A decal is considered a “transfer” product. This means the image is printed on a face stock with a release coating that allows the printed image to be applied to another substrate or material. Typical decals are made or printed onto plastics, cloth, paper or ceramics. Decal printing technology was originally developed by a French engraver in the 19th century.
A decal is composed of 3 layers from the top to the bottom:
- A paper face stock which is the under side of the face stock is printed with the decal image.
- An adhesive layer that is applied to the bottom of the face stock after it is printed.
- Finally, a backing layer is applied. A silicone or release coating is applied on the uppers of the backing material. A paper side of the liner provides the bottom of the decal.
Decals are used in many applications, but most commonly they are used in the automotive industry. Inspection decals and parking decals are common applications. The modeling industry uses a lot of decals as well for decoration. Decals are used in fleet marking as well for doors and windows of trucks and fleet type vehicles. The signage industry uses vinyl decals and lettering to decorate entrance doors and display windows. A peel and stick decal is actually a label but the sign industry uses the term vinyl cut decals instead of vinyl cut labels.