Die Cut Decals Explained

Stickers, Sticker Tools

What is a Die Cut sticker? 

This is a very common question we get asked. “Die Cut” means that the sticker is cut around the contour of your design. Unlike stickers in the standard shapes of a circle, square, or rectangle, die cut stickers will be completely customized to the shape of your artwork. Any shape sticker you’re imagining is possible as a die cut. Die Cuts can have pointy corners, curved sides, wavy edges or anything else you can imagine! The sticker and backing are cut to the shape so that there is no excess material left over. 

The process of die-cutting originated with the shoe industry in the mid 1800’s. Die cutting allowed shoe makers to go from punching holes manually in shoes and making them each individually to creating sole patterns that could be replicated. Dies were made with leather to create the unique shapes that shoemakers needed to create their shoes. This led to the ability to mass produce soles and create shoes more consistently and efficiently. 

Today die-cutting is used in the stamp industry, sticker industry and more! Some machines create a specific “die” for each design and use technology that would cut out of the material in a “cookie-cutter” style. Our machines at Car Stickers use plotter technology that can cut around each shape as they go to avoid the process of needing to create a unique die every time our stickers are cut from vinyl. This keeps our machines moving quickly and efficiently! 

What kind of stickers can be die-cut?

Every material! We can create Die Cut stickers with our permanent adhesive vinyl, standard white vinyl, reflective vinyl, glow in the dark vinyl, clear vinyl, and light adhesive vinyl! 
What is the difference between transfer stickers and die-cut stickers?

Transfer Stickers are cut to the edge of the design leaving no background to the image. The spaces between shapes/letters/elements of the design will be completely cut out. For example, if the word “space” was being cut the area inside of the “p”, “a”, and “e” would all be plucked out. Because of the way they are cut they have transfer tape on top of the sticker and a backing sheet. You will have to use the transfer tape to apply the sticker since it will consist of a variety of individual elements. Die Cut stickers on the other hand are one single shape. If the same word “space” was being cut out there would be a border around the entire word and the sticker would be cut to that shape. The shape is unique and often has a white border around it.


What are the benefits of Die Cut stickers?

Die-cut stickers are unique because of their unique shapes. This sets them apart from squares and circles. This often gives your design more emphasis and a unique spin. It adds a level of customization to your artwork that you would often not get if you design was inside of a circle or a square. People also like the presentation of die cut stickers because they tend to compliment the design of the sticker better than standard shapes do. Sometimes there is too much white space left over when a logo or other design is placed in a square or circle. That is why they are one of our most popular stickers. 

What will my die-cut sticker look like? 

Upon check out you have the option to receive a digital proof of your order or not. If you choose to receive a proof we will email you an image of  your sticker and the cut path before printing and cutting it. In addition to our proof system - our custom design tool has a new Die-Cut Preview feature where you can actually see what your design would look like as a die cut sticker. Check it out when you order Die Cut stickers today!