Sharing the buzz on custom stickers--branding and marketing, street art, graphic design, guerilla marketing and more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Building a Delicious Brand: Cups Cupcakes Takes the Cake

Sure, cupcakes are all the rage—thanks, in part, to Sex In The City, where Carrie has often been observed devouring cupcakes from Magnolia, a bakery in New York City devoted entirely to cupcakes. It’s a trend that seems to be booming all over the country these days, but when your local  cupcake shop brags about their high-quality ingredients, chances are they don’t hold a candle to Cups Cupcakes of La Jolla, CA.

This is an establishment absolutely devoted to organic, and local whenever possible. In California, that means Strauss organic milk, Organic Valley butter, Giusto’s organic flours (from San Francisco), and free-range eggs from Chino Valley Farms. Cups bills itself as “the first all organic cupcakery, cupcake lounge, full-scale teaching kitchen and party room” offering gourmet cupcakes and cooking classes under one LEED certified roof.

When you get a to-go cupcake holder from Cups Cupcake, it comes decorated with a sticker from Cups—so when you’re remembering the taste of that fabulous cupcake later, you won’t forget where it came from. Cups also distributes their custom stickers free to kids and families, many of whom attend their Cups for Kids, or Mommy-or- Daddy-and-Me cooking classes.

Why does Cups Cupcake choose Custom Sticker Makers to print their stickers? “Because they make the desired product at an affordable price and great quality...and [offer] great customer service.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Revolution Will Be Sticker Bombed

Attention artists: if you’re looking for a little exposure, a way to make a statement, or both, consider the art of sticker bombing—a.k.a., slap tagging or sticker tagging. Defined by Wikipedia as a subset of postmodern art, sticker bombing is a form of street art.
Your stickers can promote a political agenda, comment on a policy or issue, comprise an avant-garde art campaign, or simply get your style and brand out there in front of people

Here’s a few examples we love that come to us via the Wooster Collective:

The guy who did the die-cut figure is Basco5, a stand-out sticker artist from Vancouver, BC--you can check out more of his very cool stuff here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sticker Activism Everywhere: These Come From Trees

You may have seen one on the paper towel dispenser in the bathroom of your local coffeeshop, or on the napkin dispenser at a cafĂ©. They’re the little stickers say, “Remember, these come from trees.” And they come with a seemingly outrageous claim: “This sticker will save up to 100 lbs of paper every year.”

But this is, apparently, what the visionaries behind “the world's first guerrilla public service announcement” discovered when they conducted a little field testing on paper dispensers outfitted with these stickers. According to their website, 100 lbs was the average amount of paper saved over the course of the year from each dispenser.

Conceived of as an experiment in environmentalism, viral marketing, and user interface design with the goal of reducing unnecessary consumer waste paper, These Come From Trees is an excellent example of sticker activism that has a clear and tangible effect on the world.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hip Hop Academy: Street Promoting Positive Culture

The Hip Hop Academy was started in 2005 by three guys with a vision: more access to the arts and more opportunity for Kansas City youth. Since then, this collective of urban artist/educators has taught hip-hop lyricism, graffiti art/murals, djing/turntablism and break-dancing for kids ranging in age from preschoolers to college students throughout the KC area and beyond.

The focus is on the positive, getting past the slick commercial image to the roots of hip-hop culture: respect for oneself and others, creativity, collaboration, and love for your community. Over the past five years, the Hip Hop Academy has taught classes for afterschool programs, community centers, nonprofits, community festivals and more.

Being part of a very sticker-oriented culture, the Hip Hop Academy logo stickers have proven popular with students, thanks to a full-color design from Aaron (a.k.a Brother of Moses) that the kids “absolutely go bananas for.” Recently, as part of its visual arts classes, the Hip Hop Academy has actually been working with kids to create their own custom sticker designs.

All of which is in keeping with hip-hop culture, where stickers for bands, art projects, comics, etc. often wind up on street-signs, vehicles, turntable cases, sketchbooks and more.

Says Jeremy McConnell, one of the Academy’s founders, “We love meeting new people and just giving them our flyer or business card and a sticker like BLAMMO! Everyone is always into getting a free sticker.....[it’s] basic street promotion of what we do.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guerilla Marketing Tactics That Stick

A lot of people are interested in guerilla marketing, but not that many people are all that clear on what it is, much less how to do it.
While the definition of a form of marketing that is, by definition, “out of the box” will always be changing and evolving, it’s safe to say that guerilla marketing is, at its base, marketing that is unexpected and therefore doesn’t roll off our eyeballs like water off a duck’s back.

Towards that end, custom stickers—a medium that can wind up just about anywhere in public life—are a prime tactic for a well thought-out, clever guerilla marketing. In fact, custom stickers (we prefer to think beyond the bumper) have been noted as one of the Top Ten Guerilla Marketing Tactic You Should Be Using (this post actually covers 50, but custom stickers is in the top 10!)

To provide some inspiration, as well as a few rules of thumb for all you aspiring guerilla marketers out there, check out these cool pix, from the blog of Francesco Mugnai. While these aren't built around custom stickers specifically, each of them is "applicable to what's stickable."

Free Air Guitar! Lesson: If people have to stop and think about it, you’ve got them.

Highland Games—Lesson: Subject/object agreement. What could you do with a custom sticker designed specifically to create a visual illusion when placed on a laptop? How about a bike, or skateboard, or? The possibilities are endless…

Coffee Taste Like Crap? Lesson: Placement, placement, placement. Along the same lines, what could you do with a sticker specifically designed to enter public space, via a stop sign, a bathroom stall, or trash can?

Got a great example of guerilla marketing with custom stickers? We’d love to see your pix! Hit us up at