whilst printed stickers can be produced on many inkjet and laser printers (Using special copier paper) they are easily spotted and best avoided.  To do the job right you need the correct equipment - in this case, a printer costing the same as a  family car.

Printed stickers are produced using similar software to die-cut stickers, then sent to the printer which prints onto a roll of specialist vinyl.  Some printers will also contour cut the sticker once printed, or this is done on a separate vinyl cutter.  The key to long-lasting printed stickers is to laminate them.  Lamination offers a great deal of UV protection - the sticker will last a lot longer and will be much less prone to fading.  Printed decals can have unlimited colours so are much more versatile than die-cut stickers.  Internally fitted printed stickers are printed onto static cling film created a similar effect to internally fitted die cut stickers.

Remember, as with many things in life the cheapest isn't always the best deal and can be a false economy.  Always seek the services of a reputable seller, and you can't go wrong :)

Whichever route you decide to go down, you will find plenty of instructional sticker fitting videos on video sharing websites - though a good seller will include a printed guide like we do!

We hope you have found this guide useful, more coming soon.

Feel free to visit our eBay store where you will find many vehicle sticker designs :)
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