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  • What vinyl do people use for stickers?

    Posted by Simon Worrall on September 13, 2023 at 2:07 am

    I get quite a few orders for stickers. The clients use them for all sorts of things, some they give out as marketing, some they use to mark their own equipment, some are used for test equipment to be written on with marker pens, among many other uses.

    So what level of quality do you aim for? Do you laminate them?

    For safety stickers I generally use top quality vinyl, ands laminate it, as they should last as long as possible.

    But general knock about stickers is a different matter. I spose they should be fairly thick, so they are easy for inexperienced people to apply. But most thick material is also quite low quality.

    Is there a general rule to follow here? Or am I over thinking this, and should just use whatever is in the machine at that time, or whatever is cheapest?

    Iain Pearson replied 7 months ago 12 Members · 18 Replies
  • 18 Replies
  • Martyn Heath

    September 13, 2023 at 5:06 am

    Hi simon. I use the same polymeric vinyl i would use on any flat panel vehicle graphics and offer Laminated or unlaminated.

    When i first started out i stocked different ranges of vinyl, monomeric, cheaper polymeric, vehicle polymeric but i soon realised theres really not much point. The savings pm was pounds to the customer but then the risk of people judging the stickers after say 2yrs and saying “well they were crap” was high. Its pointless. People worry about the pennies while they are ordering but then a year or so down the line are unhappy with the product because the forget what they purchased.

    Before you know it those cheap monomeric stickers they got for the office binder are now on car windows, tools etc etc.

  • Graham Scanlan

    September 13, 2023 at 6:01 am

    Years before digital printing was invented sticker work was mainly screen printed onto sheets of plain old Monomeric vinyl usually in 1000 x 700 sheets. the important part was the adhesive and what the stickers are being stuck to. The options were Permanent – Removable – Hi Tack – Ultra Removable.

    You need to be careful of one material that fits all, regardless of the face film as it may catch you out in the end if stuck to the wrong surface.

    If the printer had an order for 5000 sheets of 1000 x 700 print vinyl, he would phone around his local stockists to secure the best price,

    Now the sticker runs are smaller and thanks to technology there is room to use polymeric vinyl, On the whole, it’s not required but the adhesive is still the main factor.

    Polypropylene is now available for wide-format UV and Latex printers, and this is one of the products used in roll label printing

  • Hugh Potter

    September 13, 2023 at 7:38 am

    Hey Simon,

    you have the latex, right?

    Obviously, if they want decent quality, I will use the same go-to polymeric I use for most jobs (arlon 4550gtx) in regular or high tack, depending upon application.

    For most stickers / small decals, I use a good quality monomeric with a proper lay-flat liner… I use a couple of various films at around the £100 a log mark, The lay-flat liner is the key, do not be tempted to use the really cheap films with the craft liner, you’ll never get accurate contour cutting.

    On another note… I noticed you used CMYK @100% each to get a solid black. I find that without a shed load of heat, it can often stay oily as it doesn’t dry well enough throughout the ink load.

    Try a:
    or even a 30/30/30/100K
    Or even an RGB black works well.

  • David Hammond

    September 13, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    I stock two main vinyls.

    An Air Release, Grey Back Polymeric for anything vehicle/signage/longterm.
    And a grey back monomeric, for stickers, correx boards etc, anything that’s short term.

    Both print well on our latex, and I have one customer I do quite a few stickers for, that said the monomeric is only ~£50 cheaper than my poly after Covid I just stocked the Poly until the customer I do the stickers for picked up again.

  • David McDonald

    September 13, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    Hi mate

    Like Graham said we offer the range of adhesive backing as the main option for clients to choose from, or we’ll give them a discount if we can use one of the many roll ends we have and the exact specification doesn’t matter to them or the intended use.



  • Colin Crabb

    September 13, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    For stickers, we have two ‘stocked’ medias, anything else is bought into order.

    Mono’ 100micron standard tack – £80 per 1370 x 50m

    Mono’ 100micron High Tack – £130 per 1370 x 50m

    Both good quality / good quality backings, as a false economy to go ‘cheap’ had had print and/or cutting issues.

    • Jamie Wood

      September 14, 2023 at 8:04 am

      I’d be interested to know what brand of high tack, as that’s quite a bit less than we pay.



      • Colin Crabb

        September 14, 2023 at 8:48 am

        Sent you a PM Jamie

  • Simon Worrall

    September 13, 2023 at 6:51 pm

    I tried all those mixtures, and wasnt really happy with any of them.

    But the 100%cmyk is just such a good black.

    AND you need to turn OFF colour correction to get the full effect, so its not good with photos.

    When the heat is cranked up to 116 and there is an inter pass delay I crank up to full, you dont get that greasy surface. Its nice and shiny, and sticks well to the laminate.

    It is more costly in ink, and obviously takes longer to print and uses more power. It certainly sends the machine to the limit. You can see steam coming out of print and that latex smell infuses the studio, but I have a decent air extraction unit at my place.

    • Hugh Potter

      September 14, 2023 at 11:07 am

      that’s interesting Simon,

      You’ve clearly experimented more than I with the settings. I preumse you make those changes to the profile and or in the rip?

      • Simon Worrall

        September 15, 2023 at 6:57 am

        Having said that I just tried the rgb black and that turned out pretty good.

        • Hugh Potter

          September 15, 2023 at 10:51 am

          having read that, I did an rgb black yesterday as a contour outline around a load of small text, stuck it on to limo tined windows of a van and it doesn’t look black (on that background).

          • Colin Crabb

            September 15, 2023 at 1:32 pm

            Make sure profile(s) are good & calibration is upto date. Good practice is to use a colour space in your design software (eg Fogra39), exporting/saving to this ICC profile and target your RIP software to match.

            True black for CYMK: C75/M68/Y67/K90

  • RobertLambie

    September 14, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    For stickers, we have two ‘stocked’ medias, anything else is bought into order.
    Mono’ 100micron standard tack – £80 per 1370 x 50m
    Mono’ 100micron High Tack – £130 per 1370 x 50m

    🤣 I read that about 4 times thinking, that can’t be right?! 🤨

    Don’t ask me why, but I was thinking you meant you “charge” £80 for a 50m roll of contour cut printed stickers. 🤓🤣

    I think I need to lay off drinking so much tea! 🤔😳

    • Colin Crabb

      September 14, 2023 at 12:46 pm

      🤣 defo’ not ‘sale’ price!

  • Pane Talev

    September 15, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    Metamark MD3.

    (I don’t stock lower quality vinyl)

  • Tim Hobbs

    September 17, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    We like Metamark MDP for those “cheaper” options.

    It’s slightly thicker and doesn’t require laminating.

    We also use it for temporary signs on correx, siteboards and the like.

  • Iain Pearson

    September 18, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    We use a Polymeric APA air release vinyl for most things, but upscale to a high grab for painted walls etc

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