What Is A Decal?

Decorated or branded glass can be achieved through a variety of processes. One of the most efficient and cost-effective options is a decal.

What is a decal?

A decal is simply a design printed on a plastic, paper or ceramic substrate that can be transmitted to another – usually involving heat, water or adhesives.

There are many uses for decals. For example, vinyl decals are used for personalising cars, walls, and packaging such as glass bottles and containers.

How is a decal made?

Firstly, a design needs to be made. Specialised software is typically used to design and export branding elements or logos to machines that print the decal.

In mass production, large rolls of vinyl or PET sheets are made from the designs using a large-format printer. These completed designs are then fed through a cutting plotter to split the decals into individual units ready for distribution.

What is the difference between a decal and a sticker?

The key difference between decals and stickers is the material they are made from. A sticker is often made from paper or card with an adhesive backing. Decals are often made with PET plastics or vinyl materials, making them more durable and weather resistant.

Take hygiene products, for example. Shower gel and bath soap packaging often uses decals as they’re stored near water.

How is a decal applied to glass bottles?

The decal itself is constructed with three layers – application tape, the facestock (layer of paper or vinyl where the design is printed) and a silicone adhesive backing.

Firstly, the glass bottles are cleaned so there are no marks on the glass during the process.

The adhesive backing is exposed by peeling off the cover. The decal is then pressed onto the bottle and smoothed over to remove any air bubbles.

After being left to set, the applicator tape is pulled off, leaving behind the decal on the bottle.

Finished decals should give a sleek look and professional finish, while still providing a cheap and effective option for branding glass packaging.

A decal can be made in virtually any colour, including metallic options – perfect for producing custom products in line with branding.

Glass decoration and labelling from Lifestyle Packaging

Looking to bring your glass packaging to life with bespoke printing and label designs? Lifestyle Packaging offers a dedicated packaging decoration service customised to your products to help them stand out from your competitors.

For more information on our glass decoration techniques, contact our expert team of designers and developers today.

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