Collecting stickers, sticking them all over your pencil boxes and books, and showing them off to your friends is a cherished childhood memory of many millennials and GenZs. They were used to express an individual’s personality and interests.
Though stickers are a lot of fun, they are more than a mere entertainment piece. They are one of the most affordable and versatile ways to elevate your marketing efforts.
If you are a graphic designer, you will definitely want to enhance the experience for your clients and prospects. Designing excellent and customized stickers is an excellent way to elevate your personalized marketing efforts and engage your targeted audience.
Whether you are a new or experienced business person who is aiming to strengthen your brand using stickers, you will have to establish a design process, acquire the necessary tools, and many more. Wherever you stand, you can delve into this guide to learn how to design personalized stickers that sell.
But before getting started, let’s understand the relevance of sticker design and its role in the vast world of marketing and graphic design.
Table of Contents
- What is a Sticker?
- How do you leverage your sticker designs?
- What You Need to Design Selling Stickers: Tools and Materials
- Create Your Own Stickers: Step-by-Sep Process
- Tips To Design Stickers That Sell
What is a Sticker?
Stickers can be categorized into two forms: physical and digital. Physical stickers are labels that are made from materials like plastic and paper. They will have the design on one side and an adhesive on the other side, which allows them to stick to surfaces.
On the other hand, an online sticker is designed using graphic design software and is used in various digital settings like social media posts, documents, and any other digital files.
How do you leverage your sticker designs?
A sticker is an effective way to put out information in an attractive way. But what makes them exceptional is their affordability. Whether it is an illustration, photograph, or scripted letter, anything can be made into a sticker.
It also has many benefits in the realm of marketing. It can be exceptionally useful to brand your packaging and products. For instance, if you are selling water bottles, you can add a small sticker to them. This will not only elevate their look but will also create a lasting impression on your customers.
What You Need to Design Selling Stickers: Tools and Materials
As we discussed above, stickers are a superb way to create a unique personality for your business and to improve the brand identity. However, to achieve the desired look and to attract the right audience, you need to use the right tools.
In this section, we will explore some equipment and tools that can help you design selling stickers.
Design and Illustration Tools
You can start your design journey by investing in some digital drawing tools. These tools will enable you to draw, paint, take notes, and sketch with the advantage of unlimited revisions and the convenience of digital storage.
Wacom Intuos Drawing Tablet
One of the most popular design tools, especially amongst new illustrators and designers, is the Wacom Intuos Drawing Tablet. This tool comes with a battery-free pen with pressure sensitivity, which provides a natural drawing experience.
If you want to draw digitally and enjoy many features, you can try iPad Pro. The tool comes with the Apple Pencil and provides access to various drawing applications like Procreate, Adobe Photoshop Sketch, and Autodesk Sketchbook.
Design Software program
When it comes to designing your custom sticker, creating an image file that can be sent to the printer is a very basic requirement. You can try some of these design software programs to come up with superb stickers.
This free application allows you to create a variety of personalized labels in numerous shapes. You can adjust the size to achieve the desired sticker dimensions and subsequently download the image. To access the full suite of free sticker templates available in Adobe Library, you have to take a Spark subscription.
Similar to Adobe Spark, you can access numerous free templates and create amazing stickers even with Canva’s free version. But you have to upgrade to Canva Pro if you want to access the complete library of templates, graphics, fonts, and its ‘background removal’ tool.
Cricut Design Space is a free application that is used with the Cricut cutting machine. This software enables you to access more than 50,000 images and fonts that are available in the library. It is compatible with Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android.
Are you an iPad user? Then, for $9.99, you can use Procreate, which is available for Apple iPhones and iPads. It offers an extensive array of brushes with various tools such as ink, pencils, charcoals, and artistic brushes. All these brushes can be customized using the Brush Studio, and you can even create customized businesses for your unique needs.
In the market, typically, you can find two types of papers. The choice of which one to purchase will depend on the specific preferences for aesthetics, texture, and functionality you are aiming for.
