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

When considering your sticker options, one fundamental choice often arises: do I need a kiss cut or die cut sticker?

The differences are small and whilst similar, they still serve two different purposes. Making an informed decision on the best one is important and will ensure you get the best results.

What is a kiss cut sticker?

Kiss cut stickers are cut through the vinyl layer around the edge of your design without cutting through the backing paper. This leaves an extra backing around your sticker.

They look like this:

3 different kiss cut sticker piles with one applied to an iPhone

What is a die cut sticker?

Die cut stickers are cut around the edge of your design through both the vinyl and backing paper layers. They can be any shape and are the most popular sticker.

They look like this:

Die cut holographic and glitter Tribal Rhino stickers

This GIF helps to explain it too:

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

Please note that kiss cut or die cut only refer to how a sticker it cut. It doesn’t refer to the material the sticker is printed on.

Here is a helpful video that also explains the difference:

Kiss vs Die cut stickers

Here are some of the advantages of each sticker so you can easily compare them to see which is best for you.

Kiss cut advantages

  • They have extra backing paper around the outside of your sticker. This can be printed with your brand name, website or contact details making them really effective as handouts at events.
  • If you have an intricate design a kiss cut will be better because the extra backing paper protects the sticker until it’s applied.
  • Easier to peel away from the backing paper and therefore quicker to apply.

Die cut advantages

  • Tend to be a lower cost option because there is less cutting per sticker.
  • The edge of the backing paper is the edge of the sticker, making it easier to see what your sticker will look like on the surface you’re applying it to. Great if you are re-selling your design as a sticker to your customers.

Some examples for you

Here are some examples of kiss cut and die-cut stickers. They should help you to decide which option is best for you.