Stickers and Labels: What’s the Difference?

Stickers and Labels – Commonalities and Differences

Circle-Orange-Stickers-1 Stickers and Labels: What's the Difference?

You might think that stickers and labels are the same. Think again.


Stickers and labels – think they’re the same thing? Not quite. Although similar concepts, stickers, and labels are very different. From production to end use, stickers and labels work differently.

All stickers can be considered a type of label, but not all labels are stickers. While stickers and labels have different purposes there are many similarities. Stickers have an adhesive backing made to adhere to a surface. On the other hand, labels may or may not have a sticky back. Stickers can come in many different materials including vinyl which is waterproof and durable.

Additionally, both stickers and labels are similar in their manufacturing. For instance, producing both on paper.  Stickers will have an additional layer on the back called a liner that allows customers to peel away when ready to use. The adhesive can be permanent or removable. They both may have a matte or glossy finish. It depends on your preference.

Lastly, stickers and labels can vary in size and be cut to any custom shape. Also, stickers and labels can be produced on a large or small scale according to any company’s needs.

Despite the commonalities between stickers and labels at a glance, there are some differences that separate the two.

Kwality-Labels-Inc-Cut-Stack-Cheese-Labels Stickers and Labels: What's the Difference?


Their purpose is often different than labels. Stickers are often used for promotional materials or individual distribution. Then, stickers may be commonly placed on car bumpers and laptop covers. This gets a company’s brand out to potential customers.

Stickers are often decorative or design-focused while labels are more information based.


The materials that stickers and labels are printed on can be different.

A label can be used to wrap around a juice or water bottle with a small adhesive overlap to hold it in position.

Also, many products have an adhesive label that describes its contents – consider a label on a cheese package that has information such as UPC, Nutritional panel, ingredients, etc versus another product that may be produced with the same material but because of its promotional or decorative use is deemed to be a sticker – for example, a new and improved flavor starburst on a chip package.

Labels adhere to cardboard, plastic, glass, and many other surfaces while stickers are used on smooth surfaces.

The Complexity of Custom Label Printing

There’s no one size fits all label. Each label caters to different consumers. From double-sided to shrink-sleeve labels each fits different products. In the end, custom product label printing involves specific adhesive and material choices.


Before committing to a label printing design you have to choose an adhesive. Do you want a permanent or temporary adhesive type? It is important to consider the texture and material of the application surface. Additionally, do you intend to reuse your product or reposition it? Then the temporary adhesive is the way to go.

Adhesive will be affected by how the product is stored – for example, in a freezer.


Furthermore, label materials will make or break the final product. Beyond appearance, it’s important to consider functionality. Certain materials with different adhesive types act differently. If you choose a material that doesn’t stick, you’ll end up wasting time and money. Some materials also display colors differently. Working with an experienced custom label printer helps reduce uncertainty in these decisions.

Label and Sticker Printing with Kwality Labels

In need of custom label printing Toronto? Our team of professionals at Kwality Labels is here to serve your printing needs. First impressions are everything when it comes to custom label printing. This is why we strive to provide the highest quality label products.

Our sustainable production processes always keep in mind the most eco-conscious methods. We strive to protect our planet. Consider Kwality Labels your intersection of excellence and green efficiency.

To learn more about what we do and how we can serve your product printing needs, check out our work or contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to working with you.