How are holographic stickers made?

If you’re in the market for holographic stickers or are curious to find out more about them, you’re in the right place.

We’re going to explain to you how they are made and how you can design awesome holographic stickers.

Firstly, what is a holographic sticker?

The term ‘Holographic’ simply means your design is printed on an iridescent effect vinyl, giving an eye-catching rainbow effect to your design. You can see some examples here:

How are holographic stickers made?

Holographic stickers are made like most other stickers. Ink is printed onto vinyl, then a clear laminate is applied over the printed layer. This protects the sticker making it durable, waterproof and resistant to fading in the sun.

This image shows the construction of a holographic sticker:

Material-datasheet-illustrations-holographic sticker makeup

But Holographic stickers are special.

We can use the iridescent effect of the vinyl to create some incredible stickers. We do this by printing different colours on top of the holographic vinyl, see some of the colours that can be created…..

Holographic-colour-swatch-sample-pack-sticker

If you don’t want the holographic effect to show in areas of your sticker, white ink can be printed behind the colour, like this:

2 holographic stickers in hands 1 with no white ink, 1 with white ink

Here is a short video that shows you start to finish, the making of a holographic sticker.

How to design your perfect holographic sticker

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a holographic sticker.

How is holographic vinyl made?

Holographic vinyl starts its life as a metalized polyester film (a very thin layer of metal is applied to a thin polyester film). This metallic film is then run through a set of rollers with a textured surface. This process is called embossing. This embossing is so thin (around 10 microns, about 1/5th of a human hair) that it cannot be perceived by touch. The altering of the top surface causes the light to diffract on the surface of the metalised vinyl, causing us to see an iridescent effect. This embossing process can be done using a wide range of different patterns giving us various effects, such as; holographic (rainbow chrome) stickers and glitter stickers.

Security hologram stickers – how are they different?

What is a security hologram?

Security hologram stickers are often used in official documents like diplomas or certificates to show authenticity. They are also commonly used on various products and packaging. These stickers are hard to counterfeit, giving brands a level of original product protection.

How are security hologram stickers made?

These stickers are made using a metalised film. This is a thin layer of clear plastic, usually polyester, with an ultra-thin layer of metal applied to it. This material is run through a set of embossing rollers to add your design It can also be done with a laser. This embossing, or etching, shows your design when light hits the surface & diffraction of the light occurs.

These stickers do an amazing job, however, to get custom security stickers made is not a cheap process. Embossing rollers have to be made with your design engraved onto it. As you can imagine this is not a cheap or quick process and is only economically viable for large quantities of stickers. For example, starting quantities can be 30,000, with a cost close to £2000.

A low-cost alternative to security hologram stickers

A good alternative, allowing you to create low cost similar-looking holographic stickers, is to print a design that imitates a security hologram. This allows you to get a small quantity of 50 stickers from only £28.

Here are a few examples and a downloadable design for you to edit

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