How to design the perfect sticker for your brand

Stickers are one of the many tools you can use to increase brand awareness. They’re cost-effective and get your name out there – wherever you want.

To make the perfect sticker for your brand, you need to think about what it’s for, and where it’s going to be used. Then you can figure out the appropriate measurements, words, and colours to use.

From product labels to vouchers and advertisements, there are endless creative marketing uses for stickers. Get a clear picture of what you want to do with your stickers, and do your best to measure the results.

If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can utilise the free tools available in this guide to develop a quick sticker design. If you have the budget though, hiring a professional designer is highly recommended. In either case, you’ll need a professional sticker company to print your stickers.

Clear concept

Before you get any designers involved, brainstorm ideas for what exactly you want. Draw a rough outline and get a good feel for what it is. That way, you make life easier for your designer, while getting the design you imagined. The design software mentioned later can be useful for building an initial outline, but a basic pencil and paper will do the trick too.

Shape and size

You can get your sticker cut into any shape and almost any size. Both shape and size depend on why and where you will be using your sticker. The label will need to be cut to the measurement of the area it will be used. If it’s just for sticking around anywhere, you won’t have to be as specific, but it’s worth having a clear plan before going ahead.

Attractive, vibrant colours

If you want a sticker that stands out, it needs bold, visual appeal. The best way to make your sticker attention-grabbing is with vivid, vibrant colours that catch eyes from any distance. If your current palette is muted and unappealing, dial up the colour intensity for your sticker design.

If you don’t know the first thing about colours, the internet can help. Here are some tools that will help you come up with a popping colour palette:

  • Coolors – simple, auto-generated colour palettes
  • Canva – uses your image to create a custom colour palette
  • Paletton – develop and fine-tune your own custom colour palette

Clean and simple design

When it comes to branded stickers, less is more. Complex, elaborate designs may show off your artistry, but they say little about what you do and who you are. You want to spread brand awareness, so keep the design simple and clear so it doesn’t defeat the purpose of your sticker.

Use clear copy

Unless you’re printing a sticker to fill an entire wall, you’re likely going to be working with limited space. Even if you aren’t, people don’t have all day to read a wall of text – so keep it short and sweet.

Deliver an impactful message with the least words. If it’s just your brand name, or there’s no text at all, make sure the sticker design has some indication of what your business does. Icons can be surprisingly effective. For example, look at this G:

 Unless you live in a cave, you know what that G stands for. It’s the combination of colours on the G that immediately tell you this G stands for Google. No words needed. This is as much about effective branding as it is sticker design.

Crisp, readable lettering

How the copy’s presented is just as important as the copy itself. Use a font that is easy to read. Fancy but unreadable letters go against the purpose of your brand sticker.

Bold typeface is popular on stickers. This helps people read your sticker from a distance. Using your design software, you should be able to adjust the weight (boldness) of your letters.

How are your words going to be presented? Will they go around a circle? Be presented vertically, horizontally or diagonally? The clearest text will always be presented on a horizontal line. But that might not always work for the shape of your sticker, so it’s important to test and find a balance between style and functionality. The spacing between letters and lines should also be tweaked until you find a style that’s ‘just right’.

Test different fonts and font weight for readability at a distance to find the most effective typography.

Include a Call to Action (CTA)

What better way to get people to remember than something they can take action on? A CTA is a line of text that prompts the viewer to take some kind of action. A common example of this is “free sample” or “buy now”. On a sticker, you could combine a CTA with something like a QR code or NFC. For example, you could offer a free sample, quote, consultation, or product.

QR codes

Using a QR code, you can take people directly to the page offering one of those things when they scan it with their phone. These are easy to setup and a basic one is free to generate. Use a website that generates QR codes for free.

NFC

NFC is a newer technology, primarily used for making contactless payments with your mobile phone. But savvy marketers quickly realised the marketing potential of this technology and started using them in advertisements.

Unlike QR codes which have to be read by the devices’ camera, an NFC tag is read simply by putting the phone near the advertisement. Effortless for the user, but more technical to set up for you, they require an NFC chip in the sticker to work. These are easily found online though and are quite cheap.

Use professional software

To make a lasting impression, you need a professional design. There’s a lot of software out there for designing stickers, but there are some which are seen as the industry standard.

Design software features a learning curve, and in some cases is quite expensive. If you don’t have the time or budget, there are some free tools like Canva and Adobe Spark, which offer easy-to-use templates.

Professional sticker design software:

Make it high-definition

Low quality images leave a bad impression in the eyes of the viewer. Really. Bad. A professional company should have a professional sticker that looks sharp and easy to read.

Most sticker printing companies recommend 300 DPI or higher, so ensure the image is set to the quality your sticker design company recommends.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to consider in design and marketing. But creating the perfect sticker for your brand should be a bit easier now. From concept to design and execution, you’ll learn a lot along the journey. It’s not always clear, but when it all comes together at the end, you’ll be happy with the results.

You’ll most likely be getting your labels printed by a sticker printing company. There are three things you might want to ask them about before going ahead:

  • What file format works best for them
  • What DPI to save the image
  • What bleed/trim to use

When you’ve got all the details ironed out, it’s time to get your stickers printed!