What are vinyl decals, and the difference Vinyl Stickers

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Layed Vinyl signs

What are vinyl decals, and the difference Vinyl Stickers

Vinyl Decals or Vinyl Stickers? Well for us both quality vinyl products. That’s why we want to make sure everyone can understand the differences between vinyl stickers and decals or what ever it may be called around the web etc.

You might have heard the terms vinyl stickers and vinyl decals before and wondered what the difference is? It’s not surprising you might be confused. A lot of people seem to use the terms interchangeably. Or they think that hearing the word vinyl immediately means decal. But vinyl stickers and vinyl decals are very different and it’s important to understand the difference when You need to be sure you’re getting what you want!
Wall decal – Wikipedia
Example taken from Wikipedia
wall decal, also known as a wall sticker, wall tattoo, or wall vinyl, is a vinyl sticker that is affixed to a wall or other smooth surface for decoration and informational purposes. Wall decals are cut with vinyl cutting machines. Most decals use only one colour, but some may have various images printed upon them.

Decal – Wikipedia

decal or transfer is a plastic, cloth, paper or ceramic substrate that has printed on it a pattern … with adhesive backing, that can be transferred by peeling off its base. The sign industry calls these peel-and-stick vinyl stickers vinyl-cut-decals

What are vinyl decals?

There’s a decal for a macbook, a vehicle and a wall, mobile phone, signs the list is endless. But the important thing is that they are all vinyl decals! You can get decals in lots of different colours and finishes but they are usually only in one single colour. Why? Because vinyl decals are physically cut from a roll of vinyl by a machine called a vinyl cutter or plotter.

The vinyl cutter is connected to a computer which allows it to read our vector design files. The cutter uses a single, tiny blade to cut into the vinyl .The vinyl is moved back and forth as the blade cuts into the material. Most importantly, the blade only cuts deep enough to slice through the vinyl material, not the backing paper it is stuck to. The result looks almost exactly as before. One sheet of vinyl. But there’s an important difference! Look closely and you’ll see tons of tiny little lines cut into the material.

Once the vinyl has been cut it’s removed from the machine and laid on a surface for weedingWeeding is when the excess vinyl (the negative space in your decal) is removed by hand. This can be quite a time consuming process depending on the complexity of the design. Check out the video below for an example of what this looks Like

Technically, you could make a vinyl decal with multiple colours. But to do this you’d have to cut each layer of vinyl separately and then do one of the following:


  1. Combine all the layers onto a single piece of backing transfer paper. This leaves you with only one layer to apply when it comes to sticking it to your surface.
  2. Tape each layer separately. This means you then have to combine each layer separately when you try and stick it on your surface.

Weeding one vinyl decal can be quite a lot of work depending on the artwork or lettering. Doing option 1 above is very time consuming to produce and would mean a higher cost to produce. Doing option 2 above means you’d have to stick multiple layers on your surface, which can be a difficult task. It can get a bit tricky with all the bits and pieces of vinyl.

What are vinyl stickers or Stickers?
Vinyl Stickers Here

Basically for us a sticker printed on vinyl sticker paper, gloss, Matt and can be over laminated to protect against UV and rain for outdoors. Cut to a shape or around the appearance of the sticker.


Vinyl stickers can still have shapes cut out of them. In fact, most of our stickers have shapes cut out of them. They just look much better when stuck to your surface like that. The machine blade is set to cut all the way through the vinyl and backing paper (rather than just the vinyl). This creates a die-cut sticker that we pop out of the media used.

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