Sans serif typography can often appear more bold and readable when printed in small font sizes, so keep that in mind. However, don’t use sans-serif fonts just for the sake of it, especially if it doesn’t fit in with your brands existing visual identity.
We consulted with them and created the following guide to walk you through the process of designing and printing the perfect sticker.
When used appropriately and designed well, stickers can be a brilliant marketing material for just about any business. The problem is, most people don’t have a clue where to start when it comes to designing stickers and more often than not, even graphic designers without sufficient experience in sticker design can make a mess of the design process.
As an example of this, take a look at the Apple stickers above. Essentially, these are nothing more than stickers of the white Apple logo that virtually all of us will recognise. These stickers have no text at all and no bright colours, yet they reflect the brand perfectly. Why? Because Apple is known for their minimalistic design approach and in some respects, a blatant disregard for the rules.
Here’s another great example of subtle humour used in a sticker design. This large wall sticker has been placed strategically next to a power socket to make it look as though the power socket is powering the ‘mind’. It also has the caption “Keep it on” in large, uppercase letters (see point #3) which further adds to the humour (and helps it to stand out).
Most people tend to think of call-to-actions as lines of text such as “Call now for your free no obligation quote” but truthfully, call-to-actions can be much more subtle than this. It’s these kind of subtle and non-obtrusive call-to-actions that are best used in sticker designs.
If you take a look at the sticker above from Kapture, you’ll see another great example of how keeping things simple and to-the-point can actually create a greater impact. Most people are aware of the “I [heart] New York” logo and this simple yet clever design plays on that fact. It replaces the [heart] with the Kapture logo.
You need to ensure that you choose both a bold and clear typeface that will be readable from a distance. Take the Hacker sticker design above for example; you can see that the designer has utilised a bold and highly-readable typeface. The impact and readability of the text has further been increased through the use of solely uppercase type and a large font size (thus increasing readability from a distance).
At FastPrint.co.uk, we can create stickers up to four feet wide and virtually any length you desire, so please give us a call if you’re looking to create a large sticker.
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Great product, great service, very pleased! I love my stickers and the whole experience (and price) went smoothly 🙂
Here’s another beautifully colourful yet rather simple sticker from theint.ro. Again, it only uses two main colours (yellow and dark grey) but still, the design is bright, clean and colourful.
It’s easy to overcomplicate your design and while a plethora of information might be appropriate for leaflets, brochures or flyers, stickers should almost always be as simple and as minimalistic as possible. In many cases, your company’s logo might be all that’s needed to communicate the desired message and increase brand awareness (take the aforementioned Apple stickers for instance).
If you use too many colours in your design, you run the risk of creating a cluttered and quite frankly ugly design, so make sure to stick to just two or three main colours.
The reason for these requirements is to ensure that none of your text is accidentally cut-off during the trimming process. The bleed ensures that you’re not left with an undesirable white/clear line around the edge of your sticker design should the trimming process be one or two millimetres out.
When it comes to actually printing your stickers, you have a few different options in terms of the material they’re printed on. Almost all stickers will be printed on some form of PVC/vinyl but the exact properties of that vinyl can make a huge difference to the end result.
It’s important to realise that you aren’t bound to sticker designs that are just a few centimetres in diameter either. Most modern day printing companies will allow you to create stickers up to a few feet in size and length. This can be great if you’re looking to create a wall sticker like the one pictured above.
For more information about how to design stickers, valuable info and sticker design ideas, check out the free special report; Maximizing the Power of Promotional Stickers which covers what promo stickers can do for you, designing your sticker, utilizing back copy, and producing & purchasing your stickers. Or, for the ultimate guide to marketing with stickers check out Jeff’s book; Stick This – Using Promotional Stickers To Build Identity, Create Word Of Mouth and Grow Sales
It’s for this reason that, in most cases, you should make sure your sticker is bright and colourful. Making your sticker colourful will ensure that it grabs the attention of its target audience and gets the attention it deserves.
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It’s the same for the sticker design above. At first glance, all you see is the Twitter logo and the Twitter handle but in reality, this is acting as a call-to-action. The Twitter handle is discreetly prompting the recipient/viewer of the sticker to follow them on Twitter (or at least visit their Twitter profile).
Perhaps the most common shape for a sticker is a regular rectangular and square design (like the stickers from LouLou & Tummie above). These are often the most cost-effective stickers to produce as they don’t require any additional die-cutting process or custom shaping.
Now you’ve designed the perfect sticker for your business, there’s only one thing left to think about: the printing process. Although this might be the final hurdle, it can be the most complicated part of the process for many.
