Clear Window Decals vs. Window Clings

Storefront with sign

By: Naomi J. Myrick, Staff Writer

Windows are clear. They’re intended to be easily peered through.  So clear decals and clings make perfect sense for storefront advertising as well as home décor. 

In fact, clear decals and window clings both offer great visibility through the transparent vinyl backing. But what makes them different?

In this quick guide, I will break down the differences between clear decals and window clings.

Let’s go!

Chapter One: Why Clings Aren’t Actually That Clingy

Koala clings to eucalyptus tree

Window clings kind-of-sort-of defy the definition of clingy! In fact, they are produced from a 4 millimeter removable vinyl material. 

Removable, eh? Wait, so they really aren't that clingy? Nope, not in the traditional sense anyways. 

That's right, they’re easily removable and repositionable. They’re not at all like stubborn koalas wrapped around eucalyptus trees or needy kids in the toy aisle. 

Basically, clings are made out of vinyl with a low-tack adhesive or less-sticky adhesive, thus making them ideal for temporary window signage.

Remember those cute Rudolph and Frosty Christmas decorations? Those are static clings in most cases, and they use friction instead of an adhesive.  However, window clings are basically the same concept, which is great if you own a business with ever changing window decorations!

Chapter Two: Why Clear Decals Are So Dedicated

Wedding rings on hands

Clear window decals are also made of 4 millimeter transparent vinyl material. Unlike clings though, this vinyl uses a high-tack adhesive. This strong adhesion makes these decals excellent for graphics that need to stick around for a while. 

Due to their superior stickiness, these decals are intended for permanent use. But they can typically be removed (just not repositioned) with little to no residue.  If you do have some leftover goo, just use some warm soapy water to remove it.

Therefore, thanks to the marriage of durability and longevity, clear decals are considered committed to adhesive oriented projects. Happily ever after!

Chapter Three: Front-adhesive vs. Back-adhesive

Storefronts in luxury mall

Both clear window decals, as well as clings, have different sided-adhesive options. 

Picture an indoor shopping mall, with advertisements on every storefront, many of those are probably front-adhesive products. These front and back adhesive options each offer great versatility for these vinyl products.

Front-adhesive means that the front of the product sticks on the inside of a window, facing outward. This way, the decals or clings won’t be susceptible to outdoors—or theft. 

Back-adhesive is used for a typical decal or sticker, just like one you’d place on a laptop. The adhesive is placed on the back of the product which sits on the outside of a window, exposed to the elements, facing outward. 

The Breakdown

  • Clear vinyl clings may have either front adhesive or back adhesive. 
  • White vinyl clings may only have back-adhesive.
  • Clear decals may have either front adhesive or back adhesive.

Chapter Four: Common Uses for Clear Window Decals

Decals on windows

If you’re curious how others are using these useful clear decals, here are some everyday examples. 

These decals are used for car windows, or for just about  anything that needs to go on a window for a while! Many establishments use them for displaying logos or branding in a crisp and easy to notice manner.  

Clear material eliminates the white background, which can sometimes look tacky, depending on the circumstances. It also allows colorful decals to really pop out at passersby. This is especially useful for marketing diners or food at a busy food court. 

A few more uses include:

  • Fun-shaped decals to draw attention
  • Permanent signage for businesses
  • Visual aids for classrooms

Chapter Five: Common Uses for Window Clings

Christmas cheer

Here are some ordinary uses for window clings! 

These products are excellent for holiday decorating and spreading cheer! 

More practical applications for clings are as temporary storefront messaging like business hours or promoting sales. Auto shops typically use front-adhesive clings for those little oil change reminders on your windshield. 

They can also be used for supporting teams and school spirit! Add a sports team or school mascot graphic to your car and remove it or reposition it whenever you’d like. Clings are less of a hassle than traditional bumper stickers. 

A few more uses include: 

  1. Reinforce your brand and logos in many places
  2. Temporary signage for upcoming sales
  3. Wedding or shower decorations

Just like humanoid twins, window decals and window clings have their differences, which are pretty much varying degrees of stickiness and which side of the window they prefer. Both are high-quality products that you can use all year long!