Regular auto window stickers are made by printing the design on adhesive-backed paper or plastic. Vinyl window decals are more durable than regular window stickers, but this type of window decoration requires a more complicated manufacturing process.
Companies that manufacture regular automotive window stickers use a very similar process as they do when making any other type of stickers. These companies use computer software to create a grid where the sticker's design repeats over and over. Using this grid allows companies to use as much of the paper as possible, reducing their costs and preventing waste.
Lithographic stock, a type of very heavyweight paper, is usually the material of choice for printing stickers. Manufacturers sometimes add latex to the paper stock, making the finished sticker more resistant to tearing or cracking. After printing, the individual stickers are cut out of the larger grid before being sent to retail outlets.
Manufacturers of true vinyl decals do not print the sticker's design onto vinyl, but rather they use a specialized machine to cut the design out of a large roll or sheet of vinyl. After the machine cuts the design out of the large roll, individual employees scan the designs for imperfections, removing any flaws they discover. Finally, transfer tape or other adhesive is applied to the back of the cut vinyl designs, resulting in the finished decal.