The gloss sticker is used in a wide variety of ways, from adding extra sheen to labelling to covering an entire car in a vibrant eye-catching graphic design. It's easy to see why this glossy sticker is so popular – the finish will lift intricate designs and give stickers a real visual punch. Plus it's durable. People opt for gloss when they want a sticker that can deal with the rigours of the elements – plastic gloss stickers can last up to five years outside without fading or peeling. However, it's worth remembering gloss is not recommended if you need to write on the label.
Widespread use of gloss finish in sticker production emerged in 1960 when the Italian newspaper moguls Benito and Giuseppe Panini in Milan set up the hugely successful Panini sticker company. The company became famous for its football sticker collections and by 1970 it was the first sticker company to produce stickers for the football World Cup.
The company went on to be hugley successful on the back of its gloss sticker production and Panini recently produced stickers for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In the past 10 years the technology has been adapted to great success in the vehicle industry, as gloss finish vinyl has been used to wrap cars among other vehicles.
KPMF kicked things off with a full UK taxi wrap in 1993, everything from planes to trains as well as fleets of cars are now wrapped in glossy vinyl. As the technology developed, options for gloss, matte, printable and even colour-changing vinyl wrap films became available.
How is a gloss sticker made?
Plastic gloss stickers are made from a combination of polypropylene film, flexible clear or white calendered polymeric or monomeric vinyl, or a cast vinyl and either permanent or easily removable adhesive. Polymeric and monomeric vinyl offers either short- or long-term application. Monomeric film is more often than not a 1-3 year class and the Polymeric 4-6 year grade.
Polymerics are softer and are chiefly used for a gloss coating, although semitransparent and matte finishes are obtainable. Most films are created through the process of chill-roll. In this procedure the melt coming out of the level film die can be placed onto either a chrome plated, highly polished or matt finish chill-roll. A plasticiser is put in the liquid vinyl resin to bring forth the gloss effect, this is normally Resoflex R-296.
Calendered vinyl is created by propulsion of a heated mixture through calendering rollers. This is double-quick and, as a consequence, a cheaper method of production. Calendered vinyl is more liable to suffer from shrinkage due to the manufacturing process. Cast vinyl is used when a more complex and stable application is needed. Liquid resin is glazed onto a highly polished substrate to produce an extremely thin film of vinyl.