If your sticker is a more serious branding effort and you want to convey an important event, security, or a serious issue, make sure your colors, font, and styling reflects those needs. For example, many banks use navy blue to communicate being secure and trustworthy, and you’d never see a financial institution choose a goofy font like comic sans.
Fairey writes about the surprising significance that stickers took in building his career, in an essay called “Sticker Art,” originally published in Graphotism Magazine.
Don’t shy away from using a spooky look for a similarly situated brand.
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If you can afford to play around a little with your brand and message, funny characters are your friends.
Liked this article? Read more about how sticker art can inspire your next design.
Want to make your brand message stick? Say it with a custom sticker.
Stickers are a great medium for single shot of cool—a concentrated image that just makes you want to join that club and fly those colors proudly. Achieve this cool look with a colorful, appealing image or logo that shows off an ideal. For example, the Lady Killerz sticker shows the ideal tough chick we all secretly pretend we are while watching an action movie (or maybe just a beer commercial). And this basking bear has achieved the perfect WiFi connection—while sunbathing in an inner tube. Awesome!
Design by Monkeii.Design by Executor for GAMEIZM.Get serious —
Is your product or brand all about users feeling hip or cool? Prove it with a cool sticker design.
This gluey favorite has furtively made it’s way into pop culture. And like that sticky, filmy substance left behind when you try to remove it — sticker art has left marks all over different transgressive subsets of our culture.
Flat design is still a major style trend, and a relatively simple, flat design in two or three colors can offer a sophisticated effect in a sticker. Sometimes a minimalistic sticker can be even more eye-catching than a complex design. It’s all in the lettering, spacing, and graphics—use those basic elements to create anything from the light-hearted traveler’s sticker to the top secret geek insignia.
As the art of the sticker started with brands, it became an accessible way for artists to critique society. It’s commonly called subvertising, an amalgamation of the words “subversive” and “advertising” to make fun of corporate and political slogans.
Classic sticker design by northerner29.Design by Art Astronaut for mattbrown8454 .
It’s impossible to keep any medium outside of the high-brow context, no matter how low-brow it started. So even sticker art, cheap and multitudinal, has made its way into the minds of more famous designers.
Listen, we all love cartoons, even if we don’t watch them as much as we used to (or admit it if we do). Stickers with funny characters on them are just appealing, and fun to see. They are also eye-catching, and you can’t help but focus enough on them to at least figure out what they’re up to—and that’s enough time to get a brand message across.
In one of the most famous album covers of all time, Andy Warhol stickered a banana on the front of the Velvet Underground’s album, which you could peel off to reveal a vaguely skin-colored banana underneath.
But there’s also increasingly an art to this option, cheap enough to be available as an option for pretty much anyone to put their own spin on.
Stickers are a fantastic way to splash your brand and motto around. With the right design ideas, you can create stickers that say everything you need them to say in a single compact image that can go just about anywhere.
Stickers also have a long history with music. How many band-based stickers have you seen decorating someone’s bumper alongside a blue-and-red political statement? It doesn’t matter which music world you were involved in. From the Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, to The Sex Pistols, Sonic Youth or Wu-Tang Clan. Each one of these groups has very memorable visual merchandise.
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For a really cool retro brand, a well-designed, vintage looking sticker is the perfect idea. Go for rustic colors, line drawings, and other illustrations to make your sticker design fit perfectly, whether you’re sticking it on food, drinks, packaging or something totally different.
To give your brand a vintage feel, get a retro looking sticker.
If your sticker has a strong message, you can draw all eyes on it by making your font the focal point. Big, bold letters will help you get your message out into the world. A unique typography can express the character and brand identity of your business and create the right feeling for your sticker design. A catchy slogan, funny quip or word play will make your message even more memorable.
The thing I love most about stickers it is how they show that a simple graphic or design can get into the sub-conscience of society and become part of the visual zeitgeist for the next ten or twenty years.
When it comes to branding, standing out is the name of the game—and a shocking design is perfect for that goal. If you’ve got something creepy, dark, or edgy you’re showing off, go there with color and thematic elements. For example, black lettering and blood effects may not be right for all stickers, but they’re perfect for a video game app with edgy characters.
For stickers, you’re looking to grab attention with a relatively small image. Use energetic designs filled with vibrant colors for this aim. On-theme colors can also emphasize your brand’s hues, or reinforce the message you’re sending—such as when you use bright colors to denote summer and happiness or bold, contrasting colors that scream look at me!
And who said all sticker art had to be an illustrative experience to critique? Yayoi Kusama’s interactive Obliteration Room started out completely white, a commentary on the nondescript suburban household. And throughout the exhibition, viewers were welcomed to cover the space entirely in colored stickers, rapidly obscuring the entire space in a burst of colorful fun. See the time lapse of the exhibition at the Tate for a glimpse of the effect.
Sticker art is the wildly successful yet still sometimes frowned-upon component of street art. Some graffiti artists say that it’s too easy a way of making your mark, and others have parlayed it into fame and fortune. It’s just so easy, printable at home for a more impermanent effect or on increasingly wear-resistant vinyl for staying power.
Whether you want them for your product packaging or a trade show booth, your customers’ laptops or just anywhere people feel like slapping them, great looking branded stickers are an awesomely versatile way to get brand exposure and—you guessed it—make your message stick. To create a sticker that really works for you and your brand, a custom look is your best bet. Give your creativity a boost with these fun and inspirational sticker design ideas, and then get to work designing your own.
Sometimes, playing by the rules is just what you need to do. When you’re hoping to publicize something that’s basic, appealing to a wide range of people, or you just need to be sure everyone knows what the brand or product is about with a single glance, go for classic visual cues like familiar colors, images, and styles that lend plenty of context. Use symbols that are easy to understand; a birthday cake for “happy birthday,” and a bagel with a coffee for a bagel shop. Or, just say what you need to say: you’re a “proud supporter” of an important cause.
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And as you can see above, a simple logo can be done in a whole variety of styles, sometimes even redesigned by famous artists and designers, to create an in-demand limited edition product to be desired in-and-of itself.
-DB Burkman, Co-author (with Monica LoCascio) of Stickers: Stuck Up Piece of Crap – From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art
Some stickers do important jobs, like providing a service number or warning users about security; if yours does, get serious with your design.
Use simple graphics to focus on the brand and message, not the bells and whistles on the sticker itself.
Make your message stand out by focussing on bold typography.
It’s not easy to find a detailed history of the medium so endlessly embedded into our lives, but it’s safe to say that for years it started out as a simple and practical tool — often in branding. Slather a little glue on the back of your logo, and you can post it up just about anywhere. And that’s where a lot of the new stickering culture came from – social commentary playing on existing logos.
Simple sticker for Hoya product packaging designed by mrsdesign_indonesia.
In the case of the image above, “Chetrooper,” created by Derek Fridman and Heather Alexander and Urban Medium, the commentary was on the iconic art image of Che Guevara, which the artists found frustratingly ubiquitous on the clothes and bags of people who had no idea of the original historical figure’s ethos.
One of the most recognizable street art stickers is the work by Shepherd Fairey, derived from an image of André the Giant. Now internationally known, the street artist actually first gained notice through the use of his OBEY graphic in the early ’90s, often in sticker form.
Intricately tied with the history and culture of graffiti, streetwear brands have taken this trend and run with it. Or rather, skated off with it. It’s the perfect form of advertising, artistic renditions of your brand name that can be plastered directly onto a skateboard, snowboard, or surfboard. It’s like a bunch of tiny billboards walking around for you.
Use a bright, colorful sticker to grab attention and send a similar feeling message.