Printed stickers and adhesives: A multitude of formats and uses

It can be hard to find your way between all the existing stickers and their uses. We explain everything you need to know to guide you to the best solution depending on your needs.

There is a wide variety of printed stickers, you can use them as much for your business communication as for decorating your shop or offices. They are available on paper or synthetic media with different printing processes, glues and finishes. We will talk about different types of stickers and adhesives and how you can use them.
Small stickers
They’re fun, you can customize them and put them everywhere you like. They can be used to decorate objects or surfaces, but they are also a means of advertising. You can print them with your logo or the name of your company to gain visibility, whether by distributing them in your store or at a trade show.
They can be paper or vinyl. There are transparent ones, they can be glossy or mat, some are in kraft, others in coloured paper, metallic effects, glitter, mirror effect or holographic, etc. You can use them to seal product packages, and add a personal and original touch. They can also be part of your business stationery or you can give them away as goodies for merchandising. You can print them on a single sheet or a roll, which is practical if you want to have the same design or logo several times and put your stickers on products quickly and easily. They can be removable or permanent.
Adhesive sticker roll - PCG Barcelona
Tag stickers roll
Adhesive EasyDot Vinyl sticker - PCG Barcelona
Easydot Vinyle Stickers
Adhesive Supreme paper sticker - PCG Barcelona
Paper sticker
These stickers are placed on products, some include only a barcode or a QR code and some images and information on the product in question. They can be paper or vinyl. They can be permanent or not, depending on their purpose. For example, if the sticker includes essential information such as the ingredients of a food product, you can opt for a permanent sticker. If on the other hand it is a promotional sticker on a product, it’s better if it’s removable, so you can take it off easily without leaving residue. Know that there are special stickers, such as more adhesive ones, for granular or textured surfaces, or with a cold-resistant adhesive that doesn’t freeze and is used on frozen products. There are also “anti-fraud” tags, called VOID tags, which are untransferable and tear when taken off. If you want to have two labels in one, you can opt for a double or multi-layer sticker. They are usually composed of one or several superimposed top-labels that you can remove by peeling them off. This product is often used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors. There are also stickers that meet sanitary standards and may be in direct contact with food, such as labels on fruit.
Electrostatic stickers
They are not stickers strictly speaking, since they don’t have glue. They adhere to smooth surfaces thanks to their electric charge. They are printable and repositionable. But they are not infallible either, they lose their electric charge over time.
Yupo stickers
They adhere to smooth surfaces thanks to their micro-suction technology. They are a more ecological option. Some are double sided, for application on glass. They can be transparent or white and are printable. They do not leave residue but if you want them to stick well, you must wash the surface where you apply them with soapy water.
Printed magnets
Set of magnets - PCG Print Barcelona
They are removable and have the advantages of Yupo, with the difference that they do not adhere to all smooth surfaces but only metallic ones. Used in normal circumstances without too much exposure to heat, this type of sticker does not lose its magnetic force.
Shrink sleeve labels
These are packaging sleeves that are placed around products such as bottles or jars of cream, taking their shape. The synthetic material of which they are composed takes the form of products by stretching with heat. This element of the packaging is used to decorate, inform and cover the products.
Bottle Shrink Sleeve Packaging - PCG Barcelona
How to customize them?
A printed sticker is not protected from bad weather and external aggressions. To protect them or add an effect, you can choose to laminate, add a layer of varnish or opt for doming.
This is a matt or glossy plastic film that covers the sticker. The glossy finish brings out the colors and the matte finish is more sober, giving your product a more upscale look.
It is a thin layer of clear acrylic resin applied to the print to give it a matte or glossy finish. It is a cheaper choice than laminating and therefore widely used in offset or digital printing.
Doming (Drop of Resin) Sticker - PCG Barcelona
Doming or drop of resin is a technique that consists of depositing a few drops of transparent resin on the sticker to create a kind of dome on top of it. This gives a high-end effect to the product. We can use doming to highlight a logo for example, it also serves as a protection for the sticker.
Large format adhesives
There is a much larger variety of large format adhesives than small stickers. Paper is not good enough to be used for large format adhesives. Vinyls can be used on various surfaces and objects, indoors or outdoors, their size and shape can vary, they can be printed or not, used for decoration or advertising and be long lasting or not. We will list the most famous ones.
Cut vinyl
These are synthetic films suitable for cutting. You can choose between different colors, matt or shiny, more or less fine and more or less resistant to weather and external aggression. It may be intended for use on a flat or slightly curved surface. A vinyl is either printed or cut. Cut Vinyl can be used to decorate surfaces by cutting shapes of your choice or letters for your store window for example. They come in various colors and effects such as mirror, metallic gold or silver, holographic, etc.
