Sticker Glossary

Here you will find a useful reference list of sticker terminology used in the Sticker Printing Industry

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Abrasion is the process of scraping or wearing away the inks printed onto stickers, most often assoicated with stickers printed by solvent or eco-solvent inkjets.  To avoid abrasion stickers can be protected through lamination.


Bitmap Image
A Bitmap Image is a digital graphic composed of many tiny 'parts', called pixels, each pixel having a specific colour that can be edited. Since the computer has to store information about every single pixel in the image, the file size of a bitmap graphic is often quite large. An example of bitmap images would be photographs, and graphics where there is shading or gradients.


Car Sticker
An all-embracing term used for any type of sticker that is placed on vehicles, including both car window stickers and car bumper stickers.


Digital Proof
An electronic artwork file, digitally representing your artwork design as it would look on the finished product.
Die Cut Stickers
Stickers that are presented as singles after our cutters have cut through both the sticker and the backing paper. Often die-cut stickers are custom-shaped to fit a unique design. Not to be confused with 'kiss-cut' stickers
Discount Sticker Printing
A means of producing custom printed stickers, through the means of the latest printing and cutting technology, that are affordable, avoiding the cost of expensive die-cutters or setup charges.


Eco-Solvent Inks
Inks derived from ether extracts taken from refined mineral oil. These inks are not solvent free, but do contain less solvent that traditional inks. Also referred to as light or low solvent inks.


File Resolution
The number of pixels in an bitmap image, often referred to as 'dots per inch' (dpi) or 'pixels per inch' (ppi). In general, the more dpi an image has the sharper the image will look when printed.


Gloss Stickers
Self-adhesive stickers with a shiny finish.


High Resolution Printer
An inkjet printer that is able output many thousands of ink droplets or 'dots' per inch (dpi). Typically, a high resolution printer can print at 1440dpi or above.


The common name for Adobe Illustrator, Adobe's flagship vector graphics software.
The artwork design, consisting of text, illustrations and other components, which take together is reproduced onto a physical substrate such as vinyl or paper.


Text that is flush both on the right and left.
A compressed file format for bitmap images, being an acronym Joint Photographic Experts Group, the company that originally created the format. JPEG files usually have the file extension of .jpg or .jpeg.


Kiss Cut Stickers
Stickers that have been cut to shape, with the cutter going through the sticker material, but not the backing paper. Kiss cut stickers can be presented as singles (the backing paper may be square but the sticker within may be 'kiss cut' to a custom shape) or many on one sheet (often called 'sticker sheets'). When kiss-cut stickers are removed from their backing paper, the border around the sticker remains stuck to the backing paper.


The technique of manufacturing a sticker in multple layers so that the composite sticker has improved strength and protection against abrasion.


Matt(e) Stickers
Self-adhesive stickers with a matte, non-shiny finish.


Stand Out Stickers
Out of the ordinary stickers that are easily noticed due to the design or printing technology used. Stickers that make the biggest impact include metallic stickers, transparent stickers, and fluorescent stickers.
Stickers that stick
Quality self-adhesive vinyl stickers that adhere to a surface for many years, even in outdoor conditions. This is contrasted with non-adhesive 'static cling' stickers and poor quality stickers that do not stay stuck.
Sticky Things
In the sticker world this term can refer to all types of printed stickers, vinyl graphics, self-adhesive decals, floor stickers, window stickers, car stickers, printed labels, transparent stickers and other printed sticker items produced using a sticky substrate.


The common name used for polyvinyl chloride (or PVC), being one of the world's most widely produced synthetic plastic polymers.  It comes in two forms: rigid and flexible, the flexible type being using in signage and sticker production.
Vinyl Sticker
A self-adhesive sticker made from vinyl.