The Ultimate Sticker Guide – Types, Uses, and More

You are currently viewing The Ultimate Sticker Guide – Types, Uses, and More

From abstract design to cartoon characters and from price tags to labeling, stickers are used pretty much everywhere. In fact, you will hardly come across something that does not have a sticker on it and it always serves a purpose.

But how much do you know about different types of stickers?

Paper stickers, vinyl stickers, and foil stickers are some of the most common types of stickers you will find. Other than these, sheet stickers, bumper stickers, die-cut stickers, transfer stickers, roll stickers, etc., are also just as popular. 

Whether you are into DIY, various crafting, or owning a business, you must be in need of stickers.

So let’s get to know more about these stickers from today’s article.

Different Types of Stickers

Paper Stickers

As you might have guessed already, paper stickers are made from paper. They are very light and easy to remove if needed. Besides, they are cheap, easily recyclable, and eco-friendly. They are also very popular among DIY enthusiasts.

However, there are also drawbacks. Paper stickers are not durable. The ink gradually fades and they get damaged even by light scratches. And since these stickers come off easily and are not waterproof, they cannot be used on outdoor materials.

Commonly Used For

  • Journaling
  • Scrapbooking
  • Labeling
  • Promotional materials

Vinyl Stickers

Vinyl stickers are also known as PVC stickers and they are made from durable plastic. They are used for both indoor and outdoor items as they are water-resistant and highly durable. This type of sticker does not get damaged even if they are under the UV ray for a long time.

On the downside, they are more expensive than paper stickers and can be difficult to remove. And even if you manage to take off the sticker, it can still leave residues behind. On top of that, they are not eco-friendly.

Commonly Used For

  • Labeling
  • Surfboard 
  • Bike stickers 
  • Laptop
  • Bottles
  • Various packaging
Foil Stickers

Foil Stickers

Foil stickers are often referred to as luxury stickers due to how appealing they look. These stickers are usually seen as labeled for expensive brands. Even though they appear similar to holographic stickers, they are not exactly the same. If the sticker contains foil print only, it is stamped by using heat and pressure.

Many people like foil stickers for their classy appearance and excellent durability. On top of that, they are water, heat, and scratch-proof. However, they can also be quite expensive. 

Commonly Used For

  • Drinks and beverages
  • Beauty and health products
  • Gift items
  • Perfume 

Holographic Stickers 

Holographic stickers are similar to foil stickers in some ways and might look the same because they both appear shiny. However, holographic stickers are shinier because they have a metallic finish and reflect various colors under light. It is also known as the rainbow effect. 

These types of stickers are more commonly used for security purposes on various products to prevent others from duplicating them. Why? Because they contain 3-dimensional images and can only be replicated by going through an expensive process.

Commonly Used For

  • Computer/Laptop
  • Mobile/Tab
  • Gift Voucher
  • Membership cards
  • ID cards

Kiss-Cut Stickers

Unlike other stickers where the backing is not protected, kiss-cut stickers are entirely different. These stickers come with backings both for the sticker and its backing, offering an extra layer of protection. The stickers come in stacks and are already cut in a shape that allows you to take the sticker off its backing without any kind of damage.

Kiss-cut stickers can be made using glossy or matte vinyl paper. That’s why they are costly but is also durable. 

Commonly Used For

  • Journaling
  • Crafting
  • Business Promotion
  • For printing company or business details

Die-Cut Stickers

Similar to kiss-cut stickers, die-cut ones are cut into various shapes based on the print of the sticker paper. However, they have a far better finish than kiss-cut stickers. These stickers are also printed on various types of vinyl and can be used both indoors and outdoors. 

These stickers are cut with more precision and the sides are also protected from damage. If you want to customize something, die-cut stickers can be an excellent choice. However, once applied, they can be very difficult to remove.

Commonly Used For

  • Customize stickers
  • Business and branding
  • Personalize things

Transparent Stickers

Transparent stickers are made using clear vinyl paper. Since there is no solid color backing, these stickers make the design more visible. This type of sticker is commonly used to print logos and texts. They are applied on a single color or other transparent surface for better visibility. You can apply them to a range of materials, such as plastic, glass, metal, and even paper.

