Everything You Need to Know About Stickers and Labels

Are you looking for a powerful and affordable way to amplify brand awareness for your business? Look no further than stickers and labels. If this sounds too good to be true, take it from Reddit. The billion-dollar internet company used $500 worth of stickers to promote their media site and called them the “currency for startups.” But Reddit is not the only success story. Small businesses like PrintRunner’s customer Legendary Coffee, have also found success in old-school marketing tactics with stickers and labels.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about stickers and labels, including the difference between the two, their uses in product packaging, shipping, and community building, expert advice for designing them, and design tools to create them. So, whether you’re a startup or an established business, stickers and labels can be the simple yet effective solution you need to take your brand to the next level.


The Difference Between Stickers and Labels

Stickers and labels are often used interchangeably to describe a sticky piece of paper with a design. Although they may look similar and use the same materials, they have unique purposes and applications:

Labels serve to identify and provide information about a product. They are typically attached to product packaging, but they can also be used for alerts or guiding foot traffic.

On the other hand, stickers are used for brand promotion or advocating for a cause. Unlike labels, stickers can be sold as standalone products.

Perhaps the biggest distinction between the two is their destination. Labels have a specific endpoint (such as being wrapped around a water bottle), while stickers can be placed on various surfaces depending on the user (like laptops or skateboards).

Despite their differences, stickers and labels are effective tools for brand promotion. They’re also available in various materials and formats that cater to different needs.


Various Ways to Use Stickers and Labels for Your Business

Traditional promotional tools, like stickers and labels, continue to be effective in spreading the word about your company, despite the dominance of digital marketing. Regardless of your industry, incorporating these sticky tools into your marketing strategy can help you reach more customers and boost your sales. Here are some ways to make the most of stickers and labels:

  • Enhance your product packaging: When customers are shopping for a product, they often look for familiar brands. If your brand is new, labels can help introduce it to potential customers and reinforce familiarity for those who are unsure. Adding stickers as freebies can also expand your reach when customers display them on their cars, helmets, or laptops. Even if you have minimalist packaging, adding stickers can make your product stand out.
  • Stand out on retail shelves: Competition for customer attention on retail shelves is fierce. Eye-catching labels can help your brand rise above the competition, even with simply designed packaging. Thoughtfully designed stickers and labels can make a lasting impression.
  • Make shipping memorable: Shipping is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. By adding personalized sticker seals to blank shipping boxes, you can make unboxing a memorable experience for customers.
  • Foster community and advocacy: Stickers are often used to promote community and advocate for important causes. Just like the ‘I Voted’ sticker encourages voter turnout and creates a sense of community, you can use stickers to promote your brand or organization. Hand them out to customers or include them with every purchase to show your support.

Incorporating stickers and labels into your marketing strategy can be a simple and effective way to increase brand awareness, engage customers, and make a lasting impression.

Tips for Designing Stickers and Labels

Now that you have an idea of how you will use stickers and labels for marketing, the next step for you is to create a design that will best represent your business. Consider the following factors before sketching a design on paper or on your preferred editing tool. After all, these sticky labels will only work if you have a sound strategy behind them.

1. Stand Out With a Solid Brand Identity

A captivating logo is just the beginning. Discover the essential elements that make up a powerful brand identity:

  • Memorable Logo: Your logo is your calling card. Make it unforgettable so customers easily associate it with a positive experience. Whether it’s on a banner or a sticker, consistency is key.
  • Powerful Colors: Choosing the right color palette is a mix of science and art. Certain colors work better for specific brands. Stick to three primary colors and complement them with tints, shades, and tones. Need help? Check out the Psychology of Color for guidance.
  • Harmonious Typography: Fonts matter. They can create iconic logos that stand the test of time. Just think of Disney and Coca-Cola. If you use multiple fonts, make sure they complement each other.
  • Effective Message: Your stickers and labels should communicate your message loud and clear. Sometimes, a single word can be more impactful than long sentences. However, don’t be afraid to let the design speak for itself.

2. Make Its Placement Count


Choose strategic location for your stickers and labels for maximum visibility and durability:

  • Vehicle Stickers: Opt for a waterproof and weather-resistant material that stands up to rain and movement.
  • Water Bottle Labels: Choose white vinyl for a design that won’t fade, keeping your brand looking fresh.


3. Find the Perfect Format


Stickers and labels come in various formats: cut-to-size, roll, die-cut, and sheets. The format you choose depends on how you plan to apply them and how many you need. For large volumes, opt for roll stickers and labels, which can be applied efficiently with an automatic label applicator. Cut-to-size or individual stickers and labels suit smaller quantities. Die-cut also works low quantities of labels or stickers, but for those with a specific shape. Sheets, on the other hand, can display repeat designs or various one on one paper.


