Self-Adhesive Vinyl Sticker, Label or Decal - What’s the Difference?

Author: FASTSIGNS® Sheffield and Chesterfield Centre

Much has been written about the difference between Self-Adhesive Vinyl Stickers, Labels and Decals over the years but what is apparent is that these terms are becoming interchangeable.

The New Oxford Dictionary provides the following definitions:

sticker n. an adhesive label or notice, generally printed or illustrated.

label n. a small piece of paper, fabric, plastic, or similar material attached to an object and giving information about it.

decal n. a design prepared on special paper for durable transfer on to another surface such as glass or porcelain.

You can see why we often get asked; “what is the difference between a label and a sticker?” A sticker can be a type of label… and labels with an adhesive are also stickers. At FASTSIGNS we are always looking to provide the correct solution for your requirements regardless of the term used by the customer.

Some terms are more commonly used in certain industries, for example “Decals” is often used by Car & Van Dealers and also customers requiring self-adhesive vinyl shapes for a vehicle. “Labels” is a common term used in retail and food industries, while “Stickers” are often referred to by Manufacturing and Construction companies. No one term is exclusive to any industry or business but what is clear is that nearly every business has a requirement for self-adhesive stickers, labels or decals at some point.