By Renu Sharma

Are you struggling to create the same high-quality promotional stickers as your competitors? Promotional stickers can say a lot about your brand, so you’ll want to create something that stands out and impresses people right away. While this may seem challenging to you, the key to printing professional-quality stickers is to understand the crucial elements involved in the design and printing process. Wondering what that’s all about? Read on to get a better understanding of the most important elements that you’ll need to consider.

Step 1: Start with the Design

The first step is also the hardest. This is where you start designing the sticker, which can be tricky. Consider what you need from the design – do you want something that stands out and expresses some brand messaging or are you looking for a more functional design that includes QR codes or serial number tags? You’ll need to put all these into consideration before you begin creating the design. After this, you can use the following tips to help you through the design process:

  • Keep it simple but unique – Including too many elements in the design is always a bad thing. It doesn’t just apply to websites and display signs but also stickers. You’ll need to remind yourself that the sticker is going to be small. So you shouldn’t try to fit in too much info into the tiny space. The goal should be to make it stand out without looking too messy, so your choice of font would have a huge impact on the end results.
  • Choose the right size – You’ll also need to consider what size you want the sticker to be. This will depend on the purpose of the sticker and what type of sticker it’s going to be. Make sure you choose carefully, as the size will also determine some other design elements.
  • Select a shape that works for you – Stickers come in various shapes including basic geometric shapes like rectangles, triangles, circles, and squares to die-cuts and cut-outs. Again this will largely depend on what you plan to achieve using the sticker and what type of sticker it will be.
  • Combine colors that stand out – This is another tricky part because you have so many color options, you might not know which one to choose. You’ll want something that pops yet isn’t too overpowering. If you’re creating a branded sticker, you might want to stick to your brand’s signature colors. And the basic rule of thumb is to avoid using more than 3-4 colors as this can mess up the design.

Step 2: Pick the Right Material

When printing a sticker, you’re going to have a wide variety of materials to choose from. This can be again confusing, but you can easily come to a conclusion based on the type of sticker you’re printing. Here are some of the common options to consider when choosing your material:

  • Choice of adhesive – If you’re designing a label or sticker that should stay on for the product’s lifetime, you’ll need aggressive adhesive, which are known for their durability. However, this isn’t usually the best choice for some businesses as there is no removing the label once it’s on. You can’t reposition it even if it’s crooked. You can also get temporary adhesive, which are much easier to remove.
  • Waterproofing – For products that might be exposed to water, you’re going to need waterproof and weatherproof materials. These are often resistant to chemicals and extreme wear and tear, meaning they’re going to remain readable for a long time. Plastic (polyester) labels are usually a good choice for this.
  • Easy removal – In case you’re creating stickers that are meant to be there only temporarily, you can also go for laminated paper. These are usually less hectic to remove, so your customers won’t have a tough time trying to get rid of the excess residue left by the adhesive.
  • Choice of finishing – In addition to the material, you’ll need to consider what kind of finishing you want. This is crucial as it can determine the overall quality of the sticker, meaning your choice of finishing may or may not result in a professional quality. You’ll have the option to get glossy and matte finishing as well as metallic and even velvet.

Step 3: Work with the Right Printer

Another crucial element in your sticker creation process is the choice of printer. Regardless of how stunning the design is, the quality of your finished product ultimately rests on your printer capability. First of all, it should be able to print all types of images and colors as well as material and adhesives. And it should be able to deliver at least 300dpi (dots per inch) to produce crisp and high-quality images.

There are different types of printers available, so you might want to check out the capability of each type before you get started with your printing. Take a look below at some details of different printers:

  • Label printers – Since label printers are designed to print labels, they’re usually the best choice for printing your custom stickers. They use permanent inks to deliver the highest quality of printed labels. But there might be some limitations in terms of size because they print on label stock.
  • Wax printers – Wax printers aren’t too commonly found and are generally more expensive than other types of printers. The print is waterproof since they print with wax, so they produce high-quality stickers. But the main setback with these printers is that the colors can fade if the sticker is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time. Additionally, they’re not ideal for printing on a glossy surface.
  • Laser printers – If you’re using high-quality laser printers, you will end up with professional-quality stickers. However, these printers use heat in the printing process. So they might not be the ideal choice for printing sticky labels because the heat can damage the adhesive.
  • Inkjet printers – There are two ink options in inkjet printers – pigment-based and dye-based. Among these, pigment-based inks last longer and are usually waterproof. The main problem with inkjet printing for stickers is that they’re a bit challenging for printing on a glossy surface because the ink can easily smudge.

So you get the gist of producing professional-quality stickers and what elements are involved. Make sure you choose the right software as well, as the quality can be affected by the quality of software you use. Got any questions or doubts about creating professional-quality stickers? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.