Commonly Used For

  • Mugs
  • Glass windows
  • Car windows
  • Laptops
  • Accessories cases
Transparent Stickers

Transfer Stickers

The transfer stickers are slightly trickier than most stickers. They come with both back and front protectors. These are made by attaching various types of designs put together. You remove the backing of the sticker on the material and then peel off the surface protector, transferring only the design part to the material.

Transfer stickers can contain a range of designs and pictures or even lettering. They are durable, hard to take off, and also expensive.

Commonly Used For

  • Car windows 
  • Car bumper
  • Walls
  • Glass doors

Sheet Stickers

If you are custom-printing stickers or want to print a bunch of different stickers at once, you can opt for sheet stickers. Here, a number of designs are printed on a single sheet of paper. Then you can cut them out as needed. This type of sticker is more cost-effective and you can print them on any type of sticker paper of your choice.

Commonly Used For

  • Customizing stickers
  • Journaling
  • Scrapbooking
  • Personalizing belongings
  • Labeling 

Roll Stickers

Roll stickers come in rolls and are printed in bulks. You will have to use a special kind of inkjet sticker printer to print this type of sticker. The cardboard spool that has the sticker roll is mounted inside the printer first so that the continuous sheet of sticker gets rolled around it as it gets printed. The cardboard spool should be of the same width as the sticker sheet.

Commonly Used For

  • Labeling
  • Branding
  • Price tag
  • Packaging 
Bumper Stickers

Bumper Stickers

Bumper stickers are quite popular among car owners. Some use it to personalize their vehicle, while others just add funny or humorous remarks to annoy whoever is driving or parking behind them. Other than that, bumper stickers are also a popular and effective means of advertising. They are usually made of high-quality vinyl and can withstand exposure in the long run.

Commonly Used For

  • Personalize vehicle 
  • Marketing
  • To add humor
  • To spread awareness 
  • Advertisement

BOPP Stickers

Need a cheaper clear sticker as an alternative to vinyl stickers? Then I should discuss the BOPP (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene) stickers. They are made with non-toxic material and are slightly less rigid than vinyl. On top of that, these stickers are water and oil-resistant, offer clear visibility, and can be printed in various colors.

Commonly Used For

  • Drink bottles
  • Coffee or tea jars
  • Honey jars
  • Packaging’s
  • Other labeling 
Wall Decals

Wall Decals

Wall decals or wall decor stickers are very popular for decorating around the house. From kids’ bedrooms to the living room, these stickers come in various options that fit one’s choice and requirement. Moreover, they are also used in various offices or commercial places to decorate with logos, quotes, slogans, and more.

Wall decals are made using durable vinyl and have a smooth finish. The cost of such stickers can vary depending on designs and sizes.

Commonly Used For

  • Home Decor
  • Office Decor
  • Motivational quote 
  • Advertisement 
  • Personalizing room or workplace 

Custom Stickers

There are no hard and fast rules or guidebooks for custom stickers. It is the one you make or print to fit your needs. You can use any kind of paper for printing such stickers and the design has no limit. It usually depends on the user what type of stickers they will be.

In many cases, users prefer printing such stickers at home. But there are also online and offline companies that help people print their customized stickers. 

Commonly Used For

  • DIY projects
  • Various crafting
  • Journaling and scrapbooking
  • Creating personal logos or labeling

Paper Stickers Vs Vinyl Stickers

Both paper and vinyl stickers are popular and widely used for making different kinds of stickers and used for many purposes. But if you are to choose one of them, which one should you consider?

Well, paper stickers, as you can tell from the name, are made from regular paper-based material. They are widely used for indoor use and are cost-effective to make. But they are prone to wear and damage.

On the other hand, vinyl stickers are made of plastic material. They are better than paper stickers because these stickers do not get damaged easily, last a long time, and resist water. 

