Archive for the ‘Interesting Sticker News’ Category
It’s that time of year again when kids will be heading off to camp. And the coolest camp trunks are always the ones decked out with stickers and decals. A couple years ago I did this video of my son preparing his trunk for the trip to camp. Of course, it might not just be a trunk you want to customize with stickers – you may want to do a bike, helmet, skateboard, tacklebox or any other essential summer equipment.
A couple years ago I did not recommend an awesome place to get small quantities of custom stickers so I just plugged our Websticker.com site. But this site does nothing to help kids plaster their trunks and equipment with cool stickers in the short run (unless you’re the son of the owner). What’s needed are limited quantities of a vast array of stickers, personalized if possible. StickerYou is the place. StickerYou allows you to create pages of die cut stickers. You can personalize, adjust sizes, choose from thousands of possibilities and order up a sheet or two of stickers that will make that camp trunk stand out from all others. You can even upload your own designs or pictures and make your own custom stickers. Very Cool!
Check out Sticker You!
By Jeff Nicholson
The slogan for Freely Creative, Inc., the parent company for Websticker.com is “The Power Of Stickers”. I like the simplicity of this statement and wholeheartedly believe in its sentiment. I’m in the sticker business because I firmly believe that promotional stickers are one of the most cost effective marketing tools available. As I have often stated over the years, custom stickers build identity, advertise, support and enhance overall marketing programs, and can also make profitable stand alone products.
Recently I’ve been digging further into another side of stickers – their role as street art. This of course is also promotion, just of a different sort. Promoting individuals, ideas, causes or just prompting reactions from viewers. I just saw Exit Through The Gift Shop a documentary film produced by Banksy, a well known street artist. I do highly recommend this film as a peek into street artist’s lives, graffiti and an exploration of the question of what “art” is. Regardless of whether this is a true documentary or “Banksy prank”, it still is a great piece of art and entertainment.
My favorite quote in the film regarding stickers and delivered by Shepard Fairey is;
“Even though the Andre the Giant sticker was an inside joke and I was just having fun, I like the idea of the more stickers that are out there, the more important it seems… the more people wanna know what it is, the more they… (talk) and it gains real power from perceived power.”
I love it. Whether promoting something, making a joke or starting a worldwide movement, behold, the power of stickers.
By Jeff Nicholson
|Cheap and cheesy notebook sticker from
mis-named, Ultimate Bumper Sticker Book
My son received a gift for Christmas called “The Ultimate Bumper Sticker Book”. Great idea – 96 stickers with various sayings (mostly obnoxious) in a convenient tear-out book format. Though I don’t mind the content and I’m sure everyone could find something fun they might want to display (my wife especially liked; “TV Is Gooder Than Books”) I do have one big problem with this book. They aren’t bumper stickers!
To me a bumper sticker is a sticker that can go on, of all places, a bumper… a car… somewhere outside. These stickers are printed in China – on paper. The back of the book states, “put them in your office, in the kitchen, or anywhere you’d like to make a statement”. Well, hello… if it’s a “bumper sticker” I’d like to make a statement on my car – that’s what bumper stickers are for.
It’s cheap stickers like these that give true bumper stickers a bad name. This is why people still worry about taking paint off their car, leaving paper and residue behind when they try to remove them, or having the sticker fade and fall apart. Quality, screen printed bumper stickers have been available with removable adhesive for over 40 years but still there are misperceptions – mostly due to cheap over laminated paper stickers like the ones in this book.
Whether buying a bumper sticker to display or ordering custom bumper stickers for your own promotion or retail item make sure they are printed on vinyl with inks that won’t fade or chip. The outdoor durability of a sticker should be guaranteed for years. Screen printing is the best print method for a bumper sticker, laying down the thickest coating of ink, but other print methods using long lasting UV inks can work as well. Here at Websticker.com we offer screen printed bumper stickers on vinyl with 3-5 year outdoor durability. “Ultra removable” adhesive is now standard on all stock custom bumper stickers.
By Jeff Nicholson
I just started reading (and attempting to digest the thousands of images) in a new book called Stickers, From Punk Rock To Contemporary Art. There is an introduction by Shepard Fairey which I found of interest. Most of it is based on an essay you can read here. Any one with an interest in the history of stickers, stickers as art, street art or Shepard Fairey will find this of interest. I will get into more thoughts on the “Stickers” book by DB Burkeman in a later post, but for now, I’ll just point out some highlights from the Shepard Fairey intro/article/essay.
|Shepard Fairey sticker that started it all|
As a child Fairey “wanted stickers as badges of my culture” but later wanted to create his own stickers and… “ponder the sticker as a means of expression and communication for an individual, instead of just representing a band, company, or movement”. The ‘Andre the Giant has a posse’ stickers started the ball rolling for Fairey in Providence, RI. and “once the first domino fell, I was addicted and had my sights set on world domination with stickers” said Fairey. He hand screen printed and cut over a million stickers between 1989 and ’96 before he started using a professional printer.
Here are a few key quotes from Shepard Fairey on stickers relevant to sticker marketing:
“Repetition works, and stickers are a perfect medium to demonstrate the principle.”
“People… seem unable to resist the urge to stick them on their belongings, car, stereo, skateboard, guitar, and the list goes on… they manage to make their way into every nook and cranny on the planet”
“stickers are the most effective promotional tool possible for the price”
The once separate worlds of ‘stickers for promotion’ and ‘stickers for expression and art’ are merging more than ever. This is not only the result of changing demographics and marketing techniques but also print technology. It is more affordable then ever to print stickers – even low quantities, full color and for long term outdoor use.
