Getting decals for your car is a great way to show off something you’re proud of. You can place decals on virtually any part of your car, but you have to make sure that it’s small enough so as not to impede your vision. So, if you’re looking for decals, what size should you get?
The typical rectangular car decal for windows will measure 5 × 7 inches. Bumper stickers measure roughly 3 × 11.5 inches. Circular car decals typically measure between 6 and 8 inches in diameter.
So, if you want to get a car decal for your business, your school, or anything else worth showing off to fellow motorists, what other things should you look for in a decal? In the following sections, I’ll go over car decal sizes, what types of decals there are, and other decal buying considerations.
What Is a Car Decal?
Before we dive into the heart of the matter, let’s cover the basics. First, we have to know what a car decal is.
A car decal is a sticker that you place on the windows or panels of your car. It mainly serves decorative purposes, but you can use decals to promote your business, to show off your school pride, or to even let people know what political party you are affiliated with. In other words, decals are fancy stickers made for sticking onto cars.
You can pick up all sorts of car decals from online suppliers and have them custom-made for any purpose. People also hand out free decals in order to get their business’s name out there.
Car Decal Sizes
As far as decal sizes go, you are free to get them made as small or as large as you want. However, most decal suppliers will have size standards for a variety of shapes.
For instance, some of the more common car decal shapes will have the following measurements.
|Car Decal Shape||Dimensions (inches)|
|Rectangle||5 × 7|
|Rectangle (bumper sticker)||3 × 11.5|
|Circle||6 to 8|
|Oval||8 × 5|
|Square||6 × 6 to 8 × 8|
|Equilateral Triangle||Cut from 8 × 8 square|
|Octagon||Cut from 8 × 8 square|
Of course, you can ask the supplier to make your decal in any shape and size you want. Some suppliers work with 600-square-inch sheets of vinyl material, so if you want a larger decal, you may have to stick two sheets of vinyl material together.
If you are going to use a car decal to promote a business, you should go as large as your budget will allow. That way, the decal will have an easier time reaching a wider audience whenever you hit the open road.
On the other hand, if you want to distribute decals to your family, neighbors, friends, or customers, then you might want to choose something smaller, not just for cost-efficiency but also because fewer people are willing to stick large decals on their car windows for another person’s business.
What Are the Types of Car Decals?
Car decals typically fall into three categories based on their printing method. These types are screen printing, digital printing, and offset printing.
Let’s take a closer look at the three types of printing methods to give you a better understanding of what they have to offer.
Screen-Printed Car Decals
Screen printing is a printing process that uses water-based ink that is forced through a fine-mesh screen. The ink fuses with the vinyl material, which gives it a seamless, long-lasting appearance. While the screen-printing process may appear primitive compared to digital printing, it can produce highly detailed decals with a more personal touch.
The benefits of a screen-printed car decal are as follows:
- Long-lasting (up to 5 years)
- Material versatility (white, clear vinyl, chrome vinyl)
- Can have a glossy or metallic finish
Digital-Printed Car Decals
Digital-printed car decals are the most common type of decals. Basically, a client hands over an image file to the decal maker, who uploads the image to an image editor to tweak or resize the file before printing it onto the sheet of decal material. This is the preferable option if you plan on mass-printing car decals for later distribution.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of digital-printed car decals down below.
- Lasts 24 months or more
- Printable on white or clear vinyl
- Photo-realistic images
- Cheaper when printed in bulk
Offset-Printed Car Decals
Finally, we have offset-printed car decals, which, like the digitally printed variety, use computers to get the job done. The main difference is that offset-printed car decals are done using specialized machines that “stamp” an image repeatedly onto a moving sheet of clear vinyl. The final product is a clearer image that is printed on irregularly shaped decals, but it comes at a higher cost per unit.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits of offset-printed car decals.
- Better image clarity
- Can print intricate details
- Quicker production on irregularly shaped vinyl sheets
Car Decal Adhesive Types
Apart from the car decal’s size, shape, and printing methods, you should also be aware of the different adhesive types before hiring a printer to start producing the decals. The type of adhesive you use will determine how easy it will be to remove the decal and whether or not it will leave any residue.
We’ll take a closer look at each adhesive below.
Permanent—Used only for car decals that the customer does not plan on removing. Attempting to peel the decal off will result in a thick layer of residue that can be tricky to remove.
Removable—Used for car decals that will stay for a couple of months to a year at most. Removing the decal will leave minimal residue, if any.
Ultra-Removable—Used to car decals that will stay for upwards of a year and will not leave any material once peeled off. However, exposure to rainwater or snow may cause the decal to peel off naturally.
Static Cling—This does not use any adhesive. It is meant to stick onto the inner portion of your window so as to not receive direct exposure to sunlight and precipitation. Peeling off the decal will result in no leftover residue.
If you’re worried about what the car decal adhesive can do to your car, then you should take a look at car magnets instead.