Decal or Sticker? Sticker or Cling?

Decal or Sticker? Sticker or Cling?

Posted by Karen Gendron on 26th Sep 2019

What’s the difference between a decal and a sticker? It all depends on preferred terminology, and we use the term interchangeably. 

What’s the difference between a sticker and cling?

Stickers are permanent, depending on the type of adhesive that is used. Low tack adhesive is easier to peel off without leaving residue. Permanent adhesive will leave a residue, and usually takes an alcohol base remover to aid in removal. It can also tear and damage soft materials such as drywall when removed.

Cling has no adhesive. They attach through the static charge of the window and cling material, making them easy to remove, and easily movable. They are not considered permanent as the static charge decreases over time as well as depending on how many times they are removed and reapplied.


Stickers or Cling? What do I choose?

Stickers are stronger, but much less forgiving when it comes to placement. You only get one shot to do it right (low tack is an exception as it does remove and reapply, depending on the medium). However, cling should not be removed repeatedly at the risk of losing the static charge and not sticking anymore.

If you are looking for something to last longer than 3 months, choose a sticker or decal. If the placement of the sign is to be on the exterior of the window, choose the sticker or decal. Clings can be used outside, but we live in Canada, and it’s really not the place for a skinny little cling to be hanging outside in the middle of winter!

Whether you choose a sticker (decal) or cling, they should all be applied at room temperature (between 15 and 30 Celsius). This applies to the ambient temperature as well as the substrate temperature.

In addition, the surface should be clean and dry. If you need a little time to help with positioning during decal application, a drop of dish soap in water will assist as it prevents the adhesive from immediately sticking. For cling, a bit of glass cleaner will assist in positioning. The liquid is then squeegeed out.