How to Make Your Own Sticker Design
Sticker design is an incredibly versatile and affordable way to boost your marketing efforts. Find out how you can get started with an awesome sticker design, the Vectornator way.
Stickers are often regarded as merely entertaining items used to express one's interests or personality. Stickers are certainly a lot of fun, but you can use them for so much more than just sprucing up your iPad or resume.
If you are a graphic designer, you can create customer experiences for your clients or prospects.
Indeed, putting your design chops into creating incredible and personalized stickers is a superb way to enhance your tailored marketing efforts and strategies.
Those professional designers who stand by sticker design will ensure that stickers are an excellent way to engage your customers, prospects, and the general public, especially if they happen to be under the age of 35.
Gen Z and Millennials grew up with stickers, and branding and marketing targeted to these groups feature plenty of quality designs and customizable stickers.
If you want to get started with your first quality sticker, we have the perfect guide for making your first amazing sticker design.
But first, let's get a better understanding of the importance of sticker design and its place in graphic design and marketing.
What is a Sticker?
Stickers come in two primary forms, physical and digital. A physical sticker is a label made from printed material, generally in the form of paper or plastic. It has a design on one side and an adhesive on the other surface.
A digital sticker, on the other hand, is created through graphic design software and can be used in social media posts, documents, and any other digital document or design file that you can think of.
Why Sticker Design Matters
As a graphic designer, you might regard being tasked with creating stickers as an unplanned additional design requirement in a brief or task. If you want to get up to speed on the place of stickers in modern design, this is your Sticker Design 101!
Stickers' Usage in Marketing
Regarding marketing, stickers are a superb and affordable tool for displaying vital information attractively and simply. One of the big perks of stickers is adding them to a design without reworking anything.
You can add physical stickers to product packaging, labels, and almost any fantastic inventions that would benefit from added details.
If for some reason, your marketing team realizes or decides that its physical stickers were a big mistake, you can quickly and easily remove them.
Digital stickers are incredibly effective and useful as they can be rapidly applied to as many elements or documents as needed and redesigned or removed whenever.
Regardless of the sticker medium you choose, there are endless applications for these versatile and quirky labels. They're great for speedy branding solutions and adding personalized touches to packaging and products.
You can even design, create and release a sticker range on its own as a word-of-mouth style marketing campaign.
For the Best Stickers Possible
Of course, you'll need software that can quickly create quality designs and sticker templates without sacrificing quality. Your choice of color is one of the most critical aspects of sticker design, and Vectornator's 4.7.0 update provides an unbridled level of color palette usage.
This update has taken any previous limitations off the Personal Color Palette, meaning that you can use various spectrums for the most original and diverse stickers imaginable.
The best sticker design project is a multifaceted one, and having numerous color palettes at hand allows you to fulfill each facet's needs quickly.
Now that we understand sticker design better, why don't we make our own custom sticker using Vectornator?
How to Create a Digital Sticker with Vectornator
For this tutorial, our in-house designer Aysel teaches you how to design fun, '90s-inspired stickers on iPad.
To follow the tutorial, make sure you update to Vectornator 4.8.2. This version of the app includes the Offset Path tool, which allows you to create evenly-spaced borders around your designs. These contours will inform the printer where to make each cut.
Watch the full video and read the steps below.
Sketch Your Designs
In this tutorial, Aysel was inspired by '90s nostalgia and iconic objects of the era. Using Procreate, she sketched out seven different sticker designs, including a Walkman, a Tamagotchi, a Rubik's Cube, a Gameboy, some camera film, a Slinky toy, and a "90s baby" slogan motif.
If you love Aysel's designs, you can download them here.
Alternatively, you can design whatever stickers you like. And if you don't have Procreate, you can sketch them using a pen and paper. Later, you can use the Camera Import option in Vectornator to capture and import your designs.
Choose Your Color Palette
If you want to design attention-grabbing stickers, it's a good idea to choose a vibrant color palette (like in Aysel's designs).
With Vectornator 4.8.2, you'll find a collection of 12 default color palettes already installed. From "Cotton Candy" to "Rainbow Power," our talented designers created them to suit different themes. These palettes are a great for jumping right in and filling shapes with color, but if you're not happy with these hues, you can still take the time to create and import your own.
Find out more about working with Color Palettes in Vectornator.
Vectorize Your Sketches
Once you're happy with your sketches, import them into Vectornator.
Now it's time to trace over your designs using vector tools. You can use a combination of the Shape Tool, the Pen Tool, the Pencil Tool, and masks to fill in your shapes and paths. Watch the video tutorial above to see how it's done.
Create White Borders Using Offset Path
Select the background element of each design. Next, go to the Path Tab located inside the Inspector. At the bottom of the feature list, tap Offset Path.
Use the slider to set the numerical value of the Offset Path. In this tutorial, Aysel set it at 9 pts on each design.
Next, set a contrasting the background color.
That's it! Now all you have to do is print your sticker sheet on self-adhesive paper and decide where you want to stick your designs.
Tips for the Best Sticker Design
Now that you are well acquainted with the sticker design process, we thought that we’d share our best sticker design tips.
Get Your Brand Colors Right
We mentioned that stickers need to be colorfully appealing, and this color code is essential for your branding efforts. If you want to get your brand across without adding its logo to your sticker design, adding your brand’s colors is a good alternative.
