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Window Decals vs Traditional Signage: Comparative Analysis for Your Business

Comparing Window Decals and Traditional Signage

When promoting your business, you may be wondering whether to go with window decals or more traditional signage. It’s not necessarily an either-or decision: each option is best suited to different applications. Exploring the difference between the two and the advantages and drawbacks of each will help you make the right choice for your company’s needs.

Exploring Window Decals

There are many different kinds of window decals available. Let’s look at a few of the most common below.

Clear Decals

Clear decals display graphics on a clear piece of vinyl that you can easily see through. They’re often used as window signs for storefronts and other places of business but may be used as custom wall decals, too.


  • They don’t impede your ability to see through the window. This is especially important for large graphic decals that would otherwise block most of the view. This also makes them great for custom car window decals.
  • They look sleek, modern, and highly professional, ensuring that your brand will be viewed as having those same qualities.


  • They’re easy to see through, so they don’t provide much privacy.
  • Some clear custom decals may be damaged by extreme heat or cold.

Opaque Decals

Opaque decals feature bold graphics that light cannot pass through. They’re easier to spot than clear decals, but they have some unique disadvantages, too.


  • Opaque decals block all visibility through the window they’re applied to, making them perfect for instances when privacy is needed.


  • Since they’re impossible to see through, they’re a poor fit for high-traffic places like stores, restaurants, and salons.
  • Many opaque decals are designed for long-term use as window clings and may require some extra effort to remove.

Perforated Decals

Perforated decals are decals with small holes in them that make it possible to see through them from one side.


  • You can see through them from one side but not the other, allowing you to display a large, vibrant image without compromising visibility from inside your building.
  • Perforated decals hold up well against all weather conditions and can last for many years.


  • While you can still see through them up close, large, perforated decals may be hard to see through from far away.

Frosted Decals

Frosted window decals feature a frosted or etched glass effect on part or all of the decal. They’re usually applied over the entire surface of a window, just like a window film would be.


  • Frosted decals offer plenty of privacy while also allowing light to pass through the window, ensuring that the space doesn’t get too dark.
  • They look like etched glass, a beautiful material commonly found in elegant, high-class buildings.


  • Just like opaque custom decals, frosted decals reduce visibility through your windows.
  • Frosted decals may be more difficult to remove than clear ones, especially if they’re large enough to cover the whole window.

Custom Vinyl Decals

Vinyl decals are pieces of vinyl cut from adhesive-backed sheets. They are usually placed on store windows or doors and can be installed by anyone with a little time and a few simple tools.


  • Vinyl decals are extremely durable. They’ll last for years even when exposed to lots of rain, snow, and sunlight.
  • They can be easily cut into intricate shapes, adding to their customizability.
  • They can be installed on a variety of surfaces besides glass, including plastic and metal.


  • They may leave slight traces of adhesive residue after you remove them. You can usually remove this residue with soap and water.

Understanding Traditional Signage

Traditional decals are just one type of signage. Some other types include:

  • Banners and Flags. Banners and flags are easy to pick up and move around, making them ideal for temporary events like trade shows or festivals.
  • Dimensional Signs. Dimensional signs use elements like acrylic channel lettering to create an appealing 3D effect. They may be freestanding or supported by another structure, such as a counter or the walls of a building.
  • Billboards. You’ll find billboards along almost every highway in the world, proudly helping companies advertise their products. Billboards may be painted but are usually printed using high-fidelity fabrication technology.
  • Carved Signs. Carved signs are signs made of metal, wood, or other materials that have been engraved with your business name or logo.

All of these signage options are more expensive than decals, and most require professional installation and maintenance. They’re also difficult to update if changes are needed.

Pros and Cons of Traditional Decals

If you still think that traditional decals are the way to go, consider the following pros and cons to finalize your decision.


  • They’re Highly Customizable. Decals come in all shapes and sizes and can be printed with crisp, full-colour graphics – even photorealistic images.
  • They’re Affordable. Custom stickers in Toronto can be printed for much less than what it would cost to print signs in other formats.
  • They’re Easy to Use. Decals are extremely easy to install. Just peel off the backing, apply them to a surface, smooth them down, and you’re good to go.


  • They’re Temporary. Decals can be long-lasting, but they’re rarely used as permanent installations the way that storefront, lightbox, and monument signs often are.
  • They Lack Texture. Custom wall stickers and other decals don’t offer the same texture and tactile experience that 3D signs do.
  • They Don’t Stick to All Surfaces. Some custom vinyl stickers don’t adhere well to rough or textured surfaces. Keep this in mind if you intend to invest in car decal printing. The car will need to be squeaky clean and free of rust or chipping paint to keep the sticker in place long-term.

Order Custom Decals in Toronto at The Sign & Graphics Manufaktur

Whether you’re interested in car sticker printing or want to design some custom wall decals, The Sign & Graphics Manufaktur is the place to go for sticker printing in Toronto. Our team will help you design and fabricate all of the decals, wall graphics, channel lettering, and other signs you need to help your business thrive. Contact us today, and let us show you the incredible potential of window decals and other types of business signage.


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