Matte Sticker Paper
Matte paper is similar to the standard computer paper as it lacks a glossy surface. However, it’s important to note that matte paper tends to absorb printer ink, which can occasionally result in faded or pixelated designs. Therefore, it is suggested for planner stickers or shipping labels.
Vinyl Sticker Paper
Vinyl is often regarded as one of the priciest sticker materials due to its exceptional quality and durability. These sheets are UV-protected and waterproof, ensuring that they won’t fade for a long time.
Vinyl paper is mostly used for crafting custom vinyl stickers on skateboards and vehicles as they are durable and can withstand considerable wear and tear.
If you are going to indulge in sticker making for a long time and want to sell your stickers, the printer is one of the most important equipment. However, when selecting one, it is important to look for a paper that is compatible with your printer.
The packaging of the sticker sheet will generally specify it is suitable for which type of printer. For instance, if the packaging states that it is suitable for a laser printer, you should opt for the same if you do not want to end up with subpar results.
Typically, there are two types of printers to choose from: Laser and Inkjet.
An inkjet works by spraying tiny droplets of ink into paper to create printed images or texts. These are more affordable and compact in size, making them the perfect equipment to print at home and at home offices.
The laser printer uses toner powder to create an image. Compared to inkjet, they are faster and use more expensive toner cartridges. Thus, they are pricier upfront but will prove to be a more economical option in the long run.
This means that if you are running a growing business or manage a mid-sized office with substantial printing needs, the laser one will be a more suitable option.
You can also purchase a monochromatic laser printer if you want to print black-and-white text or images.
Finally, you will need some tools to give shape to your stickers. Here are a few options that you can explore:
If you are looking for a tool to create sheets for stickers, you can go for an exacto knife. Once you have printed your sheet, you can employ the exacto knife to carefully cut around the outer edges of your design. This way, customers will be able to easily peel the sticker off the sheet.
However, if you need to create multiple stickers, you can use any of these cutting machines.
It is a computer-controlled cutting machine that can cut all types of materials, such as paper, iron-on transfers, and card stock. It is very simple to shape stickers with a machine like a Cricut; you can use it as you use scissors but with enhanced speed and precision.
Currently, there are three kinds of circuits available on the market: The Cricut Explore 3, the Cricut Maker 3, and the Cricut Joy.
Cricut Explorer 3 is the bestselling cutting machine that can cut 100+ materials. It is a good-level cutting machine that comes with numerous tools like deep-point and fine-point blades.
The Cricut Maker 3 is a step ahead of Explore. Along with cutting 100+ materials that Explorer 3 can, Maker 3 can also cut an additional 200+ materials. On the other hand, Circuit Joy is a more compact model that is characterized by its portability and user-friendly operation.
Silhouette Cameo 4
One of the biggest perks of purchasing this sticker maker machine is the automatic tool detection. Silhouette Cameo 4 is capable of detecting which material is inserted into it and will set up the right cut setting based on this.
You will also be able to access a free design app called Silhouette Studio. Along with allowing the users to produce sticker designs from scratch, they also allow you to use your own images and fonts.
Create Your Own Stickers: Step-by-Sep Process
Once you have all the materials and equipment in hand, you can start using them.
You can look at the following steps to get a general overview of the process. However, it’s important to note that you may need to make small changes in certain aspects of these steps depending on your desired look, style, timeline, and the tools that you have.
- Draw: Use your design software and tools to create your texts or graphics for your sticker business.
- Print: Once you make your desired design, you can proceed to print your stickers.
- Cut: Run your printed sheet(s) through your cutting tool to create custom shapes for your stickers. If you are going to use a cutting machine, set it up to cut a neat border around your design.
- Protect: If you do not have waterproof ink with you but want to waterproof your sticker, you can consider the following alternatives:
- Apply one or two coats of acrylic spray to seal your stickers to get a permanent protective glass coating.
- Cover your printed sticker with a layer of standard packaging tape, then trim away any excess.
Tips To Design Stickers That Sell
Indeed, there is no boundary for creativity. Since there are so many possibilities, it can be extremely difficult to design perfect stickers that resonate with your brand style.
