Kiss Cut vs. Die-Cut Stickers: A Simple Guide

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Our guide compares kiss-cut vs. die-cut stickers to help you make the right decision.

Table of Contents

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Packoi Team

Stickers are powerful pieces of artwork that offer a unique opportunity to showcase your brand, convey messages, and add personality to your packaging or promotional materials.


Did you know that 72% of consumers base their purchasing decisions on packaging design aesthetics? This is according to a 2018 survey by the Paper and Packaging Board. It shows how visual appeal determines consumer behavior.

Today, our article focuses on whether you should opt for kiss-cut or die-cut stickers. Read on to find out which option aligns best with your branding goals and budget.

What Is a Kiss-Cut Sticker?

Kiss-Cut Sticker

This is a type of sticker where you can easily peel off the sticker from the vinyl and paper backing material. Kiss-cut differs from other sticker types because of its cutting technique, which ensures you don’t remove any excess sticker material around the design. 

Pros of Kiss-Cut Stickers

Kiss-cut stickers give you the freedom to choose colors, designs, and sizes to meet your needs. Here are the other pros of this type of sticker:

1. Kiss-Cut Stickers Are Cost-Effective 

Who doesn’t love a good deal? You can make kiss-cut stickers in large quantities at a relatively low cost. This makes them an affordable option for both personal and business uses.

2. They May Be Durable

Sure, kiss-cut stickers might not outlast their die-cut counterparts but don’t underestimate their durability. These stickers are built tough enough to handle everyday use.

3. Kiss-Cut Stickers Offer Branding Opportunities

They offer excellent branding opportunities for businesses, events, and promotional campaigns. You can easily customize them with logos, slogans, and brand colors.

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Cons of Kiss-Cut Stickers

Kiss-cut stickers may not be as durable as other types of stickers. They are thinner and prone to damage. Therefore, durability is one of the concerns many people have with kiss-cut stickers.  Here are the others:

1. Difficulty In Removal

Kiss-cut stickers are delicate. It may be challenging to remove them cleanly from their backing paper without tearing or leaving residue.

Kiss sticker on a backing paper

2. Potential for Curling

These stickers may curl at the edges over time, especially if they are exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures.

3. Limited Design Options

The process of kiss-cutting can restrict certain design elements, such as intricate shapes or fine details, compared to other sticker-cutting methods.

4. Limited Suitability for Outdoor Use

Kiss-cut stickers may not be as resistant to outdoor conditions compared to other types of stickers. This makes them less suitable for long-term outdoor applications.

What Is a Die Cut Sticker?

Die cut stickers

A die-cut sticker is a type of sticker that is cut into a specific design using a sharp steel blade or a laser cutter. Unlike traditional square or rectangular stickers, die-cut stickers can be cut into almost any shape imaginable. This may include logos, characters, animals, and intricate designs.

Die-cut stickers are mostly used for branding, marketing, decoration, and personal expression. They are popular for promotional purposes, product labeling, vehicle decals, laptop stickers, and much more. In fact, the global market for die-cut stickers is projected to reach US $191.1 million before 2030.

Pros of Die-Cut Stickers

Die-cut stickers are becoming popular today. Here is why:

1. Die-Cut Stickers Are Durable

You can use die-cut stickers under adverse outdoor conditions.  Thanks to the thicker and more durable materials that make up these stickers.

2. They Boast a Professional Appearance

Do you need stickers for branding and promotional campaigns? Die-cut ones are clean and boast a professional look. They convey your messages effectively. 

3. These Stickers Contribute to Brand Reinforcement

Die-cut stickers with custom shapes and designs help reinforce brand identity. These stickers leave a lasting impression on customers.

Cons of Die-Cut Stickers

Die-Cut Stickers

We’ve highlighted the benefits of die-cut stickers. Now, let’s take a look at what you should be prepared for with these stickers.

1. Higher Production Costs

Die-cut stickers involve a complex manufacturing process which results in higher production costs compared to simpler sticker types. These production costs make them more expensive compared to kiss-cut stickers. 

2. Limited Size Options

The customization options may come with limitations on size. Large stickers are more difficult (and expensive) to produce. This means you’d have to pay more and wait longer for large die-cut stickers. 

3. Longer Production Time

The die-cut sticker-making process involves design, setup, and production. Many printing firms agree that it takes between 1 and 7 days to make custom stickers. This may not be suitable for time-sensitive projects.

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Key Differences Between Kiss Cut and Die Cut Stickers

Kiss-cut and die-cut stickers differ in their production methods and the final result they yield. The table below shows the key differences between kiss-cut and die-cut stickers.  

