Stickers vs. Labels – What is the Difference?

Stickers and labels - what is the difference?

Labels and stickers are not the same

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Most people think labels and stickers are the same and use these words interchangeably like comparing a movie to a film or a car to an automobile. Well surprise, surprise. There are two meaningful differences when it comes to stickers vs. labels. How they are made and how they are used in real-life applications. As a leading producer of both self-adhesive labels and stickers, we want to provide a clear breakdown of the differences and when you should use each.

How they’re the same

  • Labels and stickers are both sticky
  • Both are often made of durable film or vinyl material and come on a paper backing to protect the “sticky” adhesive
  • They’re available with permanent or removable adhesive
  • Both are often printed using similar pieces of equipment

What is a label?

Labels are used to identify products and objects
Use labels to identify products and objects.

A label’s main purpose is to identify a product or an object. They provide information on items such as product packaging, shipping boxes and envelopes, warehouse shelves, and more.

Labels are generally available in paper or film materials. The materials are often thinner and are quick and easy to peel from the backing.

They come in primarily two formats: sheets and rolls. Sheet labels are perfect for smaller projects and hand applications. Roll labels are great for higher volume jobs and work for both hand and machine applications.

What is a sticker?

Stickers are the “hero” on their own. They’re ideal for promoting a brand or a cause, representing a team or club, or for self-expression. Typically, professionally printed and individually cut, they usually come in a stack instead of on a sheet or roll.

Stickers are great as handouts for logo stickers and more
Use stickers for selling, handing out as promotions or for planners.

Custom stickers are ideal for passing out or selling without knowing their final destination. The end-users will decide what to do with the stickers. They might put them on their laptop, thermal water bottles, skateboard helmet, or car window or just keep them as “swag” stickers.

Since you don’t know where it will end up, you should order stickers with extra durability as they are often exposed to tough environments. Most stickers are made of either extra durable film or vinyl. For quality labels, look for a UV laminate or varnish that protects against things such as water, sunlight, and incidental scratches and scuffing.

Die-cut vs. kiss-cut stickers

If you’ve heard the terms die-cut stickers and kiss-cut stickers but don’t know the difference, we’re here to help.

Infographic showing difference between a die cut sticker and kiss cut sticker.

Die-cut stickers are cut to size without any extra backing or liner around the sticker. These are perfect if you want a custom shape like a palm tree or a banana.

Kiss-cut stickers are cut through the top vinyl layer only with the paper backing intact. With this option, some printers will allow you to add things like your company’s contact information or website around the outer edge. Currently, printing on the outer paper is not possible with Avery.

So, as you can see there really is a difference between a label and a sticker. Both are awesome and both have their unique place in the world. We hope this provides you with some valuable knowledge to drop at your next cocktail party or when you actually need to decide which product is perfect for you.

Avery sells both blank and custom labels and stickers. If you have a question or need some help, let us know in the comments below, or our expert customer service team is always here for you. They will answer any label or sticker questions and ensure you get the perfect solution for your next project. Call them at (800) 942-8379 or use the chat feature on

6 thoughts on “Stickers vs. Labels – What is the Difference?”

  1. Great post, Jeff! Both the sticker and the label are essentially the same. The fundamental distinction, however, is in its creation. Stickers are often composed of high-quality, thick vinyl and distributed individually or as part of a package. On the other hand, Labels are created using a thinner BOPP film. It is used in packing, bottles, etc., and is easier to peel.

  2. Thank you for all your help. Your service was excellent and very FAST. Many thanks for you kind and efficient service. I have already and will definitely continue to recommend your services to others in the future.

  3. Print Stickers for labeling serves the identity and promotion of your organization. But finding an attractively designed sticker according to your needs is challenging.

    The efforts you have put in to create the posts are quite interesting. It will surely help beginners update their knowledge. Seeing you soon in a new helpful post.

    1. Thank you so much for reading. That is my goal with the blog is to help consumers find useful information about labels and stickers, and how to use them best for their small business. Avery offers consumers so many options, whether you have us professionally print the labels for you with Avery WePrint, or you buy our blank labels online by the sheet.

  4. I am only an elderly person and have been using over many years your labels to address mail and address labels and well the old RD30 and used the LPP7 label printing programme witch worked pretty well.
    But after many years and now in a Nursing home and my hand writing getting worse I would like the 500 odd labels I still posses to use. Has Avery an application I would e able to use to ease that job for me ?
    It would be very much appreciated.
    Georg Wissenburg

    1. Hi Georg,
      You can use our free software Avery Design & Print to help print your labels. You can input individual addresses or upload a spreadsheet and merge it onto labels and then print using a standard laser or inkjet printer. Here are a few articles and videos to help guide you. How to import data from a spreadsheet. Watch this video on How to import data or mail merge. Please call our helpful Customer Care team at (800) 942-8379, if you need anymore help. They’ll be happy to walk you through it.

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