What is a Decal?
Decals are many things, but what they are not is a sticker! It can sometimes be confusing to differentiate between a vinyl sticker and a vinyl decal, but there are some specific aspects in the production of decals that make decals stand out.
A decal is a type of custom designed decorative sticker. Decals show off a logo, text, graphic, or lettering design, and they do stick to a surface like any adhesive sticker. But, a decal is printed in only one solid colour and has very little ability to show detail, unlike a vinyl sticker.
A decal must be transferred from its special masking paper onto a smooth surface. So, you might say, a decal is more of a sticker transfer. Usually, decals are applied to surfaces like, car windows or doors, shop windows, walls, metal, porcelain or glass.
Decals are made of premium vinyl, which is ready for either indoor or outdoor use and they are durable and long-lasting, just like any vinyl sticker. However, unlike vinyl stickers, which are printed onto a roll of vinyl, the printing process for a decal is more time consuming and rather comprehensive.
How is a Decal made?
Firstly, the decal’s design must not be too complex or detailed. This is because the shape and outline of the decal is physically cut by a vinyl cutter or plotter. The blades are not made for precision but rather cutting and slicing measured, solid lines.
The decal will be printed onto a vinyl sheet where the cutter blades will cut to the depth of the design only. Incredibly, the cutter only slices through the vinyl material and not the backing paper it’s stuck to.
The vinyl under goes the weeding process once it has been cut. The weeding process is time consuming, because it literally weeds out any excess vinyl filling the empty spaces. This includes the insides of letters like, o, e, a, b, p, and the inside areas of the design that were meant to be clear space.
After the weeding process, the decal must be taped with application tape. The taping machine will literally roll a layer of tape onto the decal. This step is essential because it is the application tape that is used to apply the decal to the surface.
What is a Decal used for?
As you can see, the process of printing a decal is more involved than printing a vinyl sticker.
Yet, decals are just as visually pleasing. In fact, decals often provide a simple, bold, strong, statement. And, this is particularly good when advertising your business, or when you need to communicate a lot with very little.
Decals take the ‘less is more’ approach. They stand out and will make any car door, window, business window or wall work, even on the weekend!
There you have it – some valuable information about decals. For more information, contact us at Boing Boing Stickers. We provide 24/7 online chat support and are here to answer all of your sticker, label and decal queries.