Static Clings and Low-Tack Vinyl Decals
Printed Static Cling Decals and Low-Tack Vinyl Stickers
STATIC CLING vs. LOW-TACK VINYL : WHICH IS BEST?
Should you use static cling vinyl or low-tack adhesive for your decals? We'll go through the pros and cons of each and what they're most suited for. We'll also tell you when they should be printed face-up and when printing face-down, or mirrored, is a better option. The length of your promotion, the surface your decal will be stuck to and whether it will be indoors or out can also help us choose which one will work best for your application. Both static clings and low-tack vinyl decals can be square cut or custom die cut to any shape you need. We're experts on both. We should be, we've been printing them since 1974!
At one part sticker + one part magic, static cling decals have been the mainstay of short-term applications for years. Made from a highly plasticized white or clear 8 mil vinyl, they cling securely without adhesives and are a piece of cake to reposition. Contrary to common belief, it's not actually static electricity that makes static clings, well, cling. Think of it more like a giant suction. With both the decal and its surface smooth, they are attracted to each other. Because this adhesion isn't from glues, they are easy to install and can be moved and even reused. They offer a glossy finish and rich colors. They are designed primarily for indoor use on glass or windows, but they work equally well on smooth metal surfaces.
They can also be printed with the cling on either the front or back of the decal. The process of printing is the same, however the direction of the printing is reversed. Below is a detailed illustration of the layers of printing and substrate Dilco uses for both face-down (mirrored) and face-up printing on static cling decals.
STATIC CLING WITH MIRRORED PRINTING
A decal with the cling on the front (printed side) would work well in a store window, for example. With the cling film on the front the printing is mirrored, meaning that it is backwards or reversed. That is so that the decal can be placed on the inside of the window but viewed by shoppers outside of the store. Yellow Box Shoes® is an example of mirrored printing with the cling on the front for use in their store windows. This protects the printing from the elements and also ensures that the cling isn't subjected to vandalism or removal.
STATIC CLING WITH FACE-UP PRINTING
A decal with the cling on the back is printed face-up like a regular decal. It's better suited to the outside of glass, like the door of a beverage cooler, but doesn't work as well on the outside of a store window or glass door. Because there is no adhesive with static clings, they run the risk of losing their adhesive, or more appropriately, their aesthetic properties if left outdoors under harsh weather conditions. Some of the many uses for static clings include computer monitors, appliances, car windows, sunglasses, mirrors, window displays, beverage coolers, and reminders for auto maintenance.
CUSTOM DIE CUT STATIC CLING DECALS
Although many of the static cling decals we print are square cut, consider having them custom die cut for even more impact. The samples below, like the Yellow Box decal above, were custom die cut. On a window or cooler door with mainly square-cut static clings, these contour shapes are even more attention-grabbing.
To sum up static clings
Because true static cling decals need a completely smooth surface and are for short-term promotions only, more of our clients are opting for low-tack decals. In fact, roughly 80-85% of our "static cling clients" have switched to low tack vinyl.
ADVANTAGES OF LOW-TACK VINYL FOR DECALS
Although static clings have served their purpose well over the years, low-tack vinyl decals have recently stolen the spotlight. Encompassing all the same printing properties and applications, there are a few major advantages to low-tack vinyl. One such benefit is a notably longer lifespan. Because they handle a wider variety of temperature variations and don't require a suction-type adhesion to work, low-tack decals can be used for outdoor applications. Constructed from white or clear 4 mil vinyl, these decals sport a specially formulated very light tack adhesive; one that leaves no residue when the decal is removed.
The following illustration shows the layers Dilco uses in a low-tack vinyl decal, including the liner at the bottom, the low-tack adhesive vinyl, and the printing (either face-up or mirrored).
If you compare, you'll see that the printing method is the same for low-tack vinyl decals as it is for static clings; they can be printed either mirrored for indoor application or face-up for outdoor use. The main difference is that they are printed on vinyl with a very low-tack adhesive. This keeps them stuck without requiring a static charge like static cling vinyl.
LOW-TACK VINYL DECALS WITH MIRRORED PRINTING
For Carl's Jr.®, we printed their window decals mirrored on low-tack vinyl. This way they'll be seen from the outside of the restaurant, but placed on the inside of the windows. The low-tack adhesive keeps it in place until it's removed when the employment promotion is over. It leaves no residue.
LOW-TACK VINYL WITH FACE-UP PRINTING
When low-tack decals are printed face-up, they can go on the outside of store and restaurant windows since they don't have the same limitations as static clings. The low-tack vinyl decal for Turner's® (below) will go on a cooler door. It was 4-color process digitally printed (face-up).
Like static clings, they too require a relatively smooth surface application and are able to be repositioned. They can be utilized in virtually any instance where a static cling would have been used. But, because they are more adaptable, their uses also include promotions on the outside of fast food restaurant windows, auto sales, appliances with lightly textured surfaces, and vehicle parking permits. Given the advantages of low-tack decals relative to their slightly higher cost over static clings, they are a much better value overall.
To sum up low-tack vinyl decals
For both static cling and low-tack decals, we include a liner laminated to the back of your decal for easy application. We also offer double sided decals for windows.
If you'd like help choosing between Static Clings and Low Tack Vinyl Decals for your next project, call us at (714) 998-5266 or fill out our free quote form.