Mirror effect vinyl sticker - PCG Barcelona
Mirror effect vinyl sticker
Cut vinyl letters on glass - PCG Barcelona
Cut vinyl letters on glass
Vinyls for illuminated signs
They are used either on windows to allow light to pass through, or on illuminated signs to personalize them or diffuse their light even more. They are either cut or printed. They can be translucent, to allow the light to pass through, transparent, so that we can see through them, and block-out, those are completely opaque.
Retro-reflective and fluorescent vinyls
These are stickers mainly used on road signs or on vehicles to gain visibility. There are retro-reflective, fluorescent and photo-luminescent ones. Their purpose is to attract attention. You can use them for your visual communication at trade shows, for instance.
Magnetic vinyls
Like the small magnets we talked about, they are used on metallic surfaces. You can use them for your POS advertising because they are reusable and removable, which is very convenient.
Wrapping vinyls
These vinyls are flexible, resistant and very deformable, they can perfectly adapt to curved or concave surfaces, like those of cars for example. They can be cut or printed vinyls. They can be covered with anti-gravel or self-healing film lamination to allow scratches to be erased with a heat gun. Some are applicable by heat for rougher surfaces such as a brick wall for instance.
Wrapping vinyl on train - PCG Barcelona
Vinyls for showcase windows
They can be intended for indoor or outdoor use. If you want to put it on the window of your store but fear that it gets damaged or torn off, you can opt for a transparent one, print it in reverse and place it inside your store to make it visible from the outside. You can also choose to print a double-sided vinyl. You can use coloured, glossy or matte, printed or cut vinyls, with mirror effect, metallic, etc. If the vinyl is transparent and you want to bring out some elements you can opt for a selective white + CMYK printing. You can also choose a translucent cut vinyl, there are many effects such as glossy, matte, sandy, etc. If you do not want to use a vinyl that might leave glue residues, you can opt for a Yupo or removable Easydot vinyl, they also exist in large format and are very practical.
Transparent Vinyl sticker - PCG Barcelona
Transparent Vinyl sticker
Chalkboard and dry erase vinyls
These are adhesive vinyls often used by architects, for practical reasons, but you can use them to decorate your shop or restaurant for example. The vinyl mimics a chalkboard on which you can write with chalk, dry erase. There are some that work on the same principle as the Velleda boards. This is an original vinyl that can invite your audience to participate and write on it.
Wall and floor vinyls
There are different effects, they can be printed or cut, laminated or not and more or less resistant. For walls, there are vinyls that you can soak in water before putting them up, as decoration. There are all kinds, removable or not, transparent, coloured, matt, shiny, etc. Vinyls intended to be placed on the ground and therefore trampled must be very resistant and not easily peel off at the edges. For this there are vinyls with acrylic adhesive to be glued on non-smooth surfaces or surfaces that will be frequently cleaned with a pressure system. In order to reinforce them, we can apply a special laminate flooring, rough and anti-slip. You can personalize them by printing messages or your logo for instance.
Vinyl Store TO BE Barcelona decoration - PCG Print Barcelona
Cut Vinyl wall decoration - PCG Barcelona
Vinyl lamination
The lamination is a film that protects the vinyl. For example, there are different types of lamination for car wrapping, vinyl floors and micro-perforated prints. Protect your product against dirt, scratches, UV rays, etc., and increase its durability. It can also bring an aesthetic dimension, there are matt or glossy finishes.
Different types of media
There are different types of media used for adhesives, they can be paper or synthetic material. All types of synthetic film will usually be called “vinyl”.
Paper stickers are often thinner and more fragile. However, they are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than synthetic materials because they are easier to recycle. These stickers are not water resistant and are therefore vulnerable to moisture and weather. The paper can have a matte or glossy finish. It’s an ideal material for indoor use, convenient for printing large volumes and preferable for small stickers. It will serve more for labeling or to add an original touch to your products.
There are all kinds as we have seen, but in general they are of better quality than paper because they resist water, last longer. There are two types: monomers, which have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years, and polymers, with a lifespan of 5 to 7 years. These lifetimes can be extended by lamination. Let’s see some examples of vinyls: Micro-perforated vinyl: If you put it on a window it lets the light through and allows visibility from the inside but not from the outside! It lasts up to 3 years without lamination. Polyester vinyls: It resists the most extreme weather conditions and temperatures, convenient for frozen products. It’s a good price / quality ratio.
Whatever your needs, do not hesitate to contact us if you want to print stickers or vinyls. We can advise you and point you towards the solution that suits you the most.

Contact with PCG

If you need a personalised quotation or would like our team to provide you with assessment for your projects, please feel free to contact us. We are a team of professionals from the sector that will look after your project from beginning to end.

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