At Websticker we quote (and print) a good deal of outdoor sticker projects. Often people want the cost of a “laminated sticker”. In the case of outdoor quality stickers we often tell them for their end purposes (like a bumper sticker on a car), over laminating is not needed. But, often they’ve been told by another company laminating is necessary. So, what’s the deal?
Well, the deal is that there are many different methods for printing stickers. For some printing methods, like screen printing, over laminating is only needed to add thickness to the sticker or add durability when the sticker or decal may come into contact with chemicals or abrasion – like a sticker for a gas pump, tractor or factory floor. Screen printing leaves the thickest coating of UV cured inks and is outdoor durable 3 to 5 years without being laminated.
But, there are many sticker printing methods that need a UV Laminate to make the sticker or decal outdoor durable in the first place. Many print methods, even with over laminates, may still not be as vibrant and outdoor durable as a screen printed sticker without a laminate.
When getting prices for any sticker or decal project it is important to communicate what the stickers will be used for and where they will be applied. When you receive pricing it is important to understand what printing method will be used and what the guaranteed outdoor lifespan is with the specific inks and materials (and perhaps laminate) used with that method. If there is no guarantee given, ask. It is important to make sure the quoted sticker product covers your needs, does not damage your image a few years down the line, and, if you are comparing estimates from different sticker companies that you understand what may underlie differences in price.