AspectKiss-cut stickersDie-cut stickers
Cutting TechniqueOnly cuts the sticker layer, leaving the vinyl layer intactCuts through both sticker and backing to create custom shapes
Shape OptionsLimited to shapes that can be cut without piercing throughCan be any shape. This includes intricate designs and custom shapes
PeelabilityCan be easily peeled off the paper backing stays intactNeed to peel around the edges of the sticker
Application EaseSimple application due to intact backing sheetMay require more precision during the application
Waste MaterialMinimal waste materialMay produce more waste during production due to the extra backing paper
CostMore cost-effective due to less material and simpler processMay be more expensive

How to Choose: Which Is Right for You?

Kiss Cut and Die Cut Stickers

You now know the differences between kiss-cut and die-cut stickers.  And you want to pick one for your brand. Should you go for the die-cut or its counterpart, the kiss-cut? This is a very important decision you have to make. It will determine whether your stickers achieve your desired goals or not. 

We’ve dedicated this section to help you pick the perfect stickers for your needs. 

For a smart decision,  consider the following factors:

1. Design Complexity

The first thing you have to decide on is the details you want to add to your stickers. Does it involve intricate shapes or fine details? If so, choose the type that will allow you to include all the details. This type of sticker should also allow you to create custom-shaped sticker designs to showcase your creativity.  

For this, die-cut stickers are the clear winner. They offer precision cutting around the edges, making those intricate designs pop. 

Here is another advantage of die-cutting your stickers:

It makes your stickers look just as awesome in sticker form as it does on your screen.

2. Customization

customize stcikers

Of course, the sticker type should not only support design complexity but also give you the customization options to achieve this. 

It is useless to choose the one that won’t let you customize the shape and size of your stickers especially if this is key to your goals. 

As you may have seen, design complexity goes hand in hand with customization.  So the clear winner remains…

Die-cut stickers. 

They offer way more flexibility when it comes to customization. Seriously, you can make them in pretty much any shape or size you can dream up.

3. Quantity

How many stickers do you need? If your answer is thousands,  tens of thousands,  millions, or more, then you should go with kiss-cut stickers. 

But, you can still choose the other option. So, why kiss-cut stickers? We based this on budget and production time. 

Kiss-cut stickers are more cost-effective, especially when you need a big batch. Plus, they can be whipped up pretty quickly compared to die-cut ones.

4. Durability

You can decide on the design and quantity but if you don’t consider whether these pieces of artwork are for outdoor use or not, then you’ll have failed.

Think about stickers that can’t withstand outdoor conditions being used outside. They won’t last. Replacement costs may be too much for your brand. 

Therefore, if it’s outdoors or anywhere they might face some wear and tear, you’ll want to consider custom die-cut stickers. They’re built to last. So, they are perfect for outdoor use or anywhere they might get roughed up a bit. 

5. Budget

We saved the most important factor for the last. You can decide on the design, quantity,  and durability, but…

If you can’t afford them, then you’ll have to rethink. 

Die-cut stickers require more money to produce than kiss-cut stickers. Which one did you choose? Be it kiss-cut or die-cut ones, we hope it’s the best for you.

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5 Tips to Custom Stickers Design

custom stickers design

Stickers are a tried and tested way to express creativity, promote a brand, or add a personal touch to various items.


Designing custom stickers requires attention to detail and creativity to ensure they stand out. That’s why we have compiled these 5 tips for you. Simply put, this section will help you create eye-catching and effective custom stickers. Take a look.

1. Know Your Purpose

Before you do anything, know what you want to achieve with your stickers. Ask yourself these 2 questions: 

Why are you creating these stickers? 

Are they for branding, marketing, personal flair, or something else?

This is important because how you answer these questions will guide you throughout the sticker design process. 

If it’s for branding, go for a design idea that will do just that. You can also skip all these and pick one from our list of the best sticker designs today. 

2. Understand Your Audience

Think about who will be using your stickers. Then tailor your design to resonate with their preferences, interests, and demographics. Properly designed stickers that resonate with your intended will help you pass your messages quickly. And most importantly…to the right audience.

3. Keep It Simple

sample stickers

If you want to get your message across clearly, go for simple designs. When it comes to stickers, less is more. You’ll make a stronger impact by keeping things clean and minimalist. Too many elements can clutter your design, so stick to simplicity.

4. Prioritize Quality Images

Do you want to use images or illustrations? If so, ensure they’re of the highest quality. Poor-quality ones will result in poor-quality stickers. And no one wants that. Don’t use images if they aren’t central to your design. 

But if it’s a must, then opt for high-resolution images to maintain sharpness and clarity, even after printing.

5. Stay on Brand

What are the colors, fonts, and images associated with your brand? We’d advise you to keep your stickers in line with your brand’s identity. 

Therefore, use colors,  fonts, and imagery that people will easily associate with your brand. This is for brand recognition. 


Here are what we discussed in a nutshell:

  • Kiss-cut stickers are easy to peel off and apply. 
  • Die-cut stickers are durable but expensive.
  • Your sticker design should meet your intended purpose
  • Quality printing gives your stickers a competitive edge.

Packoi is here. Check out our design and printing services to bring your sticker designs to life. We work with clients to ensure the finished product satisfies your needs. Get a quote today. 

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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