Pros And Cons Of Paper Stickers


  • Affordable option
  • Suitable for printing high-resolution images
  • Very popular
  • Lightweight
  • More accessible
  • Eco -friendly


  • Not suitable for outdoor use
  • Not durable
  • Not resistant to water
  • Can be damaged or wear off easily

Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Stickers


  • Durable material
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoor
  • Smoother texture
  • Offers a vibrant color
  • Does not wear off easily
  • Water and scratch-resistant
  • Can be applied easily


  • Comparatively expensive
  • Does not come off entirely when removed
  • Not suitable for porous surface
  • Not eco-friendly
Paper Stickers

Matte vs. glossy Stickers

When choosing a finish for stickers, two of the most common and popular finishes are matte and glossy. The major difference between these two is the shine. Matte stickers are not shiny but rather smooth and soft. On the other hand, glossy stickers are shinier and reflective under light. Matte stickers are printed using inkjet printers, while glossy ones require a laser printer.

While both forms of finish are popular, due to the shiny and reflective surface of the glossy stickers, it can be hard to read if you are using them as labels. However, these types of stickers stand out more than matte ones as they are more vibrant. As for durability, both of them are highly durable, resist water, and suitable for various uses.

Pros And Cons Of Matte Stickers


  • Reduces glare
  • Easy to read the text on the sticker 
  • Makes details more visible
  • Water-resistant
  • Does not show fingerprints
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use


  • Can appear dull
  • Not very suitable as decorative stickers

Pros And Cons Of Glossy Stickers


  • Shinier look
  • Reflects light and offers a vibrant look
  • More popular and attractive
  • Water-resistant 
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use


  • Makes it hard to read the text
  • Details are not very visible
  • Shows fingerprints and smudges

Popular Uses for Stickers

I have already mentioned where each type of sticker is commonly used. But let’s see some of the popular uses of stickers.

Personal Items

We all carry around various items with us every day or use them. Adding stickers on them makes these items more personal and gives away a sense of peace. That is why many people prefer putting stickers on personal items, such as notebooks, wallets, purses, school bags, car bumpers, lockers, etc.


Some put stickers on stationary to mark their personal items, while others choose to do it to keep them organized. Stickers are commonly put on stationery, such as planners, journals, calendars, postcards, files or folders, letters, etc. 


Even if you do not like applying stickers on furniture, the kids around the house might think otherwise. And then again, even adults often like using stickers on various furniture, such as the dressing table, mirrors, desks, photo frames, mailboxes, etc.

Kitchen Items And Appliances

The kitchen fridge in my house is full of stickers. Is it the same for you? Well, you can certainly add stickers on the fridge, cabinet doors, mixers, etc. Besides, almost all households have kitchen jars labeled with stickers for convenience.


Every day we use many electronic items. Most of them are very personal to all of us. Such items include mobiles, laptops, or cases of them, guitars, pianos, etc.

Travel Gears

No matter where you go, using stickers on your traveling gear helps you identify them more easily. That is why many travelers choose to put stickers on their luggage, travel mugs, camera cases, or backpacks.

Sporting Items

Want to keep your sporting items apart from everyone else? Well, stickers are a great way to personalize them. You can add stickers on various sporting items, such as bicycles, skateboards, surfing boards, water bottles, etc.

Home/Office Decor

Who knew stickers could be a part of decoration around the home and office? As I have discussed already, wall stickers are now a popular way to decorate the walls around the house. Many offices also decorate the wall using wall decals that contain their company logo or various slogans. 

BOPP Stickers

Stickers in Marketing and Branding

What makes stickers more popular these days is their versatility. Along with personal uses, stickers are a great way to promote brands or businesses. Want to know more about stickers’ role in branding and what makes them suitable for marketing? Here are more!

A More Diverse Method

Using stickers is one of the diverse methods when it comes to marketing and branding. You can promote small businesses to large companies using this method. Besides, as long as you use a more diverse set of designs and make them eye-catching, your sticker marketing is bound to stand out.

Cost-Effective Campaign

Marketing and branding aren’t cheap, especially if you want to make it broader and reach more people. You usually need to print a banner, hang posters, use billboards, or other commonly used methods for that. However, using stickers to do that can be less expensive. They are less expensive to print and you can put them on various items that are more accessible to users.

More Exposure

While the online or internet marketing strategy has been getting more and more popular, stickers are still one of the best ways to put your brand out there. With everyone going for the same type of business promotion method, using the right type of stickers can help you stand out. Thus, it offers more exposure. 