In Adobe Illustrator, you’ll need to go to the “Type” menu and click “Create Outlines”.
Share your rough ideas, logos, and goals with our Design Team here at Websticker. We’ll work up some options and get you pricing at no charge – Just fill out our Pricing Request Form. You are under no obligation to buy from Websticker and will not be added to any mailing list.
One thing you might have already noticed from just about every sticker that we’ve showcased so far in this guide is that they’re all pretty simplistic and to-the-point. For almost all stickers, this is something that you need to keep in mind during the design process.
If you need help creating a great logo for your business, check out our ultimate guide to logo design from start to finish.
These are nothing more than simple icons and no text has been used at all. The reason for this is simple; the intended audience of these stickers will already recognise the HTML5 icons and therefore, no text is needed. More of an impact is created without any text.
A number of things can act as a great call-to-action on your sticker; it could be your phone number, Twitter handle, address or even a QR code. Just don’t make it too obvious, you don’t want to use your sticker as a “hard sell” as this will alienate your audience.
It’s almost entirely down to personal preference when it comes to matte vs. glossy but in some cases, a matte finish can give a more premium look and feel to your stickers.
Call-to-actions are often used throughout a variety of different marketing mediums and typically, you’ll see them on banners (both online and offline), leaflets, websites (i.e. landing pages)and sometimes leaflets/brochures. However, a lot of stickers don’t use an effective call-to-action and for many, this is a mistake.
Just because uppercase typography and certain contrasting colours might have the greatest impact when it comes to getting noticed, you should never incorporate colours or typography that don’t reflect your brand or adhere to your already-existing brand identity.
These can also be printed in reverse if you’re planning to stick them on windows or another transparent surface (please give us a call if you’re looking to do this, we’re always happy to help!).
It might sound pretty complicated but don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the process. We’ve designed stickers for hundreds of happy clients here at FastPrint.co.uk and our team of designers are well-versed in the art of sticker design.
It’s also important to ensure that you correctly set up your file size and resolution as failure to do this can often result in an unintentional outcome.
If you are looking to create a more custom-shaped design like the sticker above, the best option is to simply print your sticker on clear vinyl. By doing this, you’ll be able to create an entirely customised design even though technically, your sticker will still be a regular square/rectangular shape (it’s just that part of the sticker will be entirely transparent).
Another trick to further increase the boldness and readability of your sticker text is to use contrasting colours. If you take a look at the Hackathon sticker above for example, you’ll notice that the word ‘Hackathon’ is printed in white text on a dark red background. These two colours are highly contrasting and therefore, the text appears to stand out even further.
You also need to set the correct size for your project too. Luckily, this is pretty straightforward; so long as you know how big you want your stickers to be, you can either set this in inches, centimetres or millimetres (whichever you prefer). So long as you ensure that you’re set to 300DPI, there shouldn’t be a problem.
The sticker design above from Agave Syrup represents these points perfectly. Not only does it show their logo, but it’s also consistent with their brand identity across other mediums (as represented by the bottle).
The golden rule with sticker design is to communicate your message as simply and effectively as possible. The less text you can use, the better (in most cases).
Clearly, this small amount of text (five words in total) has much more of an impact than a whole paragraph telling people about where ideas might come from. Less is more when it comes to sticker design.
Another option available to you is printing your stickers on a clear sheet of vinyl. As we mentioned earlier in the guide, this can be a great option if you’re looking to create a custom-shaped design but don’t want to pay a premium for a die-cutting process.
Just because you are printing on white vinyl doesn’t mean the background of the sticker needs to be white. For a one color decal or sticker design use a printed color as the background and leave the copy white for more contrast and more appealing design.
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Here’s another fantastic sticker design that uses a regular square shape for the design. As you can see, it’s a pretty simple yet beautifully designed sticker which just goes to show that you can do a lot with a regular square/rectangular design; it’s all down to the creative process
The problem is that stickers are usually viewed from quite a distance. If your sticker ends up being stuck to someone’s laptop cover, car bumper, a lamp post or any of the many other possibilities, the target audience for your sticker will be anywhere from a few feet to a couple of hundred metres away.
One hugely important thing to focus on when designing your sticker is the choice of typography you opt for. It’s likely that your sticker will communicate a message and if so, you need to ensure that this message is readable to the intended audience of your sticker.
If you’re thinking about designing your own sticker in order to market your business (or perhaps just as a personal project), you’ll likely have realised there’s a lot more to the design process than first meets the eye.
