This is a simple how-to guide for creating a surprisingly effective sticker campaign on a limited budget. Before commencing, one might first ask “why a sticker campaign?”
A sticker of the right image in the right place is in essence a form of guerrilla marketing. While not as permanent as a graffiti stencil, it can still get a message across without damaging whatever objects or surfaces they happen to be placed on. Well-designed stickers can be viewed as a physical meme, which in internet culture has come to mean a combination of (usually humorous) images and words which transmit ideas. As social media monopolies continue to assert their power to censor any ideas which they, their corporate sponsors and government partners might disagree with, we need to be more creative about how to spread memes through society in a multitude of ways which can bypass censorship, contradict the mainstream consensus and have positive impacts.
As a user of mass transit, I began noticing small stickers on buses and bus stops along the routes I take featuring images mocking certain multinational corporations known to harm the community. The more I thought about the method and motives behind them, the more attractive the concept became. It’s a relatively low risk and low investment action that can have great results if even just a few with the right mindset see them and are nudged towards critical thoughts and actions. For example, I was moved to attempt to recreate the stickers, strategically place them in public spaces, and also share the method of producing them with the hope that others will do the same.
The first step is to choose an image. The meme content of your sticker is limited only by your imagination and the issues you wish to address.
Regardless of message, make sure it grabs attention and is still legible even if the sticker is small. I found that upping the contrast and converting images to black and white usually makes them more effective (and saves on color toner).
Next, acquire a box of Avery 5160 address stickers (or something similar) which can be purchased for a few bucks at thrift shops or found at most corporate workplaces.
Using Microsoft Word, click on “Tools” dropdown menu, then “Labels” and set it for “Avery standard, 5160” (or whatever type of label one happens to use).
Drag and drop image onto the Word label template so it looks something like this:
Print and trim with a paper cutter so all white portions are removed and each image is separated. This size of label and image creates 60 individual stickers per page. Granted, they’re pretty small so should ideally be placed in areas in which people come in close proximity to them such as on buses, bus stops, elevators, bathrooms, eye-level store shelves, etc. Smaller sizes have the advantage of making them easier to place more discretely however.
With bundles of strips of stickers in your pockets, have fun doing something admittedly immature but with the potential to support intelligent and worthy causes 🙂