Printed Labels vs Stickers: Understanding the Differences

Printed Labels vs Stickers: Understanding the Differences

While printed labels and stickers might seem similar at first glance, they have distinct differences in terms of materials, uses, and design. Let’s explore these differences in detail.

What is a Label?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a label is defined as “a small piece of paper, plastic, or similar material attached to an object and giving information about it.” Labels are primarily functional, providing essential information about the product or object they are attached to. They can be found on packaging, such as bottles, cans, and boxes, and often include details like product ingredients, usage instructions, safety warnings, and expiration dates.

What is a Sticker?

The Cambridge Dictionary describes a sticker as “a piece of paper or plastic with a picture or writing on one side and glue or another similar substance on the other side.” Stickers are more versatile and can be used for both decorative and promotional purposes. They are often used to display logos, images, slogans, or other designs and can be attached to various surfaces, including notebooks, vehicles, promotional materials, and personal items.

Stickers vs Labels: Similarities

Both stickers and labels share some common features:

  1. Adhesive Backing: Both have an adhesive backing, making them easy to attach to surfaces.
  2. Customisable: Both can be made in various shapes, sizes, and designs to suit specific needs.
  3. Flexible Quantities: You can order stickers and labels in any quantity, whether in bulk or small amounts.

Stickers vs Labels: Differences

Despite their similarities, stickers and labels have several key differences:

1. Materials:

  • Labels: Typically made from polypropylene, a synthetic resin known for its durability. Polypropylene labels are waterproof and resistant to tearing, making them ideal for products that require longevity and resistance to environmental factors.
  • Stickers: Often made from thick vinyl, which is durable and easy to remove. Vinyl stickers are more suited for outdoor use and can withstand exposure to weather conditions. Stickers can also be made from paper, though this is less common for long-term applications.

2. Thickness:

  • Labels: Generally thinner, around 3 to 4 millimetres. This makes them less obtrusive and more suitable for packaging where the label should not stand out too much.
  • Stickers: Usually thicker, with adhesive backing reaching up to fifteen millimetres. The added thickness can provide a more pronounced presence on the surface they are attached to, making them ideal for promotional and decorative purposes.

3. Usage:

  • Labels: Primarily functional, used on packaging to convey important information. Labels are essential for compliance with regulatory standards, providing consumers with necessary product details, safety instructions, and expiration dates.
  • Stickers: Often used for promotional and decorative purposes. Stickers can be printed with company logos, images, slogans, or a combination of these elements, making them a fun and engaging way to promote a brand or message.


When deciding between stickers and labels, consider their primary function and the environment in which they will be used. Labels are ideal for providing essential information on product packaging, ensuring durability and compliance with standards. Stickers, on the other hand, are excellent for promotional activities, adding a fun and engaging element to various surfaces.

If you need help determining whether to use stickers or labels for your project, contact us using our online enquiry form. Leave a contact number and a short description of your requirements, and a member of our team will call you back to discuss how Hague can create printed labels tailored to your business needs.

Last Updated: 6th June 2024, 13:15