4. Printing Made Easy


Before you design, familiarize yourself with the technical requirements of your chosen online printing company. Research on image resolutions, color modes (preferably CMYK), and safety and bleed lines to ensure your design turns out just right.


Start Creating Labels With Easy-to-Use Design Tools

You already have an idea of how you will use stickers and labels for marketing. The next step for you is to create a design that will best represent your business.

Before you begin, here are some factors that you need to consider before putting pen on paper. After all, these sticky tools are only good if you have a sound strategy behind them.

1. Brand Identity

It is common for companies to think that a logo is enough to make their business stand out. While a logo is important for branding, it is just a part of a bigger picture. Your brand identity encompasses many different aspects:

  • Logo – The logo is the first thing that people notice in a product. It needs to be memorable, so customers can easily associate your business with a positive experience. Since it’s the part of your branding that’s exposed the most, the logo needs to be consistent whether you put it on a banner or a sticker.
  • Colors – Picking the ideal color palette is both science and art. Some colors may be more suitable for your brand than others. A good rule of thumb is to choose up to three colors (Google is an exception because it uses four). From those colors, you can choose the tints, shades, and tones to complement your primary colors. Not sure which colors to use? The Psychology of Color should give you an idea of what palette to use for your brand.
  • Typography – Like colors, typography should work in harmony to create a solid brand identity. Sometimes, you can use fonts to create iconic logos that stand the test of time. Think of Disney and Coca-Cola. If you want to use more than one font, keep in mind the best typeface combinations.
  • Message – The copy for your stickers and labels is just as important as the visual design. Your message doesn’t have to be a full sentence—a single word can sometimes communicate more effectively than a string of sentences. On the flip side, not having any copy to accompany the design may work just as well.

2. Placement

Where you put your stickers and labels will have an impact on its design. A car sticker needs to be big enough, so it’s visible even when the vehicle is moving. It also needs to be waterproof so that the design won’t fade in the rain. White vinyl is a good choice here because it is weather-resistant. This material is also perfect for water bottle labels.

3. Format

Stickers and labels come in different formats: cut-to-size, roll, die-cut, and sheets. The format you choose depends on how you want to apply the sticker or label and the quantity required. For large volume applications, we recommend roll stickers and labels. These can be applied with an automatic label applicator for efficiency.

4. Printing Requirements

Before you create your design, get acquainted with the technical requirements of your chosen online printing company. Image resolutions, color modes (CMYK is preferred), and safety and bleed lines are important to know before creating your design.


Start Creating Labels With Easy-to-Use Design Tools

Designing custom labels and stickers has never been easier. You don’t need to be a design pro to create amazing artwork. Check out these software programs that will help you create designs quickly:


  • Microsoft Word: This staple word-processing software is not just for writing documents. It offers a variety of sticker and label templates that will make your designs simple and attractive. You can save your designs as PDF, our recommended file format. The best part is that the templates in MS Word are free to use, although some features may require a paid subscription.


  • Adobe Creative Suite: If you’re looking for professional and polished artwork, working with a designer and using Adobe Creative Suite is the way to go. With this program, you can edit images, create unique layouts, and even build an exclusive color palette. You can make your design stand out by adding different shapes and textures. While Adobe Creative Suite is a paid program and a significant investment for your business, it guarantees eye-catching stickers and labels.


  • PrintRunner’s Online Design Tool: Even if you don’t have any design experience, you can still create beautiful artwork with our free online design tool. Upload images from your computer or choose from our library of stock photos (some are paid). The tool is already set to your product specifications, so you don’t have to worry about inputting dimensions manually. To top it off, our print specialists can review your file for free. You’ll receive a PDF proof with any technical adjustments and recommendations from our team.

Get started today and create stunning labels and stickers with these user-friendly software programs.


Level Up Your Sticker and Label Promotions With PrintRunner

Elevate your business promotion with custom-printed stickers and labels from PrintRunner. Our user-friendly downloadable templates make starting any project a breeze. Get ready to elevate your brand with our high-quality custom stickers and labels, delivered to your doorstep in just one to eight business days. Stand out from the competition and make a lasting impression with PrintRunner.


Frequently Asked Questions


What’s the difference between cut-to-size and kiss-cut labels?

Cut-to-size labels are printed and cut to your exact shape, while kiss-cut labels are also printed to your exact shape but have an extra paper backing that makes them easier to peel.


Can I print in custom shapes?

Yes, we offer custom shapes for stickers and labels to make your products stand out.


Do you offer bulk printing?

Yes, we offer bulk printing for most of our products. Simply select the quantity from the dropdown menu. If your desired quantity is not available on our website, please contact us at 1-888-296-5760 and we’ll assist you with your order.


Do black and white stickers cost less than full-colored ones?

No, all our stickers cost the same regardless of the number of colors used.


Can I write on the materials?

You can write on our white paper stickers (gloss and matte) using a permanent marker. Just make sure to allow sufficient drying time after writing.