You can create a practical and appealing brand association with your stickers. We’d recommend that you stick to energetic and straightforward designs that burst with vibrant colors.
Incorporate Simple Ideas
Stickers are generally most effective when they are simple in their concepts, design, and executions. You can’t expect to cram a lot of information into them.
So, keep your sticker design ideas simple, regardless of their size. Remember that people will not have much time to focus on your stickers, so your idea needs to be understood and appreciated in several seconds.
Make sure that your message is the focal point of your sticker, and use large, bold typography. Get inventive with the copy on your sticker, and remember that humor is always a safe go-to.
Limit Your Details
This next point builds on the previous one. Your sticker will stand out better with limited and straightforward details.
Adding too many touches to your sticker can dilute its impact and message. Few people will ever stop in their tracks to analyze your sticker.
As is the case with your idea’s execution, you need to keep your details in check.
Get Creative with Shapes
Squares and circles might be the most commonly used shapes for stickers, and there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the norm. However, if you would like to turn the most heads possible, we would recommend that you get unconventional with your sticker shapes.
You can also help the environment by using biodegradable materials for your stickers.
Include Branded Elements
The most awesome sticker design could fall flat from a marketing standpoint if viewers fail to get any notion of your brand from it. While plenty of subtly effective stickers contain mysterious elements that foster curiosity, they’re generally part of a more effective marketing campaign.
So, make sure that you include some form of branding in your stickers unless you plan to include them in existing products, packaging, or merchandise.
Use Vectors or High Resolution
Another important sticker design point is ensuring that you employ a high resolution when designing your stickers. This might seem like an obvious point, but it’s often the case that a sticker size increases, and the original raster’s dimensions were too small.
Your company might use your design for merchandise prints, so we recommend that you make your design in vector. Scaling won’t be an issue with vector, and your design will apply to any media or product.
Not every sticker needs to be vibrant and cheerful. Edgy or spooky designs can be incredibly eye-catching too.
Black lettering, images of monsters, skulls, or non-human predators, and fire are bound to grab pedestrians’ attention. Of course, make sure that such an intense design aligns with your brand!
Do you love retro designs? Then we’re happy to tell you that vintage styles work amazingly well with stickers. Line drawings and rustic hues are perfect for coffee cups and other beverages, food packaging, and any products that have that nostalgic feel.
Speaking of retro designs, you can always play it safe and create a classic design that appeals to many people. This basic design type works when you just want to get your brand or product across quickly and simply.
Classic images, colors, and syles can employ a greater context than more complex designs, and you can communicate with people through a single look. Use universally recognizable symbols, like a sandwich and cup of coffee for a cafe or a spanner and wrench for a repair shop.
Why So Serious?
If your next commission is for a more reputable institution, you probably want to ensure that you design more grounded and plainer stickers. Banks, for example, often use navy blue to express their integrity and trustworthiness.
If you are promoting a social cause, or need to get important information across, then a simple and grounded design is your best bet. It never hurts to get serious, and you might find that these slick and minimalist designs work for you.
Minimalist Designs = Maximum Impact
We know that flat design continues to be a successful and popular choice. A flat and straightforward design with a maximum of three colors provides a sophisticated chic to your sticker design.
You might find that a minimalist design grabs more attention than a loud and complicated one. If you master the spacing, lettering, and graphics used in a minimalist design, you can create a unique sticker with amazing designs that many people will want on their personal belongings.
Make it Amusing
Who doesn’t love a funny sticker? And who doesn’t still love cartoons, even if they might not admit it publicly?
You probably get what we’re going for - a comical sticker is bound to put a smile on many people’s faces and stand out from the crowd. Cartoons are eye-catching, and the more bizarre or hilarious ones beg for attention.
You get full points if you can sneak a brand message into your quirky cartoon design!
Where to Get Stickers From
If you don’t want to make your own stickers, there are plenty of excellent online stickers sources, which we will go through now.
Etsy is a US-based online shop that provides a superb range of vintage and handmade products, craft supplies, and tools. You can find a beautiful range of digital stickers on Etsy’s site.
Etsy’s digital sticker range is reasonably priced and has many highly-rated products that are often highly discounted. Their sticker collections include neutral, cute (or kawaii), natural and garden, floral, digital planners, and retro stickers, among many others.
Dribbble provides an incredible range of high-quality and highly creative digital stickers from leading designers worldwide. You can easily find a specific type of sticker for your marketing or design needs with Dribbble’s many contributors.
However, if you would like to use the stickers of one of Dribbble’s users, we recommend that you contact them directly and ask for permission first.
Redbubble provides an incredible range of physical and digital stickers across categories like clothing, phone cases, wall art, stationery, and office. They even have a section dedicated to graphic design-themed stickers!
Redbubble’s stickers are largely affordable, and they are currently running a special where you will get 25% off for every four stickers purchased and 50% off for every ten bought. Redbubble’s enormous collection is truly staggering, and individual purchases can be delivered worldwide.
Stickers for Any Occasion
Stickers are an incredibly versatile and entertaining medium for marketers and designers who can effectively spread the word with the ideal messages and designs.
It can be tricky to stuff your branding needs into a small sticker, so we recommend that you create an entire series. Don’t be afraid to incorporate as many color templates as needed and create dynamic stickers that you can apply to as many objects, surfaces, and other designs as possible.
Don't forget to download Vectornator and give sticker designing a try!
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