Sticker types


There are essentially two types of processes for making stickers and each is then used in various ways. There are the homemade stickers, where an artist or author overwrites printing labels, shipping labels, or U.S. postal service mailing labels and the like with a new slogan. This is the lo-fi, cheap approach. Then there are the manufactured stickers, where a desktop or industrial printer is used to cut up large sheets of adhesive vinyl into individual stickers. Of these then artists and authors (or marketers) create three kinds: branding or promotion stickers; artistic decals, or political protests stickers.

Along Euclid, there are several kinds of stickers, mostly selling ambiguous messages of creative identity. Greg Mike’s Loudmouth decal, for example, is a small square vinyl piece, with a blue cartoonish mouth wide open. This sticker is extremely common throughout the city and can be found in both vinyl self-adhesive form and large wheat paper form. Yet there is nothing that identifies the design with the artist, it was only after several visual art exhibits and media interviews that his signature style was recognized as the man behind the loudmouth stickers.

Several other prominent Atlanta street artists have transitioned to the sticker realm. Hense and Sever are two of the most infamous graffiti artists in the city, often spraying large murals visible from interstates, bridges and other streets more recently however, decals bearing each of their signature names have popped up adorning newspaper boxes and telephone poles.

Two other veteran street artist collectives whose work has become ubiquitous in the city are Geist Boy and Urban Medium studio. Geist Boy produces Mr. Fangs, a cartoonish character – seemingly a ghost-like creature– with devilish eyes, mischievous grin and pointy teeth.[17] Urban Medium is the design studio behind the popular Che Trooper character, as well as other designs that borrow from the famous Obey Giant campaign started by Shepard Fairey.[18]

Bands are heavily promoted through sticker campaigns, as they’re relatively inexpensive to execute and are specifically targeted to reach neighborhoods with the highest concentration of nightlife activity. Little 5 Points is home to various bars, clubs, and concert venues like the Variety Playhouse and the Star bar. Proximity to these types of locations increases the value of a well-placed sticker. Bands and DJs found during a recent excursion through Euclid were Lee Harvey Oswald, DJ Apple Juice, and Sonen.

The relatively cheap cost of production for these guerrilla campaigns has become an attractive asset for many commercially branded stickers, and so lost among the collage of band, art, and graff decals you’ll find adhesives promoting different products. These are mainly clothing boutiques, video game franchises, like Def Jam Rap Star, beer brands, and other types of stores and companies that appeal to the urban audience.

Finally, among the many unidentifiable decals, hand-made adhesives sit on the low-end of the fidelity scale. These depend on pre-manufactured labels, the most common of which is the United States Postal Service priority shipping label.

Stickers as identity »

Street Adhesive Samples

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