Difference of plotted and digital printing stickers

Difference of plotted and digital printing stickers

Plotted stickers

Plotted stickers are cut out from a roll of foil with the help of a cutting plotter. After cutting, the excess foil is removed and the cut-out motifs remain. These are then covered with transfer film and cut to size.

Difference of plotted and digital printing stickers

Advantages of plotted films:

  • Very customizable
  • Customization possible
  • No border or background (free standing)
  • High UV and weather resistance
  • Very long life

Disadvantages of plotted films:

  • No color gradients
  • Limited number of colors
  • Time and cost per piece almost the same, therefore hardly any cost savings for large quantities
  • Pixel graphics must always be converted to vector graphics

Digital printing stickers (direct digital printing with lamination)

Difference of plotted and digital printing stickers

Digital printing stickers are printed on special foil similar to a normal printer and then provided with a protective laminate. The laminated and printed web is then cut to size, leaving the characteristic white (or transparent) edge on some designs.

Advantages of digital printing stickers:

  • Large quantity for small price
  • Color gradients and many design options without price differences
  • Very weather resistant
  • Easy to remove and replace
  • Comparatively low workload
  • Use of pixel graphics possible

Disadvantages of digital printing stickers:

  • Small quantities relatively expensive
  • Not applicable outdoor without protective laminate
  • Print quality is strongly dependent on print data for pixel graphics
  • Not free standing, but always only with "background" to have

Which type of sticker is suitable for which application?

Plotted stickers: areas of application

Plotted stickers are especially good for:

  • Vehicle lettering and decorations
  • Shop window lettering
  • Wall tattoos
  • Individual single pieces or small quantities

Since plotted stickers do not allow color gradients and the color selection is limited, they are especially suitable for simple, single-color or few-color motifs.

Digital printing stickers: areas of application

Digital printing stickers are great for:

  • Product labels
  • Advertising stickers in large quantities
  • Photorealistic prints and gradients
  • Detailed and complex designs

Because digital printing stickers offer a much wider range of colors and the possibility of color gradients, they are ideal for sophisticated motifs and graphics that require high print quality.

Price differences between plotted and digital printing stickers

The price differences between plotted and digital print stickers are mainly due to the different manufacturing processes and the associated material and time costs. In the case of plotted stickers, the costs arise primarily from the manual weeding process and the production of individual pieces or small quantities. Therefore, the cost per piece for plotted stickers is usually higher than for digital print stickers. In contrast, digital print stickers are more cost-effective, especially for large quantities, because the labor and material costs are manageable. However, for small quantities, digital printing stickers are relatively more expensive than plotted stickers because the basic cost of machine setup at the beginning of the printing process is higher. Overall, the choice between plotted and digital print stickers depends on the individual requirements of each project. It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both methods, as well as the areas of application and price differences, in order to find the best solution for the particular application.

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