What are other people in your industry using for promotional stickers? Do you need to create car stickers, business card stickers, or cool custom cut vinyl decals? Are they using car sticker designs, sticker postcards or something else? What isn’t being done that may be effective? What stickers do you see out on the highway – why are they there – why do they work (or not work)? How can you do something powerful and unique while still effectively tying in with your other marketing efforts?
If you look at any sticker design out there, you’ll notice that text is used extremely sparingly. In fact, a lot of sticker designs don’t utilise any text at all. For example, take a look at the HTML5 stickers above.
If you’ve ever purchased wine from the supermarket then you’ll likely have felt perplexed at the many different wines on offer, all of which have seemingly similar stickers. You can imagine how this unique humorous wine sticker would help to ensure that this particular wine stands out from the crowd and gets the attention it deserves.
Depending on your purposes, stickers can come with ultra-removable adhesive on up to a super aggressive adhesive. Static decals have no adhesive – although for the added price, and limited applications, these are seldom necessary. We also do not recommend stickers with adhesive “on the face” for inside window applications. These have more limited applications, are harder to apply, and usually not necessary.
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It’s also important to remember that most printing companies will require that you either flatten or outline your fonts (depending on whether you’re using Photoshop or Illustrator). In Photoshop, you need to both rasterize your text/fonts and then flatten the entire image. To do this, simply go to the “Layer” menu and then click “Flatten Image” (as pictured above).
A sticker design needs to convey a message quickly, clearly, and often from a distance. Beware of small details, intricate graphics, more than three colors, and more than one simple message/image. Stickers are not newspaper ads. View them as very small billboards – design a sticker with a clear logo, “headline” or graphic.
As we briefly mentioned in the last point, the aim of a sticker isn’t to tell the audience your life story or inform them about every single product you offer (you can let a leaflet/brochure take care of that) but instead, to attract attention for your brand and increase brand awareness.
If you were creating a flyer or a leaflet, it would be perfectly acceptable to include paragraphs of text written in a relatively small typeface but with stickers, this would be a big mistake. The aim of stickers isn’t to give the audience your life story, it’s simply to create brand visibility and attract attention (in most cases at least).
If you’re unfamiliar with what a call-to-action actually is, it’s essentially an image or line of text that actively prompts the recipient/viewer to take a specific course of action. It could be giving your business a call, visiting a website or following a social media profile.
What is the purpose for making stickers… building identity, advertising a specific event or product, pointing people to a web site…? Where do you ideally see the stickers being applied; to a car, to a helmet, to computers or equipment? How will you be distributing the stickers; in the mail, as a hand out at trade shows or special events, included with products, sold as a product itself…? Your answers will affect the size and how you design your stickers – be as specific as possible. You don’t want to have finished stickers before you realize “oh no, it won’t fit in the envelope”, or “oh no, the adhesive isn’t holding the stickers on our equipment”.
In this blog you’ll find tips on how to create stunning designs and conduct marketing which ramps up your sales. Enjoy top tricks, step-by-step tutorials and valuable resources which are designed to help you with your future design projects and marketing campaigns.
One choice you have is whether the material on which you print your stickers has a matte or glossy finish. Almost all printing companies will give you a choice here (including ourselves at FastPrint.co.uk) and ultimately, the decision is down to you. The stickers above have a glossy finish (as you can see from the slight shine they have). Matte stickers will have less of a shine.
It’s also important to remember that although this guide should act as a rough guideline for your design, the success of your own sticker will ultimately be down to your own creativity, so make sure to spend enough time (or perhaps money, if you’re hiring a professional design) on the design/concept to make it worthwhile.
It’s also possible to print designs in reverse if you want to place your sticker on the inside of a window yet you want it to be visible from outside. This can be a little more complex but feel free to give us a call if you’re interested in doing this (we’re always happy to help!).
Lastly, you need to ensure that you set up your bleed and trim correctly. At FastPrint.co.uk, we require that all stickers have a 3mm bleed (the area outside the trim) to account for any discrepancies. We also require that you keep any text within a safe area which is located 3mm inside the trim line.
One of the main aims of a promotional sticker is to increase brand visibility so if your sticker doesn’t represent your brand, it’s not going to have the desired impact or create a return on your investment.
A sticker’s visual appeal and impact is increased when designs are cut to shape (something other than a square or rectangle). Circles and ovals are common promotional and car sticker designs and often have no added cost, and any custom shape is possible with the use of a die. A die is usually well worth the inexpensive one-time fee.
If you are designing a sticker on clear material for application to windows, it needs white ink! White reflects light (more visible) while darker colors are translucent and blend with the dark window background. In my opinion, designs on white vinyl are more visually effective than clear material in 90% of the cases.
