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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day: Eco Stickers Meet Bumpersticker Politics

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we thought we'd share some of our favorite environmental stickers, along with a few stickers that get the Dinosaur Award.

Environment Is Everything
A good reminder that our lives are connected to the natural environment on a lot of levels.

Tree-hugging Dirt Worshipper
The sticker that embraces Dinosaur rhetoric. Treehuggers, unite!

A simple reminder that while eco-tech and other advances are great, the real cause of the environmental crisis is overconsumption.

I Brake for Regenerative Energy
The perfect sticker for hybrids!

Environmentalists Do It For Future Generations
A little humor never hurt a just cause.

Nice Hummer (Sorry About Your Little Pee Pee)
Politically charged? Yes. Politically correct? No. But a great antidote to over-serious eco-stickers.

and now, lest we forget the uphill battle we face...The Dinosaur Awards:

The Global Warming: #1 Threat to Unicorns!
Because the Union of Concerned Scientists must be smoking crack!

Green is the New Red
If we don't like it, it must be communism, right? Or fascism? Or something?

Happy Earth Day, all, from Custom Sticker Makers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Betty Bangs: Kick-A** Stickers with Bling

It's a novel fashion concept: bikinis created out of old rock and roll t-shirts, hand-stitched, lined and emblazoned with Swarovski crystals. But Betty Bangs goes beyond merely high-fashion swimwear to create, ahem, bangin' bikinis, for truly confident women (the suit shown below, featuring an old Who t-shirt, is probably the most modest of them). And there's no doubt about it--these suits are hot, creative, and just plain cool.

It all started four years ago when Beth Gearhardt of Miami (a.k.a., Betty Bangs) started making hand-made rock-n-roll bikinis--originally, just so this fashion-school alum could have a different bikini every week to wear out to her friends' boat parties. Then, when all the girls went crazy for them, she started doing custom suits and eventually, a collection for local stores. Now, in addition to her "tee-kinis", she's also done a "regular" bikini line and brought both collections to the MAGIC show in Vegas this past Feburary.

As far as custom stickers go, Beth reports that she personally sticks them EVERYWHERE. In the true spirit of a guerilla marketing "stick up," she tells us that she's surprised she hasn't been arrested yet! Has this DIY self-promotion contributed to the runaway success of her suits in Miami, Vegas and beyond? We're inclined to believe so.

"What sold me on Custom Sticker Makers was their awesome customer service, their reasonable pricing and turn-around time but most of all, the quality of their stickers," said Beth. "My Betty sticker KICKS A**!!!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stuff We Like: PE3L Magazine

It started out as a humble 1/2 size black and white photocopied zine back in 2003 documenting street art with a focus on stickers. In the time since then, PEEL Magazine has grown up into a glossy, internationally distributed publication featuring the work of some very cool sticker artists from all over the world.

Originally inspired by the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” stickers Dave and Holly Combs encountered all over New York City when they traveled from Indianapolis, Indiana, to help with the Sept. 11 recovery, the couple set out to document a powerful new subset of street art, and in the process may have created something of movement themselves. Each issue of PEEL features sticker art, interviews with artists, and even free, super-cool art stickers (29 in the latest, Issue 8)--i.e., pages upon pages of stickers for grown ups. How cool is that?

PEEL even has its own book, PEEL: The Art of the Sticker, and now, an upcoming documentary film by award winning filmmaker Brian Dockter--proof of just how far street and sticker art has come in the last seven years.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shelby County Magazines: Branding at a Distance

When the Shelby County Reporter set up shop in central Alabama way back in 1843, it could not have foreseen that Shelby County would one day be the wealthiest and fastest-growing county in the state. But the newspaper kept up with the times, and two years ago, it started a series of niche magazines: Shelby Living, the Shelby Bride Guide, and Alabama Wellness.

These are full-color, nicely-designed lifestyle mags, but they’re also distributed free of charge--which means that the way they’re displayed has a lot to do with their perceived value. So when Shelby County Newspapers launched these new niche publications, they also purchased several hundred sleek, modern acrylic magazine stands.