Offers More Information

If you are promoting a product or a brand, you can add information regarding it to the stickers. If it is a product to use, the sticker can contain How-To information and benefits of the product. This helps the users get in-depth knowledge about the product. However, make sure to use a sticker material that will offer more text visibility.

Long-Term Promotion

A good-quality sticker can last a lifetime. You will often find stickers on something that you have bought decades ago. It is an effective way to hold users’ attention without doing much. So, as I said before, it is a low-cost way to do marketing and branding for a long time.

Sticker Art and Culture

Stickers have always been popular. But with time, their meaning and purpose have changed and turned into a form of art. Like graffiti, stickers are used to promote various things, including political agendas, social issues, and more. 

Sticker Bombers And Culture Confrontation

The first sticker art in the USA is André the Giant. It was created by Shepard Fairey in 1989 and is one of the most recognized sticker art. Then there was I Sauri in 1993 in Europe, which is known as the first non-American sticker art.

Over time, many graffiti artists began using stickers for art projects. These stickers are drawn by hand and then printed as stickers. These arts can be seen in many public places.

Stickers In Music Culture

The history of stickers goes way back to music. Artists and music companies have always been using stickers to promote songs and albums. And if you are into music, you might be familiar with various band stickers or stickers that come with a particular theme.

Streetwear Sticker Arts

The art and culture of stickers is related to graffiti and it also brought a change in streetwear art. Companies now promote their brands using stickers on various streetwear items, like surfboards, skateboards, bicycles, small billboards, etc.

Designing and Personalizing Stickers

If you want to design and personalize stickers, there are many options for that. Here are some ideas for you.

Using Your Skill

I have seen that most DIY enthusiasts have design skills to make their projects easier. So if you are one of those people, why not design your own stickers? Designing your own stickers helps you get something unique and that makes the stickers more suitable for personalizing them.

Using Sticker-Making Software Or Apps

If you are not into designing stickers or don’t have the time or energy, don’t worry. There are plenty of free and paid sticker-designing apps and software out there. These apps and software let you design stickers from ready templates sorted by categories. They make designing stickers easy and quick.

Using Professional Service

Nowadays, you will find many online and offline graphic design service companies. These companies will help you print personalized stickers using your own preferred design. They will charge you based on the complexity of the design, the material you choose, and the sticker amount.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is vinyl paper the same as sticker paper?

Vinyl papers are polymer-based or plastic-based while sticker papers are made of paper-based materials. Paper stickers are less durable than vinyl paper and are not waterproof.

Are vinyl stickers the best?

Vinyl stickers are more expensive than regular paper stickers. However, if you are looking for something that’s easy to use, more durable, water-resistant, and will last longer, vinyl stickers are clearly the best.

What are the disadvantages of vinyl stickers?

Vinyl stickers are not easy to remove. Even if you remove the top clear part, some of it will still stick to the material. Removing the sticker or its remaining residue can be very tricky and often impossible. On top of that, they contain plastic, which pollutes the environment.

What makes vinyl stickers different?

That depends on what other type of stickers you compare it with. For example, if you compare it with paper stickers, vinyl stickers stand out in every possible aspect. They are more popular and long-lasting and can withstand exposure.

What paper is best for stickers?

The type of paper you use for stickers depends mostly on your purpose and requirements. Nevertheless, you can use vinyl, which is a very popular paper material for making stickers. You can choose among matte, glossy, or semi-glossy paper to achieve various results.

Are paper stickers waterproof?

Unfortunately, no. Paper stickers are made from paper and they cannot withstand water. In fact, even if they somehow get slightly wet, the design or print will get smudged or bleed.

Are vinyl stickers waterproof?

Most vinyl stickers are water-resistant but not all of them are waterproof. However, the coating they contain prevents them from getting smudged when they come in contact with water.


There are endless ways to use stickers. But you should always know which way is more appropriate for your purpose. That’s why learning about various types of stickers comes in handy.

Also, make sure to experiment using different sticker papers and printing methods to find which one stands out more. That’s the most effective way to promote brands and businesses.

Leave a Reply