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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 iridescent vinyl, giving your design an eye-catching rainbow effect.

The holographic material we use to print your sticky beauties is vinyl-based and already comes with a rainbow effect. That means we do not have to add foil or print any metallic effects onto your stickers. For a deeper dive, check out our article "What is a holographic sticker?"

You can see some examples of the holographic effect here:

Die cut holographic sticker with future in your hands design
Circle holographic sticker with work hard dream big design applied to a silver laptop
Square holographic sticker applied to black soap box next to shaving tools
Die cut holographic sticker with old school ice cream van design hand held
Die cut holographic stickers with cat art design on a black table
Circle holographic sheet labels applied to an amber jar with beard oil
Die cut holographic sticker with geometric wold design against a black background

How are holographic stickers made?

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

Finally, your stickers or labels are cut into the shape you selected when you ordered your stickers. This image shows the construction of a holographic sticker:

Exploded view of a holographic sticker, showing each layer

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 colors on top of the holographic vinyl, see some of the colors that can be created.

Colour swatch printed on holographic

If you don’t want the holographic effect to show in areas of your sticker, we print a layer of white ink behind the color and the holographic material. The image below shows the difference between the two options:

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

Looking for a deeper dive into how to make holographic stickers? Here is a short video that shows you start to finish, the making of a holographic sticker.

How to design your perfect holographic sticker

Creating a high-quality design for your stickers can be intimidating. But it does not have to be. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a holographic sticker.

If you are still looking for some design inspiration, head over to Graphic, our free online design tool where you will find hundreds of pre-made templates to browse and edit. This makes creating your own design easy – no design experience is needed.

How is holographic vinyl made?

Holographic material 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 metalized 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 metalized 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 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

Holographic security sticker
Holographic security genuine mountain sticker

Are you ready to start using holographic stickers and labels to improve your packaging and represent your business the right way? Then head over to our holographic stickers page and get inspired.

If you need some more information about all things sticker printing before making your decision, these articles might be just what you are looking for: