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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stickertraders: Sticker Swapping for Grown-Ups

We know for a fact that a lot of Custom Sticker Maker's customers grew up collecting stickers--and, of course, trading them. StickerTraders keeps that childhood tradition alive for adults in a very cool way.

Send in 15 of your coolest sticker designs to StickerTraders at their Burbank, California, address. Be patient and before you know it, a lovely hand-addressed envelope will arrive, filled with 15 different sticker designs by other artists.

The equation? Send cool stickers = get cool stickers. You can also make a donation to support the project--or purchase a sticker pack of 15 Random Street Art Stickers--and get even more stick-able art.

This operation appears to be run by just one, sticker-obsessed guy, out of the goodness of his heart, and at last count, his website meter clocked in at over 21,000 hits, so make sure you give him some time to get back with you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pimp Your Ikea: Mykea's Big Sticker Idea

Love Ikea furniture, but wish it had a little more pizazz? Welcome to Mykea--the magical land where your clean-cut Ikea pieces are magically transformed into art.White, white and black! Take action against naked furniture with Mykea's fabulous line of artistic stickers--specially designed to fit standard Ikea pieces. Choose from among their ever-expanding line-up of artist designs, or create your own--images come pre-printed on stickers made for clean, easy application to all your fave Ikea stuff.

From trendy/arty designs to trick out your living room or office to fun stuff for kiddie rooms, Mykea features an inspiring range of sticker choices--and offers you, the artist, a chance to feature your designs on their website for fun and profit. Very cool!

(Currently, these designs are listed as running $15,00 to $130,00--but we're just assuming they actually meant to use decimal places, rather than commas!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Animated Stickers: The Ultimate Art of Kelsey Stark

Kelsey Stark is an independent animator with a vision: to stretch the limits of animation, "the ultimate art form," with films that combine different aspects of all the fine arts into one four-dimensional medium. She learned her chops at the Pratt Institute in New York, where she created her graduation film, 'LGFUAD,' which has now screened to rave reviews at festivals such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, South by Southwest, and the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

As an independent artist, her intention is not only to promo LGFUAD, but to keep the ball rolling by delving further into animation and exploring collaborative projects. Both require her to get her name out there in a big way, and towards that end, she's chosen to work with custom stickers. 

"I really love the guerilla style marketing of stickers," she told us. "Its a great way to spread the word, because they are much more permanent than something like a flyer or a business card." Kelsey goes on to note that she created her stickers as a promotional tool for her film, to hand out at festivals. People who enjoy the designs have stuck them almost anywhere--even bathroom stalls--prompting Google searches by those intrigued by the images. 

"I must have looked at a dozen or so websites that advertised custom sticker printing," Kelsey said. "My heart was absolutely set on die-cut stickers, and no other sites I looked at even compared to the price Custom Sticker Makers offers." She also really liked that it was easy to upload artwork, that she didn't have to order in bulk amounts, and she could order multiple designs at once. 

Interested in Kelsey's ultimate art form? Check out LGFUAD on Vimeo:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting Hip to Green: Hip Mountain Mama Stickers Are a Hit w/Green Families

Established in 2008 with a desire to promote green and natural living, Hip Mountain Mama is a small family business that sells natural, eco-friendly, reusable, and fair-trade products, all sourced from small businesses. Green and reusable products for the home, safe and natural toys for children, and handmade, fair-trade clothing for women are all available through their online store,, giving hip mamas (and papas) cool ways to help reduce their impact on the earth.

Andy Hawbaker and his partner were focused exclusively on promoting their business through marketing online, social media, and print magazines--until their customers started clamoring for stickers. It didn't take the business owners long to realize the value in having their customers spread their message by posting Hip Mountain Mama sticker on their bumpers, water bottles and bikes.

"Everybody likes a cool sticker that makes a statement," Andy told us. "The Hip Mountain Mama logo and brand is a fun and cool statement that you just want to stick everywhere." And while it can be difficult and expensive to get people to tell their friends about your business, it's easy to give them a cool sticker they'll put somewhere that hundreds of people will wind up seeing. 

Why Custom Sticker Makers? "We like to work with smaller businesses, so I was trying to stay away from some of the larger sticker printers," Andy told us. "CSM was very professional, the ordering process is easy, and the final product was as good as I had hoped for." He goes on to note that he actually placed a small order at first to made sure the quality was up to snuff--and now plans on following up with a much larger order.

Hip Mountain Mama's stickers have proven a hit with its customers, too, who've posted rave reviews on the company's Facebook page

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vintage Japanese Art and Design: A Custom Sticker Makers Tribute

In honor of the victims of the natural disasters in Japan today, we're offering up a tribute to the extraordinary graphic design in the Land of the Rising Sun (courtesy of PinkTentacle).

