The durability of stickers & labels is an important topic. Too durable, and you've wasted money and not durable enough, it can damage your brand.
If you're using your labels for disposable packaging that gets recycled within days, then go for a less durable sticker to save money. However, to represent your brand over the long-term, then you have some options to get the ideal sticker.
When we talk about durability, we can break this down into three main categories:
- The knocks & scratches the sticker can take to its surface.
- Fade resistance.
- Resistance to harsh chemicals (e.g., cleaning fluids).
Knocks, scratches & cleaning
An over-laminate is a transparent, protective layer that sits over the printed layer to protect a sticker's printed surface.
Having an over-laminate covering the print on your stickers is the best to ensure your stickers can handle more knocks, bumps, scratches & cleaning.
With a laminate, you'd be surprised at how much a sticker or label can take. It'll comfortably go in & out of your pocket or bag hundreds of times and can be rubbed & wiped clean many times.
For stickers that are used briefly, such as takeaway food packaging, don't use laminate. For more extended applications, we recommend using a laminate.
Laminates come in gloss or matte, depending on your preference. The only consideration is if you're buying clear stickers, we recommend gloss because of its higher transparency.
Most colors will typically last 2-3 years outdoors and 3-5 years indoors, far beyond 99% of all applications.
Day-glow (or fluorescent) colors have the worst resistance to sunlight and therefore fade much quicker than 'normal' colors. Why? It's due to a process called photobleaching. The fluorescence particles contained within the fluorescent pigment are susceptible to visible light and, over time, stop working, and turn white, which makes them look faded.
The fluorescent materials we use will last up to 6 months outdoors and two years indoors, usually plenty of time. Read more on why they only last six months.
All stickers that have an over-laminate will be resistant to chemicals. If you're exposing your stickers or labels to alcoholic based cleaners, we highly recommend using laminate.
Most digital inkjet print technologies will withstand necessary chemicals such as; dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid, WD-40, oil. UV cured ink may even handle more harsh chemicals such as; alcoholic based cleaners & petrol.
For short-term, disposable use, we recommend using a paper sticker with no laminate.
We recommend using a plastic sticker or label for longer-term use or when representing your brand, finished with either a gloss or matte laminate.