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The art of sticker printing: choosing the right paper and size

Sticker printing is an essential aspect of branding, marketing, and personalisation for businesses everywhere.

Whether it’s for promotional giveaways, product labelling, or enhancing customer engagement, stickers offer a versatile and cost-effective solution. However, the quality and impact of your stickers largely depend on two critical factors: the material used and their sizes.

In this article, we’ll delve into the best paper types for sticker printing and outline standard sizes to help you make informed decisions for your next sticker project.

Choosing the right material and finish for your stickers

The material you select for your stickers not only affects their appearance but also their functionality and durability. Here’s a breakdown of popular sticker materials and their best applications:

Paper stickers

Ideal for: Indoor use, temporary applications, and giveaways.

Characteristics: Eco-friendly, easily printable, and cost-effective but not water-resistant.

Vinyl stickers

Ideal for: Outdoor applications, waterproof requirements, and long-term use.

Characteristics: Durable, flexible, and resistant to fading and water damage.

Gloss finish

Ideal for: Eye-catching promotions and vibrant designs.

Characteristics: Shiny surface that enhances colours and detail, but prone to glare.

Matte finish

Ideal for: An elegant, understated look and readability.

Characteristics: Non-reflective, offers a smooth texture, and is easier to write on compared to gloss.

Thermal stickers

Ideal for: Barcodes, shipping labels, and receipts.

Characteristics: Heat-sensitive, allowing for direct thermal printing without ink or toner.

Outdoor stickers

Ideal for: Car decals, outdoor signage, and bumper stickers.

Characteristics: Made to withstand harsh weather conditions, UV light, and water.

UV resistant stickers

Ideal for: Long-term outdoor use where sun exposure is a concern.

Characteristics: Treated to resist fading and degradation from UV rays.

Standard sizes and shapes for stickers

Stickers can be produced in any size you require, there are very few applications that have a specific standard size. Below is a broad guide to sticker sizing:

  • Small stickers measure between 2 and 5 centimetres (20-50 millimetres, or approximately 0.8 to 2 inches) across in diameter or width.
  • Medium stickers range from 5 to 10 centimetres (50-100 millimetres, or 2 to 3.9 inches) across.
  • Large stickers are sized from 10 to 30 centimetres (100-300 millimetres, or 3.9 to 11.8 inches) in diameter or width.
  • Extra-large stickers span from 30 centimetres to over 60 centimetres (300-600 millimetres, or 11.8 to 23.6 inches and above) in diameter or width.

While stickers can be customised to any size or shape, certain shapes are commonly used for specific applications.

Rectangular sticker applied to a box example

Rectangular stickers

Uses: Most versatile, used for product labels, name tags, address labels, and informational stickers. Their straight edges make them easy to apply on various surfaces.

Common applications: Packaging, mailers, and promotional materials.

Square sticker example

Square stickers

Uses: Great for logos, brand symbols, and simple designs. They offer a balanced look that’s appealing for both personal and professional use.

Common applications: Branding for small products, envelope seals, and social media campaign stickers.

Round sticker on a roll example

Round stickers

Uses: Ideal for highlighting logos or special offers without taking up too much space. Round stickers are also perfect for adding a soft touch to branding materials.

Common applications: Product packaging, envelope seals, and giveaway items at events.

Oval Easter sticker on a coffee cup

Oval stickers

Uses: Offers a unique alternative to traditional rectangular or round stickers, providing a more elegant look for branding.

Common applications: Cosmetic and beauty product labels, gourmet food packaging, and high-end promotional materials.

Die cut sticker example

Die-cut stickers

Uses: Custom-shaped to fit your design exactly, die-cut stickers are perfect for creating a strong brand identity and making your logo or artwork stand out.

Common applications: Branding for any industry, custom merchandise, creative marketing campaigns and laptop stickers.

Bumper sticker example

Bumper stickers

Shape: Typically rectangular with a larger format, designed for readability from a distance.

Uses: For expressing slogans, supporting causes, or promoting brands on vehicles. They are made durable to withstand outdoor conditions.

Common applications: Political campaigns, brand advertising, and personal expression on cars.

Choosing the right material and size for your sticker printing project is important for achieving your desired outcome. Whether you’re looking for durability, impact, or cost-effectiveness, there’s a material and size that fits your needs. At Worldwide, we specialise in providing bespoke design, printing, and marketing services to elevate your brand. Contact us to explore how we can bring your sticker ideas to life with our expert guidance and high-quality printing solutions.


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