Sticker lamination refers to a clear film overlay that is “laminated” over the top of your printed stickers. Lamination is laid on top of your sticker sheets after they are printed and before they are die cut.
Benefits of adding lamination to your stickers:
- Provides a protective barrier against scratching and abrasion
- Protects against chemicals
- Extends UV life of the ink
- Adds a great level of gloss
- Increases the rigidity of the sticker
For a promotional sticker, a clear 1-mil polyester lamination is most common. Polyester Mylar is known for it’s strength, stability, transparency, and it’s gas and aroma barrier properties. It adds a gloss coat and makes the sticker more rigid.
When to laminate your stickers?
Lamination is especially important for decals that are applied to cars, bikes, surf boards, skateboards and any stickers that will endure long term outdoor exposure or extended wear n’ tear. Lamination is designed for stickers that need maximum protection and for those customers looking for the highest quality sticker.
Team stickers for surfers, skateboarders, and snow boarders need to withstand scratching and abrasion from the elements, so they are usually laminated. Lamination is popular in the automotive and outdoor markets where stickers need to stand up against some serious abuse.
Promotional or giveaway stickers at events or as a gift with purchase don’t require lamination, but many customers choose to laminate their give away stickers anyways. Why?? Because adding lamination to a sticker gives the sticker more rigidity and gloss, and gives the sticker more value.
Many customers just like the way they look versus a non-laminated sticker. Some think that a laminated sticker looks better, beefier, and adds value to the sticker due to this appearance. Still others prefer all their stickers without lamination. The decision whether to add lamination comes down to what the sticker will be used for and what the final application will be.
Adding lamination to a sticker is an additional charge because more material and an additional step is added to the production process. The added cost of lamination is about 20%-40% depending on the size and quantity of the sticker being printed.
Polyester vs. Vinyl
There are different lamination options for different applications and uses. For example polyester lamination doesn’t work well on compound curves like motorcycle helmets because the polyester lamination is rigid and wants to lay flat. Meaning the sticker won’t lay flat around the curve of the helmet. For compound curves we use a specific clear vinyl lamination that is more malleable and conforms better to compound curves than it’s polyester counterpart.
There are many different types of lamination for OEM decals, floor decals, window decals, thermal die cut decals, and more.
Lamination can come in different thicknesses depending on it’s application or intended use —from 1-mil up to 15-mil, but 1-mil lamination is used most often.
Gloss vs. Matte
Polyester lamination also comes in a matte finish. The matte lamination provides the same level of protection to it’s glossy counterpart, but offers a matte finish instead of a glossy finish.
If you have any questions or would like to receive a sample pack of laminated and non-laminated stickers to compare, please contact me here.