If you are creating a promotional sticker, don’t waste the white space on the back of the sticker decal. Use it for advertising, coupons, news, postcard copy, coop ads… any information you want to get into the hands of your prospects and/or customers.
Although it’s important to take into account colour schemes, typography and so forth, it’s also important that your brand stays at the heart of your design.
Not sure what a QR code is? Take a look at our recent blog post explaining what QR codes are and how they work.
If you take a look at the Healthy Horwitz stickers, you’ll see that the designers have opted for just one main bright block colour for each of the designs. You can see how these would stand out beautifully from a distance and grab the attention of passers-by.
It’s important to remember that making your sticker bright and colourful doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to use every colour of the rainbow in your design though. Often, just one or two colours will work best (you can learn more about colour theory in this fantastic article).
One other important thing to note is that in order to obtain the desired outcome when printing your stickers, you should make sure you opt for a reputable printing company with plenty of experience in sticker printing (we’ve got years of experience at FastPrint.co.uk).
Using humour in this way can be a great way to ensure that your sticker makes a lasting impression and ultimately, generates a good return on your investment. It might not be suitable for every brand though, so make sure it aligns with your existing brand identity.
If you’re planning to use your sticker for marketing/promotional purposes, it’s not just about creating a pretty sticker, you also have to keep a number of other things in mind. You need to think about the message you want to communicate, the actual copy of your sticker, the sizing/shape, the typography and of course, the actual printing process (which can often be the most daunting part of the process if you haven’t designed for print before).
Most printing companies (including ourselves) require a resolution of 300DPI. If you’re using Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator, it’s likely that any new project will be set to 72DPI by default, so make sure you change this before going ahead with your sticker design. You can do this when you set up a new project (as pictured in the Photoshop screenshot above).
Large custom stickers don’t work for certain applications. The bigger the sticker the easier to see, right? True, but a promotional sticker won’t be seen by anyone if it is never applied. Put big car sticker designs on your company vehicles but give customers a sticker that they are willing and apt to apply somewhere visible to the masses.
If you take a look at the clever and beautifully designed wine bottle above, you’ll start to see what we mean by subtle humour. You can see that this wine bottle sticker has been designed to resemble a flight boarding card but instead of flight information, the boarding card contains information related to the wine (e.g. country of origin etc).
Frequently sticker design suffers and money is wasted due to people putting off the sticker design and ordering until “I need them yesterday”. Production generally takes 3-7 days but you also need time to review ideas, consider manufacturer recommendations, and prepare the designs.
Before you start thinking about any other aspect of your design, you need to make a decision as to the size and shape of your sticker. In most cases, this will almost solely depend on the intended use of the sticker.
One tactic that almost never fails to grab attention is to use humour in your marketing materials. People love to laugh and if you can use subtle humour in your sticker design, it’s much more likely that they’re remember your business for all the right reasons.
It doesn’t matter where you plan on using your sticker, the aim is usually to grab people’s attention. If you’re creating a promotional sticker for marketing purposes, this will almost always be the case, no matter what form your sticker happens to be in (e.g. regular adhesive sticker, vehicle sticker etc).
It might seem like a lot of information to take-in but if you work through this guide in order, you’re almost certain to end up with not only a great sticker design but also a design that has the desired impact.
If you take a look at the sticker above (taken from the Design Month designs once again), you’ll notice that there is no obvious call-to-action. In reality, it’s the QR code that acts as the call-to-action as it prompts the recipient/viewer to scan the code. It might not be obvious, but it’s still there.
Obviously, we’re not all running the biggest company in the world (i.e. Apple) so what about the rest of us? Well, it’s important to use a colour scheme that reflects your brand and that is also consistent across all other visual media (leaflets, banners, website etc). It’s also usually a good idea to include your logo in the sticker as this is likely the most recognisable part of your visual identity.
You can see an example of how this can be used on the Givespark stickers above. Although the stickers appear to have a white background, they are actually printed on clear vinyl (the white is caused by the paper-backing). This can be useful if you’re planning to use your stickers on a transparent surface (e.g. plastic or glass).
You can see a representation of the bleed, trim and safe areas on the image above. If you use a different printing company, the requirements for bleed and trim may vary so make sure that you consult with them before going ahead with your design.
In some cases however, text will be necessary and can actually help to attract attention for your stickers. For example, take a look at the sticker design(s) above which were created for Design Month. The aim of these stickers was to attract attention for the month and as you can see, the text really helps this. It asks a simple question “Where do ideas come from?”. This is enough to grab people’s attention and get them thinking. It also invokes a sense of curiosity and makes them want to know the answer.
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