Everything About Stickers: Part II: Guide To Buying Custom Stickers
This is part of a multi-part series on custom stickers. Part one is Custom Stickers For Your Business...
If you have decided to purchase custom stickers for your business, you need to do a bit of planning. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way in saving you money and time. Taking the time to learn a bit about the process can help you navigate this process with no hassle.
First thing that all custom sticker buyers need to consider is how these stickers are going to be used. If your sticker is intended to be stuck on things that will last and that are outside, the sticker needs to be a vinyl sticker of some sort. If your sticker is temporary, for packaging, nametags, correspondence, or presentations, you can opt for a paper sticker.
Vinyl stickers cost slightly more than paper stickers but are much more durable. When they are laminated with a thin film over the ink, they are even more durable. This stock is called "Laminated White Vinyl." Vinyl comes in gloss white, a frosty clear, a clear static cling and a yellow stock. Laminated white vinyl is the most common material for stickers that are meant to last.
Paper stickers can be very inexpensive, yet are really meant for indoor or temporary use. The selection of paper stocks is much larger than vinyl. Gloss, Matte and smudge-proof paper stocks are the three most popular paper stocks. Fluorescent stocks are available in many colors and are popular for packaging and attention grabbing applications. Metallically coated stocks come in gold and silver and can serve as a classy touch to correspondence and packaging...
Stickers come in all shapes and sizes from standard shapes such as squares, rectangles, ovals, circles and bursts. Custom cut shapes are called "die cut" stickers. This custom shape is usually achieved with a "die" that is not unlike a cookie cutter. These dies are expensive to make and usually stay with the printer. For this reason stick with the standard shapes and sizes offered by your printer to save lots of money. Printers offer lots of standard sizes, StickerGiant.com offers 51 standard shapes and sizes. The standard sizes can be printed much faster as well, dies can take a week or more to produce and really bog down the production time. Short run laser die cutting is available as well, but in quantities over 1000 the digital nature of this process becomes ridiculously uneconomical.
Most custom sticker printing companies can print 1, 2, or 3 spot colors. Spot color printing is by far the most popular and economical type of sticker printing for runs over 500 or so pieces. Most printers have standard ink colors to streamline the printing process to save time and money. When special colors are required it usually costs more and takes more time, so try to stick with a printer that offers lots of standard ink choices. Most printers also offer 4-color printing, which is called "process color"." This is the technique of using 4 colors to print color photographic content with 4 ink colors. The 4 colors used in process color are cyan, magenta, yellow and black, often referred to as CMYK. Not all stocks take all designs and inks well. The darker fluorescent stocks really only take black or dark blue as an ink color for contrast reasons. The inks used in most printing processes are translucent so when put on the clear stocks they can present design challenges. The inks take on a "stained glass" quality, so keep that in mind when designing for clear stocks.
Artwork preparation is where the knowledge you just gained hits the road, planning your artwork will enable you to finish this project quickly and inexpensively. If printing using non-digital methods (greater than 500 stickers) follow these four rules:
If you are getting your stickers printed digitally, (less than 500 stickers) you need to follow these rules:
When you order your stickers, be sure you are aware of the shipping method and charges that may apply. Many printers offer expedited shipping (2-3 day) at regular ground rates, and if you are placing a large order you may be able to negotiate free shipping.
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