What is a die cut sticker?

Have you been searching for your perfect custom sticker and not understanding the jargon or what a die-cut sticker is?

Are you confused?

We’re here to help you. This short guide tells you exactly what a die-cut sticker really is. Watch this short video or read on to find out more.

What is a die-cut sticker?

The term ‘die-cut’ simply means it’s cut around the shape of your artwork. A better name would be custom shaped stickers.

If you buy die cut stickers, they will cut around the edge of your design, through both the sticker and paper layers, like this.

Adding a cut line to a die cut sticker

Important! The term die cut is not related to the material of your sticker. Die cut stickers can be durable, waterproof, or neither. Please check the material your label will be printed on to understand these features.

How are they made?

The term ‘die-cut’ comes from an old cutting technique using pre-made metal ‘dies’.

Thin strips of sharp metal are formed into the desired shape to make a die. These dies are expensive & time consuming to make. The cutting process looked like this:

Die cutting stickers with old metal dies

For this reason, custom shaped stickers came to be known as die-cut stickers.

Most of the print industry is now using digitally controlled knives and high-speed lasers to cut custom-made stickers of all shapes to save time and money.

Here is an example of a laser cutting stickers at 50 meters per minute!

Stickers being laser cut

Pretty cool, eh?

To save your money when getting custom shaped stickers, choose a supplier who uses a digital knife or laser to cut their stickers.

Suppliers who use the old method, with metal dies, usually charge extra for bespoke shapes since the dies are custom made. The giveaway will be if they want to charge you a setup fee for your stickers.

Popular uses for die cut stickers

Because they’re individually cut die-cut, stickers are perfect for many applications, such as:

  • Event giveaways
  • Stickers to be sold to your customers
  • Phone and laptop stickers
  • Car bumper stickers
  • Company logo stickers
  • Bike frame stickers
  • Short-run product packing (less than 1000 units)

However, if you want 1000 stickers to be used by you and not given to customers, we recommend getting stickers on sheets. They’re much quicker to peel.

Here are some images to show you how good die-cut stickers can be:

The perfect size will depend on your end-use, however here are some recommended sizes for our most popular applications:

Size comparison of different sticker designs compared to a laptop

What is the difference between kiss cut and die cut stickers?

We get asked this popular question regularly. To find out more visit this blog that details this much more.

To summarise, a kiss cut sticker is only cut through the sticker layer, leaving an extra border around your sticker whereas die-cut stickers are cut through the sticker & the backing paper. This GIF helps to explain:

Animation showing a kiss cut and a die cut sticker peeling off their backing

Want some die-cut stickers?

If you’d like to get some die-cut stickers to see precisely what they are like, how easily they peel and the cutting quality in detail, you can get a sample pack for only £1 by clicking the button below.

If you have any questions or want to tell us about how you use die cut stickers, please leave a comment below.

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