Stickers vs. Labels: What's The Difference?

January 13, 2022
Metalcraft labels

Many people use the words “sticker” and “label” interchangeably. But are they really the same? Not to us.

What better day than National Sticker Day to look at our definition of the two words, their similarities, and differences.

Think of it this way: a label is like that sports car you’ve had your eye on for years. Classy, shiny, fancy and potentially full of bells and whistles, depending on how you customize it. A sticker is the 20-year-old car you got as a teen-ager - it has everything needed to get you where you’re going but can’t be customized and isn’t made to last a long time.

Stickers have been around for centuries. According to the History of Stickers Museum (yes, there’s an actual History of Stickers Museum), archeologists have found remains of papers that were plastered to the walls of ancient markers to display prices of goods. The modern-day, self-adhesive sticker was invented in 1935 by R. Stanton Avery, the founder of Avery labels, whose birthday happens to be Jan. 13th, National Sticker Day.

 The similarities

  • Both use adhesive, either permanent or removable
  • Both come on a paper backing to protect the adhesive
  • Both can be printed in color

For Metalcraft, that’s where the similarities end. The differences are what elevate our labels above sticker status.

The differences

  • Stickers can be scratch-and-sniff, puffy, or even fuzzy; labels are not
  • Stickers are typically used to advertise a brand. Labels have a variety of functions, including displaying warranty information, a barcode and being used for production processes, inventory and asset tracking
  • Stickers often are handed out one by one; labels usually are used in large quantities.
  • Stickers are not made to have a long lifespan; Metalcraft’s labels, when used correctly, are durable enough to last years
  • Stickers are a one-size-fits-all product; Metalcraft has the expertise and knowledge to customize a label to fit your application

Truth be told if a customer contacts us to order some stickers, we’ll still take the order.

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