Printing stickers can be a great way to promote your business or event. The purpose you wish to use stickers for will help determine the exact printing method you will want to utilize. There are many options, including inkjet and laser printers and special paper types and transfer methods.
The best thing to do when deciding on a sticker is to figure out precisely what type of sticker it will be. Screen printing might be an option if it is going onto an existing surface, such as a window. Screen printing requires screens made from mesh, which can be applied with special inks directly onto the object’s surface. These screens must only touch the surface at specific areas where you like ink printed; presses use needles to puncture these areas of the screen, allowing them to contact the object. This method is often used for products that feature curved surfaces where you cannot use lithography.
Common types of sticker printing
The most common type of sticker printing involves using machines that require specially made papers. These papers are coated in layers of glue and must be rolled through a machine several times before they end up as a finished product. The first step is taking the paper itself and coating it with a layer of glue, which will then be dried via heat, ensuring that it won’t smudge or smear. Then the paper needs to be fed into a machine that prints images onto this surface via an inkjet press, laser printer, or even a stamp pad.
The final product is a sticker that can be peeled away from its backing. If using screen printing or lithography, then the glue layer must also be applied to the paper’s surface and the desired image it should feature upon completion. Once this flat sheet of paper is printed, cut it into smaller pieces and allow them to dry again before sending them off to a particular machine called a laminator, which will essentially bond two sheets together via heat and pressure. This creates one finished product that holds up better during transportation and distribution than other stickers due to its unified nature.
The process of transferring designs can also be done at home with an inkjet printer for those who want to print stickers on demand rather than in bulk. In this case, special transfer paper can be purchased from a stationary store, with a white backing and a thin layer of glue on top of the desired image. This is applied to the sticker itself via a press or light rubbing with a credit card or other flat object. The final product is an image that looks as if it had been screen printed onto the provided surface, although it may not hold up as well during transportation. For this reason, most artists use inkjet transfers only for promotional purposes, such as giving them away for free at events or local fairs where people can pull their stickers off of an available roll upon request.
In general, laser printers are easier to handle than inkjet printers and require less care in processing. Therefore, they are cheaper to maintain and own. However, inkjets produce much better-looking transfers; laser transfers often look faded and washed out when compared to their screen-printed counterparts. If you can afford it, using an inkjet would be the best method for choosing a transfer printer.
The paper will run through an inkjet much faster than it would with a stencil machine such as a laser printer; this is because there’s no need to cut each sheet apart after printing until it reaches the laminator part of the process, which means that manufacturers can save time and money in production by not having to do so before sending these sheets off.