If you’re a collector of vintage cars, and motorcycles or just love the stylish designs of unique vehicles, you have probably seen decals or stickers on various popular vehicles in your area. Maybe you’ve even been curious about them and whether they can be applied to your own vehicle. 

But how do they differ? Are there differences between stickers and decals? Below, we dig into what makes each product unique and which might be better for your needs.


Decal: What is it?

Decals are made out of vinyl or reflective material, usually backed with a paper or plastic film. They are easily removable from any surface without leaving a sticky residue behind.

Decals are generally clear but can also come in solid colours. They can be placed on a vehicle’s door, hood or trunk.

A decal is a self-adhesive vinyl (or sometimes, mylar) label that’s placed on an exterior surface of a car or motorcycle. Typically, decals are made to be applied directly to a paint finish and have a raised design, which makes them “pop,” on vehicles.


Sticker: What is it?

A sticker is a kind of label that can be printed or cut from vinyl, which will last if it’s stuck to the outside of a window or other hard surface. Stickers usually have two layers: a top layer with the actual design and a backing layer to keep everything in place.


Vinyl Stickers

Stickers are vinyl wall decals, and they are all cut with a Vinyl cutting plotter. They can be used to decorate a room, be used as signs to promote a business, or be used on sandwich boards or shop windows. They can be displayed on walls, or they can be placed on glass panels or other flat surfaces to provide information.


Will Stickers Damage Your Vehicle’s Paintwork?

The short answer to this is no. There should be no damage to your vehicle’s paintwork as long as the stickers are applied correctly (without leaving any air bubbles underneath).


Are Decals Easy to Remove?

Yes. Decals are easy to remove and will not leave a residue behind when removed. Once removed, there should be no scratches or damage to your vehicle.


How Long Do Decals Last?

Decals typically last for a few years, depending on the conditions of your vehicle. If it’s in a very hot or icy environment, this could shorten the lifespan of your decal. But if you take care of it, a decal should last for a few years.


How to Choose the Right One?

There are several things to consider before choosing a decal or sticker.

The first thing you should consider is placement. Decals and stickers are placed on the exterior of a vehicle and are designed to be seen. Some are designed to be placed on the hood, others on the door, and still others on the back window.

The second thing to consider is the amount you want to spend. Decals and stickers are available in various materials, colours, sizes and designs. Some are simple; some are created with a unique design. Some are durable, and others come in a plastic film backing. Decals and stickers come in a variety of colours, and the best way to decide what is best for you is to consider your budget and how you want your vehicle to look.

The third thing to consider is the type of materials. Some decals and stickers are made from vinyl, such as a window tint or sticker. Some are made from a reflective material, such as chrome vinyl; while others are made from a mylar.

The choice is yours.


Which is Better?

Decals and stickers are used on the exterior of vehicles to advertise a brand, a product or an organisation. While both can be put on the outside of your vehicle, they differ in their physical appearance as well as their application process.

Do you need high-quality glass graphics in Brisbane? Cooltone specialises in films for decorative purposes, signage, and architecture. Get in touch with us.

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