The Sticky Factor - Adhesives and Custom Sticker Printing

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The Sticky Factor

€Can you print a removable bumper sticker?€ € Do you offer high tack custom seals?€ € I left my window decals in a box for almost a year and now they don't stick €" what happened?€

A €removable bumper sticker€ is kind of an oxymoron in the decal industry. If a sticker is intended to be stuck on the bumper of a car, where it will be subjected to wind, rain, snow, sun, heat, cold and all that road grit, a removable adhesive is not going to do the trick. Sure, people probably prefer the idea of a removable adhesive for decals they are adhering to their car, so that when the time comes to remove the sticker, it comes off with the ease of peeling a banana. As it is, most removable adhesives are intended for indoor use, where the environment is relatively stable. A removable adhesive can certainly be used on indoor windows, which will encounter some moisture from condensation, as well as fluctuating temperatures and UV exposure resulting from the weather happening on the other side of the window, but overall these changes are minor compared to the outside elements. Outdoor conditions require a more aggressive adhesive if they are going to stick around for a while. There are ways to remove bumper stickers when the time comes, with a little effort and some solvent like glu-be-gone or a lubricant like WD-40. Even though the adhesive may say €standard permanent€, decals are not permanent and can be removed if someone sets their mind to it.

For the most part, custom seals are intended to be applied to paper products: certificates, stationary, envelops, wrapping paper, that sort of thing. Consequently, there are no adhesive options for this particular product; the embossing foils are manufactured with one generic adhesive that will stick to paper. Now, just because this is the primary purpose for the adhesive, it doesn't mean they won't stick to other surfaces, like glass, metal, cellophane or other plastics; it is glue after all. If you want to stick your embossed seals to something other than paper, we recommend requesting some samples so that you can test the adhesive for your particular application. If it doesn't stick as securely as you want, you could attempt to apply additional glue to your seal, but keep in mind, embossed foil seals are a rather delicate product and will not hold up in harsh conditions. Nor will they stand for too much handling or pressing €" you'll likely press the emboss right out of them and be left with crimped foil!

Believe it or not, leaving your decals in a box for a long time does not extend the lifespan of the adhesive. The clock starts ticking at the moment of manufacture, NOT application. In fact, the sooner you apply your decals and allow them to create their bond with the surface, the longer the glue is likely to last. Glue can dry out or become brittle if left in a box and on the backing paper for too long. This is particularly true for specialized adhesives, such as ultra-removable or static cling. Static clings can lose their static power if left nearby certain elements or magnetized equipment that can neutralize the cling effect. So if you do need to store your decals, make sure it's in a dry, dark area where they won't get extremely hot or cold. Also, you may not want to order the window decals you'll need in 2015 sometime in 2011.

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