They knew that these stands would be have a lot to do with creating a brand identity for the new publications, so they sought a sharp, crisp, easily-recognizable sticker that would stand out at a distance as customers approached the stands.

Why did Matthew Allen of Shelby County Newspapers choose Custom Sticker Makers?

“Honestly, it was originally by just searching the web for a vendor that could provide us with a good price,” he told us. “I landed on the CSM website and felt comfortable because it was easy to navigate and I could get an instant quote right there.” He went on to note that CSM got the repeat business after a job well done.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stuff We Like: iPad Stickers

Here at Custom Sticker Makers, we love great laptop stickers. Now with the advent of The Next Big Thing--i.e., the iPad--we were wondering, is anyone thinking ahead here, as far as stickers go? After all, even really cool tech is totally impersonal (in our estimation) until you slap a sticker on it.

As it turns out, the answer is a resounding 'yes.' Turns out that quite a few grassroots designers with featured stickers at Zazzle have anticipated just the sentiments that new iPad owners will want to express on their spanky new tablets.

You'll find a lot of variety here, but our favorite iPad sticker designs range from the accurate (iPaid) to the unfortunate (iBroke) to the forlorn (iOwe). Also fabulous is the dismissive (iFad), the ridiculous (iPoop) and the pious (iPray).

Nice job, sticker designers!

Now, a question: what's your favorite laptop/tech sticker design?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

MADShirtz and AnythingOnShirts: Custom T-Shirts Love Custom Stickers

When "Crazy" Jason Grossman started MADShirtz and AnythingOnShirts back in 2004 with $400 worth of cheap screen-printing equipment in his garage, he may not have envisioned where he would be, five years later: a fully digital direct to garment printing house. (Then again, maybe he did: this guy's known for setting things on fire, and he's certainly never been accused of thinking small.) Both custom shirt printing companies now operate out of the same location in Prescott, Arizona--MADShirtz as a local business storefront, and AnythingOnShirts as an online design and store center for businesses and artists nationwide. Both businesses have a focus on environmentally and socially responsible printing practices, featuring brands like American Apparel and Anvil Organics.

Grossman's vision had always been to provide a way for his clients to get their art, ideas, and/or name out there to the public at large without spending a fortune or sacrificing design integrity.  Now, he and the team at AnythingOnShirts have expanded offerings to include a free online Web store, giving their clients an opportunity to focus on the art, ideas and marketing behind their t-shirt design, while AnythingOnShirts takes care of production, shipping and billing.

As far as custom stickers go, Jason and the team give out MADShirtz and AnythingOnShirts stickers free with each and every order, which comes to about 250 stickers a quarter. They also offer sticker printing services to their own clients (often focusing on the same design featured on a t-shirt, offering a natural extension of a marketing campaign) with Custom Sticker Makers as their sole provider.

"Our clients have always been thrilled with both the quality and prices of their stickers," said Grossman. "Their service is second to none, and their capabilities continue to amaze us." He also notes that he's consistently amazed at where he sees his own stickers wind up.

Friday, April 2, 2010

High Energy Band Promo: The Last Second

Hard-rocking, high-volume, well-crafted punk/rock and roll--those who've been hooked by the likes of the Ramones, Green Day and the Buzzcocks (and you know who  you are) need a regular fix, and The Last Second is just the band to provide it. Combing thoughtful and melodic songwriting with uptempo, tight rhythms and plenty of volume, the original compositions of this Boston-area band recall some of the best of these influential bands while retaining their own distinctive sound.

Since getting started in 2008, this high-energy rock band has become known in the Boston live music scene for its powerful yet well-crafted songs, picking up new fans and followers at every show.

On-the-ground, word-of-mouth advertising and promotion is important for The Last Second (as it is for almost any band that has yet to sign a major recording contract). By sending their custom stickers home with audience members, The Last Second encourages fans and new converts to remember what a good time they had, and to share their new favorite band with others. Band stickers also indispensible for posting in clubs, record stores, and other such venues where current and future fans can be found.

"The initial customer service response from CSM was outstanding and prompt," said Andrew Footrub, The Last Second's bassist. "CSM also promised to make a deadline and met it with no problem."