Have an idea (or need ideas) for stickers to help with your own “world domination” of an idea, a band, a company, a cause, or just a thought provoking piece of art? Websticker.com can help or point you towards someone that can.
By Jeff Nicholson
I just got an e-mail asking what the difference is between a sticker and a decal. We often get this question at Websticker.com and I thought it was about time I tried to address it. There is no absolute answer as different people will often use the terms interchangeably to describe similar products.
Looking for a definitive answer over at Yahoo Answers won’t help clarify differences: “decal is a more professional word for sticker”… No; “I would think of a sticker as say a white label and a decal as clear”… No; “Usually a sticker is paper, example an Avery label and not durable and a decal has a permanent adhesive and is more durable”… No, no, no!
Let’s go to the New Oxford Dictionary and try to break it down. Then, I’ll let you know how we at Websticker.com (seller of custom stickers, decals, and labels) tend to define these product categories.
sticker n. an adhesive label or notice, generally printed or illustrated.
label n. a small piece of paper, fabric, plastic, or similar material attached to an object and giving information about it.
decal n. a design prepared on special paper for transfer onto another surface such as glass, porcelain, or metal.
As you can see, it’s fairly obvious why we also get asked the question; “what is the difference between a label and a sticker?” A sticker can be a type of label… and labels with an adhesive are also stickers. At Websticker.com we use the term “sticker”, as in “bumper sticker”, “die cut sticker”, “window sticker”, etc., to define more heavy-duty labels/stickers that can be used outdoors and hold up to the elements over an extended period of time. These are printed on a vinyl or polyester material with durable outdoor inks.
We generally use the term “label” to describe adhesive products printed on papers or foils with inks not suitable for outdoors. “Address labels”, “shipping labels”, “lapel labels”, “foil seals”, etc., these tend to be supplied on rolls or sheets for use (indoors) on packaging, paperwork, clothing, products, etc.
The term, “decals” on the other hand, is often used interchangeably with other outdoor sticker products. But, as you can see in the New Oxford definition, “decals” are more associated with a “transfer” from one medium to another. “Decal” is short for “decalcomania” and usually is a more decorative type design. Thus “slide-on transfer decals” in the model building world, or water-slide ceramic decals (Transfers) for tile and ceramic uses are an accurate use of the decal term.
Where the decal-or-sticker confusion usually lies stems from vinyl cut lettering and graphics. These are for long term outdoor use and are supplied with a pre-masking sheet, so upon application are transferred from one sheet/medium to another. Unlike a traditional “sticker” which is removed from it’s backing paper and stuck where-ever, these vinyl decals are being transferred (often in multiple pieces) from the masking sheet to a smooth surface. So, at Websticker (and many other companies) vinyl cut lettering and graphics are referred to as “decals” and all other one-piece, outdoor printed vinyl or clear polyester as “stickers”. Decals are a type of sticker, however, so you’ll hear and see the term “vinyl cut stickers” as well (like in this informative video on how vinyl cut decals are made).
I hope that drawn out answer helps. It is always best, regardless of the terms you use, to tell a manufacturer exactly what you are trying to accomplish with this sticky medium and where you want the sticker/decal ultimately to be applied/stuck. What ever you are trying to label, decorate, or promote, if you want your name (or message, or graphic) to stick, Websticker.com can help clarify and design the best custom product to meet your needs.
Author Update: This post has now been up for over 5 years and is one of the most visited pages on our website. Yet, I have no idea who is interested in this question or what leads them to seek answers on a search engine to clarify sticker, decal and label meanings. If you could comment briefly on why this question is of interest to you I’d really appreciate the insight. Comment below.
In my travels I have noted that other countries and cultures do not have the same tendencies as Americans to advertise their opinions, affiliations and product preferences on their cars. What I didn’t realize was there are places with no car bumper stickers, no car window stickers, no car magnets and no promotional stickers at all. Zero.
I just got back from a weekend in Venice, Italy. There are absolutely no bumper stickers in this city of 63,000 people because there are no bumpers – no cars at all. There are vinyl cut graphics and lettering for boats and for shop windows but that is as far as you’re going to get with vinyl and adhesives used for promotional and marking purposes.
I loved the city of Venice! I also love bumper stickers as a low cost, high impact promotional tool. But, businesses use the tools they have at their disposal and can make the biggest impact for the best price. And for individuals wishing to share their opinions, interests, and affiliations with the world – you use the mediums available. Car bumpers are not available in Venice and that may mean more flyers and handouts, more art, more local partnerships, more sandwich boards, etc. One uses the tools at their disposal. I certainly saw a lot of graffiti in Venice.
Vermont is one of only four states in the US that doesn’t allow billboards on its roadways. At the same time there are many, many bumper stickers on cars in Vermont? I think this is a great thing – less force fed “advertising”, more individual expression and art. The idea of a well-done promotional sticker isn’t to add to advertising clutter and noise, the idea is to encourage word-of-mouth and make a small impression via average people that care. Identities, movements, campaigns, slogans, companies and ideas are built and promoted with steady and continuous impressions not from paid salespeople and billboards but from fans, friends, enthusiasts, members, etc. – people that know and appreciate you and/or your product and can offer referrals and testimonials.
In Venice, bumper stickers aren’t an option. In much of the rest of Italy and Europe I’d say bumper stickers and promotional stickers are a very underutilized marketing tool. I’ll be looking into this further in the coming weeks. I’d love any feedback people might have of other cities and towns without cars (I want to go there) and the propensity to display things on personal vehicles in other countries and cultures.
By Jeff Nicholson