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What are kiss-cut stickers?

By David Willis © 2019

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Kiss cut stickers are self-adhesive vinyl stickers that have been cut to a different size or shape than the backing paper to which they are attached.

Precision cutting machines are often deployed to make kiss-cut stickers which are able to cut through the printed substrate (less than a millimetre in thickness) while not cutting through the remaining backing paper. This allows sheets of stickers to be prepared which is not possible with the die-cut alternative.

sticker sheets printed in full colour

Kiss-cut stickers, therefore, have three main characteristics. Firstly, the sticker and the backing paper are not the same size or shape. This does allow the stickers to be more easily removed, since the edge of the sticker offers a useful lifting point to the sticker for it to be peeled off at ease. Secondly, since no die is required to be made, kiss-cut stickers have a lower setup cost, and can be very economical for short-run jobs. Thirdly, kiss-cutting does allow multiple stickers to be presented together on a single sheet, something not possible with die-cutting.

Kiss-cutting is the preferred method for cutting stickers when the stickers have been digitally printed, with some printers using integrated printing and cutting. This involves moving rolls of printed self-adhesive vinyl from the digital printer to the cutting machine (sometimes called ‘plotters’). The process is often managed from the same software package.

Some of the big names in kiss-cut plotters are Summa and Roland who manufacture the SummaCut series and the Print-Cut series respectively

David Willis
David Willis
This article was written by David Willis, a print entrepreneur and respected industry expert.

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