Stickers that stick or fail
What do we want? Stickers! Where do we want them? ...actually, that is a great question. At Sticker Genius, we are in the business of helping you make your message stick in many different ways, but just how do you choose which sticker is the best fit for you and your project? We offer many different varieties of stickers on our website, which can be used for multiple different uses and applications. That being the case, Sticker Genius has created a quick rundown of a few quick tips to help make selecting the right sticker type as fast and easy as possible.

Surface

Determining Surface Type

Understanding Surface Energy Is Important!
The first thing you will need to decide when creating your stickers is what you will be applying them to. This is important because when considering adhesives, the bonding surface is a critical factor. Unlike processes that alter and join two surfaces together, bonding with adhesive means you need to attach two surfaces without changing their individual characteristics. That being the case, the adhesive selected must be appropriate for the surfaces involved in the application.

Surface Energy Meter For Sticker Adhesion

Surface energy is a term used to describe the attraction of a given surface.  A high surface energy would mean a strong adhesive attraction. Surfaces such as glass, stainless steel, painted aluminum vehicle bodies, or smooth linoleum tile, are a few examples of extremely high surface energy surfaces. While surfaces such as textured flooring, cardboard, or painted drywall would be low energy and would need a more aggressive adhesive to remain adhered to the wall. 

Low Energy Surface Types
Other low surface energy types

Low Surface Energy

This surface type is a porous surface that has minimal contact with adhesive side. Making it harder for the adhesive side to make contact with all points of the surface. Higher more permanent adhesive may be needed for these surface types.

Common low surface energy examples:

  • Canvas
  • Clothing
  • Cardboard
  • High Pile Carpet
  • Wood (untreated)
  • Concrete (untreated)
  • Cinderblock (untreated)
Medium Energy Surface Types

Medium Surface Energy

Typically this could be a high surface energy surface, but due to it having a special finish such as subtle texture in the coating or paint it can make the surface a hard to determine the correct adhesive for longevity and removal.

Common medium surface energy examples:

  • Paper
  • Textured Lightweight Plastic
  • Textured Formica
  • Low Pile Carpet
  • Leather
  • Slightly Textured Drywall
  • Foam Board
  • Smooth Untreated Wood
High Energy Surface Types

High Surface Energy

This is typically a very smooth non-porous surface. Allowing all points of the adhesive to make full contact with the surface. This also makes it a little trickier to install as if you are not applying in even strokes with applicator you may experience bubbles that will need to be popped out or even wrinkles.

With high surface energies even a low tack removable vinyl could sometimes seem to be more permanent. Especially if installed for longer than 6 months in high temperatures.

High energy surfaces are very smooth. So with that in mind see below for common high energy surfaces.

  • Glass Windows
  • Mirrors
  • Metal
  • Acrylic / Plexiglass
  • Plastic
  • Formica
  • Coroplast
  • Tile
  • Wood (with clear coat)
  • Concrete (with smooth epoxy)
  • Painted Cinderblock

Other Contributing Factors

Other things to think about other than just the energy of the surface, but whether or not it is a rigid hard surface or more lightweight/flexible. The flexibility or curvature of certain surfaces may open up areas of the vinyl that overtime will collect dust or moisture and cause the print to fail.

Purpose

Determining Sticker Product Type

Now that you have determined the type of surface you will be applying the sticker to, the next question you will want to ask yourself is what type of sticker you are in need of. Our products come in many different varieties, so determining which will work best for you is going to be the next most valuable step. Custom shape or transfer stickers are the most popular types for creating wall, window, or vehicle graphics. Whereas promotional or packaging stickers are most commonly ordered as labels or sheets. Whether you’re looking for them to be printed on a roll or a sheet would also be a secondary question to ask. Label Rolls are ideal for product labels and packaging because they are cost-effective and can be produced quickly in mass quantities. Although, if you’re looking for lesser quantities sticker sheets can also be great and functional for any occasion such as business promotions and inner office organization.

Genius Product Types

Custom Shape

High quality individually die-cut or custom repositionable stickers can be easily made in any size, shape, and material you’re looking for at the quantity you need. Our website technology enables endless customization options and your precise sticker custom shape or die-cut will match any logo design!

Transfer Decals

Exact Cut Vinyl Decals can really help your designs stand out. They are perfect for walls, windows, and vehicles. The precision-cut provides a type of elegance to any area they are applied to and give the illusion of a painted on design. Although popular in large format designs, we also see them on phone cases, label jars, and car windows quite frequently.

Label Rolls

Labels are easy to dispense and are also our most reasonably priced option. Our Custom Printed Roll Labels are extremely versatile and they can be perfect whether your business is just starting out, or you’re looking to order labels in mass quantities. No matter what your business does we will have a label that will fit your needs. Roll labels and stickers can be used as business stickers and provide a quick and effortless way to label your products or brand your promotional material.

Sticker Sheets

The options for our custom removable kiss-cut sticker sheets are popular for smaller quantity orders or giveaways. They are also widely used for retail products, trade-show promotions, children’s designs, and within schools and offices.

Determining Sticker Adhesive Type

Now that you know where and what your stickers will be used for, it’s time to decide how long you want them to last. There are a few important questions you will want to ask yourself with it comes to this, and it is imperative to understand the differences of not only what we offer, but also what you are looking for out of your stickers. Our adhesive strengths are broken up into three main category types: Reusable, Removable, and Permanent stickers.

Reusable (left), Removable (middle), Permanent (right).

Reusable

Our reusable decals are offered in two different popular product types. The first is what we call Restickable StickleMe, which is a durable, adhesive based material type that can be stuck and restuck 100+ times without damaging the sticker or the surface it is being applied to. Restickable StickleMe will not leave sticky residue behind or pull paint. It can be used as an indoor/outdoor option and is popular for most surface applications other than flooring.

The other option for reusable decals are non-adhesive clings such as Micro-Suction Window Genius. This non-adhesive cling work best when applied to windows, glass, and mirrors. On flat not curved surfaces. They are an excellent option for temporary signage and can be easily removed and reapplied in seconds.

**Reusable options are not available for Floor Decals or Label Roll products.

Removable

Adhesives that offer the option of removable and repositionable adhesives are the most popular and cost-effective options on our website. Removable adhesives such as Removable Genius Vinyl and Removable Genius Vinyl Premium (available as material option on link above) can adhere to most surfaces for medium-term application. In most cases, this material type can be repositioned a few times and safely removed when you’re ready without causing damage to the surface application site. Removable materials work perfectly on many different surfaces such as metal, glass, painted drywall, and other non-porous surfaces.

Permanent

Adhesives that offer permanent adhesive strengths are going to be used when the customer is looking for long-term decals or when the surface in question is a lower energy surface. Material types such as Permanent Vinyl Decals and Xtra Strength Permanent Vinyl (available as material option on link above) will need to be used for long-term applications, hard to stick surfaces, and in most permanent outdoor applications. Permanent adhesives can also be combined with our durable laminates to offer the most long-term application options available.

We hope our Sticker Genius surface and purpose guide will help you to decide which material and adhesive best for your needs. Regardless of which product type you choose, our team will always be available to help make your message stick.

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