These images--pulled from posters and magazine covers, from the 1920's and 30's--are clearly vintage, and yet still somehow seem fresh, a testament to the cutting-edge blend of traditional and modern aesthetics for which Japan is known, worldwide.

On behalf of graphic designers everywhere who draw inspiration from Japanese art, both traditional and modern--
--our hopes and prayers are with the people of Japan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bikes Built Better: Folk Engineered Has a Posse

Ryan and Marie of Folk Engineered knew they were in love--with each other, and with bikes--when they took a 1500-mile bike tour zigzagging from Santa Cruz, CA to Seattle, WA. After they returned, they discovered another passion, which became the basis of their business: building handmade custom bicycles.

Folk Engineered manufactures high-quality, hand-made-in-the-USA (Newark, NJ), steel-framed bikes, custom-built to the rider’s measurements, riding style, and intended use. Since 2009, Ryan and Marie have built custom road, touring, sport touring, city commuting, mountain, track, and utility bicycles, in sizes, geometries, component configurations, and with artistic touches available no where else. 

This year, Folk Engineered is coming out with its first line of production bicycles, The Marsupial--a multi-purpose sport touring bicycle designed for the Northeast's regional habitat of "beaches, suburbs, mountains and urban jungles." At a lower cost to custom ($2300), the Marsupial was designed to give more fans access to hand-made Folk Engineered craftsmanship.

Of course, there are more people who love Ryan and Marie's custom bikes than there are customers who can afford them--so custom stickers are a natural way for fans to support the business and spread the word, even if they're still saving up. Folk Engineered stickers are free at events, and for sale via the website,, and have been known to sport them on helmets, water bottles, and yes, bikes. 

Why Custom Sticker Makers? "We chose CSM because you offer exactly what we were looking for - high quality eco-friendly outdoor stickers at reasonable prices and with low minimums - and could get them to us in time for our event," Marie told us. She added that the CSM website was informative and easy to understand, and that their stickers were everything they'd imagined. "When it’s time to order more," she said, "we will definitely choose CSM."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chiquita Refresh: Bringing the Banana into the 21st Century

Is your brand feeling a little tired and worn out--a little brown around the edges, so to speak?

Apparently the folks in charge of marketing the ubiquitous Chiquita Banana were feeling that way, too, so they decided to refresh their famous blue and yellow logo stickers with some younger, hipper variations.

Design:related reports that Chiquita's Art Director on this project, DJ Neff, started off this project by immersing himself in it--that is, by eating a lot of bananas. Fortunately, he said, he likes bananas, and the design ideas just started rolling.

Clearly, these new Chiquita stickers appeal to kids, but make a bid for the affections of younger adults as well, playing on everything from Japanime cartoons to Mexican wrestlers.

So if you've had a custom sticker design that's been there and done that, consider a re-design--you could turn a whole different set of heads.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pretty Stickers for Pretty Girl: Halle Ford's Flying Violin

Up and coming singer/songwriter Halle Ford first began playing violin at the tender age of 4, and by the age of 8, had become the youngest student of the Louisville Symphony’s Concert Master. Those classical skills served her well when she moved west in her early 20's to Los Angeles, where she made a living as a session musician--but she always knew she wanted to break out on her own.

Halle's debut album, Pretty Girl, combines her love for mainstream music with her experience and skill on the violin, creating a catchy blend of pop, classical and traditional music. To get this sound, Halle focused on the song melodies first, and wrote pop vocal choruses around them--a process that inspired what she describes as "some really exciting violin solos." The result has been described as "a KT Tunstall-esque marriage of traditional and pop, swapping out the guitars for that all important violin and bow" (The Music Slut). Pretty Girl was officially released on February 8th, of this year, and two of the songs on the album have already been recognized in the international Song of the Year competition.

To promote the project, Halle wanted to create an image that would invoke the violin, but not necessarily classical music. Inspiration for the "Violin Butterfly" logo design came from an old T shirt she wore in college, which featured an electric guitar with eagle wings. Halle replaced the guitar with a violin, and traded out the eagle wings for more feminine butterfly wings to create her logo design. 

These Violin Butterfly stickers were originally created for press and radio promo packages, but received so much interest from fans that Halle now plans to sell them on her official music website (where you can also stream the new album).

Why CSM? "I selected Custom Sticker Makers because I needed high-quality stickers, and fast," Halle told us.  "Custom Sticker Makers had one of the best turnaround times in the market." She adds she's very satisfied with the results, and has already placed orders for more.
Like Halle Ford on Facebook: