There is a growing demand for personalized and customized packaging these days. This demand has made labels and stickers all the more popular. Even though both the terms are used interchangeably, are labels and stickers the same? It is essential to note that they are two different things despite their many similarities. Their usage, application, and purpose may differ from each other.
This blog will take you through the significant differences between labels and stickers. Understanding the differences will help you make informed decisions regarding product labeling, customization, and marketing.
Labels and Stickers: What's the definition?
A label is primarily used for informative purposes. It can display nutrition facts on food products, dosage details on medicines, warnings on concentrates, and brand logos or messages. Its primary purpose is to provide identification of a product or object.
Label formats are mainly divided into two types: sheets and rolls. Sheet labels are more suitable when working on smaller projects and using hand application. Roll labels are recommended for higher volume jobs that utilize both hand and machine applications.
A sticker is more focused on design and attractiveness. Its primary purpose is to promote a brand or cause by emphasizing graphics over text. Custom stickers are versatile and can be distributed or sold without being restricted to a specific purpose. The ultimate use of the stickers is left to the discretion of the end-users. They may adorn their laptop, thermal water bottles, skateboard helmets, or car windows with them. They can also keep them as collectible items. The most common materials used to make stickers are vinyl and film. Stickers typically have a UV varnish or laminate to protect them from water, sunlight, and scratches.
Labels vs. Stickers: Learning the Differences
1. Purpose and Functionality
Purpose of Labels
Labels are crucial for product identification, branding, and regulatory compliance. They also provide essential information to consumers, such as nutritional facts, usage instructions, warnings, and dosage details. Labels are necessary for organizing products, managing inventory, identifying containers, and categorizing items in various settings.
Purpose of Stickers
Stickers are a versatile tool used for personalization, creative expression, and promotion. They can add a decorative touch to gift wrapping, scrapbooks, laptops, water bottles, and phone cases. In addition, stickers are commonly used in marketing campaigns and event promotions as free giveaways to increase brand visibility and engage customers.
2. Materials and Durability
The material used in Labels
Labels are created from strong materials such as paper, vinyl, polyester, or other synthetic materials. They are built to endure distinct environmental factors, such as moisture, temperature changes, or consistent exposure to light. Labels have a range of finishes, including matte and glossy, and are also available in specialty options such as embossed or foiled.
The material used in Stickers
Stickers are created from diverse materials like paper, vinyl, clear or colored films, and textured or holographic options. They, too, can have different finishes like matte, glossy, or metallic, which enhances their visual appeal.
Although stickers are usually long-lasting, some sticker types are meant for temporary or promotional use and may only last for a short time. Specialty adhesives are available that make it easy to remove stickers without leaving any residue on the surface.
- Adhesion and Removal
Labels are created to stick firmly to surfaces for the product's intended lifespan. Varied surfaces like paper, plastic, or glass require specific adhesive backings.
Once labels are applied, they can be hard to remove, which helps ensure the information is always visible. Specific labels, especially in a regulated or industrial setting, may need solvents or particular techniques for removal.
Stickers come in different types of adhesives based on their purpose. Some have a permanent adhesive that sticks firmly to surfaces, while others have removable adhesives that make it easy to reposition or use temporarily.
Stickers with removable adhesives are a popular choice for personalizing or promoting things because they can easily be removed without leaving any residue or causing any damage to the surface. However, if durability and adhesion are essential, permanent adhesive stickers are the better option for long-term use.
- Design and Customization
Labels are designed to communicate specific information clearly. They usually include text, icons, logos, and graphics related to the product or brand identity.
Customizing labels with specific colors, fonts, and shapes can improve brand recognition and create a consistent visual identity. High-quality label designs can be achieved through printing techniques such as digital printing, flexography, or screen printing. Beast Branding provides custom print labels according to the design you have in mind.
Stickers provide numerous opportunities for showcasing creative expression through decorative or promotional use. They quickly catch attention with intricate illustrations, vibrant colors, and unique shapes.
You can create custom stickers that reflect your brand by incorporating logos, slogans, or artwork. You can use techniques like die-cutting, embossing, or specialty finishes such as metallic foiling to make your stickers visually striking.
- Cost Considerations
The cost of labels is determined by multiple factors, such as the material used, size, printing method, quantity, and design complexity. Additionally, special finishes or features like barcodes, QR codes, or consecutive numbering can affect the overall cost. Larger production runs may be more cost-effective due to economies of scale.
The cost of stickers, too, depends on various factors, including the type of material used, size, printing method, quantity ordered, complexity of design, and any extra finishing options. The cost may increase if you opt for custom die-cut shapes or specialty materials. Stickers for limited promotional campaigns or short runs may also have higher unit costs than larger orders.
It is true that, at first glance, labels and stickers may appear similar. However, their usage, purpose, and creative expression differ. Labels convey information, while stickers provide flexibility for personalization and promotion.
To choose between labels and stickers for your needs, consider various factors such as materials, adhesion properties, design options, and cost of order.
You can label products, organize items, or add a creative touch to your project with labels and stickers. Take advantage of their potential to enhance your brand or project, and use your imagination to create something great! Beast Branding offers top-quality printing services to help you get the best labels for your brand and elevate your brand identity.