Here are a few tips that can help you create the perfect sticker designs:
What are Your Sticker Goals?
What is the intended purpose behind designing and creating stickers? Are you aiming to strengthen your brand identity, promote a particular event or product, or direct people to your website?
Additionally, it is essential to determine where you envision these stickers being applied. Do you see them affixed to helmets, computers, cars, or some equipment?
You also need to come up with a proper distribution strategy for these stickers. Will they be sent through the mail, handed out at some events along with your product, or will they be sold as standalone products?
Your answers to these questions will affect your design process; hence, make sure to be as specific as possible.
Keep Design Simple
Simplicity should be your mantra while developing stickers to sell. Stickers should effectively communicate messages quickly and clearly. And it should be clear even from a distance. So, it’s important to avoid intricate graphics and multiple complex images.
Keep in mind that stickers are not newspaper ads; think of them as miniature billboards. Therefore, make sure to produce stickers with a clear logo, a concise headline, and a simple graphic.
Choose Your Shape and Size
The visual appeal and impact of a sticker design are enhanced when it breaks away from conventional shapes like squares and rectangles. Instead, you can choose shapes such as circles or ovals, which often come without additional charges.
You can also customize the shape of your sticker through die-cutting. Therefore, investing in a die-cut design, even if it has some added charges, is well worth it, as you will be able to create custom stickers that will capture attention.
Further, you need to consider the size of your sticker. If the sticker is for personal use, smaller ones are better as they can be stuck anywhere. However, bigger ones are more appealing and impactful. So, consider the end use of the sticker when designing your sticker.
Check Your Colors
Colors play a huge role in adding visual appeal to your design. You can either incorporate multiple colors to make the design eye-catching or take a monochromatic approach, such as using a single bold color like yellow to create a strong visual impact.
Don’t Forget to Add Your Branding Elements
When designing stickers, it’s very common to get carried away and include too many elements simultaneously. But it’s crucial to ensure that your branding message remains crystal clear and is not lost when creating the artwork. You should always prioritize graphic elements that are relevant to your brand while making stickers to sell.
Use Bold Typography
When designing a sticker, it’s crucial to be cautious of the typography you choose. You will likely want the design to communicate some message to the audience.
Keep in mind that you are not making a flyer or leaflet where you can include many paragraphs. However, the main aim of stickers is to make your brand visible and garner attention. So, use a bold and clear typeface so that it is readable to the targeted audience.
Incorporate A Call-To-Action
Though call-to-cation is used in various marketing mediums, they are generally not used in stickers. However, you can use subtle and discreet call-to-cation for your sticker designs.
As a business owner, you will have a lot on your plate. So, to avoid all the hassles, you can also take the help of a graphic design company to create customized sticker designs for your unique sticker needs.
Indeed, stickers are versatile tools of entertainment! However, they are not just a medium of fun; they also play a crucial role in marketing by strengthening brand visibility and engaging with your targeted audience.
Whether you are a graphic designer who is trying to bring a creative edge to your work or a start-up business owner who wants to enhance their brand identity, stickers are an effective medium to achieve your goals. So, start designing creative stickers that will leave a lasting impression.
How do I make stickers with Cricut?
To craft stickers using a Cricut, start by printing your design onto sticker paper. Once done with this, create cut lines for your stickers using Cricut’s software. Then, use the Cricut machine to precisely cut out each sticker shape.
How do I sell stickers online?
If you want to sell your digital stickers online, you have several choices for where to market your products. You can create your own independent online store, opt for a dropshipping marketplace like Redbubble, or sell on Shopify and Etsy to diversify your sales channel.
How do I make stickers at home?
To produce stickers at home, the first step is to print your design on sticker paper using a color printer. Then, use a cutting machine like Silhouette or cut them with your hands into the shape that you want.
What is sticker paper made of?
It is generally made of materials such as polyester or vinyl. It can also be made from paper or film. Typically, the choice of paper for a sticker sheet depends on the desired use and durability.