What is Sticker Bombing?
1. HISTORY OF STICKERS AND BEGINNING OF STICKER BOMBING.
The sticker was born in the 1960s, shortly after the development of effective and inexpensive adhesives. Widely used in the 70's – 90's, it took over from the old decals and became more and more used as an advertising object.
Originally used as a means of communication for companies, the universe of the sticker consisted essentially of logos, telephone numbers or any message.
In the 1980s, the so-called "militant and artistic" stickers became an alternative means of communication which played an important role in the expression of ideas, messages and fights carried out by associations for the protection of human rights.
Gradually the stickers began to conquer all places of common life such as public toilets, those of a bar, traffic lights and signs, display spaces...
In the early 90's the practice of using stickers in a political or commercial way began to be called "wild" and gradually became "illegal" and much more controlled.
With an ease to stick the stickers anywhere, urban spaces became overwhelmed with stickers. As a result, some cities began to ban advertising stickers, under penalty of fines, which gradually extinguished the wave of enthusiasm for this new means of communication.
So, who says forbidden or rarity says collector!
It was therefore in the 90s that the stickophile (“sticker collector” in English) appeared. The number and variety of stickers produced over the last few decades was so great that for some it became more than an addiction to collect them.
In addition, some companies having understood the craze around the Stickers even began to make their living. This is for example the case of the Panini company that Generation Y knows well, with their famous sticker magazines.
From the Lion King to international football competitions, Panini aimed at a young audience, with collections of stickers for all tastes that children went to buy in bookstores or tobacconists.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, the sticker has become stronger and more diversified in our homes as a decorative tool.
Indeed, due to their creativity and their ease of use, Stickers have met with real success on the interior decoration market since the advent of social networks. Many artists use them in their creations, and they have truly become a real fashion phenomenon, especially in the USA!
It is also there that the term Sticker Bombing was born.
2. WHAT IS STICKER BOMBING (OR STICKER BOMB) EXACTLY?
Sticker Bomb, Sticker Art, Slapping… What is it?
In short, Sticker Bombing is an art form whose goal is to collect hundreds, even thousands of stickers, in order to create unique and surprising designs on a suitable surface. It can be done on canvases or public objects, but it is more commonly done on personal property.
Basically, many people started collecting Stickers to remember their adventures or travels. Some were already having fun covering their van or the back of their car… you could say that they were already pioneers in this area.
In the 90's, some artists had fun playing with perspective.
They pre-define and imagine in advance a final fresco which they create with a set of Stickers of different colors. The idea being to offer a double experience to the user. The more you move away, the more the aesthetics of the fresco will change and reveal an equally spectacular design.
Increasingly democratized in the 2000s in the USA, Sticker Bombing seduces many because it offers you the possibility of changing any surface into something different and attractive.
So we started to see people customizing entire cars, motorcycles, computers, but also furniture, toilets, paintings, skateboards, etc.
There are even companies specializing in what is called the “wrapping” of cars or motorcycles.
Today, for many, Sticker Bombing is a way to have a good time personalizing objects, while bringing out their creative side at an affordable price.
It also allows others to share decoration tips with their community on social networks. This is particularly the case for a large number of influencers belonging to the so-called DIY and VSCO movements.
Finally, more and more children love it. They exchange them in the playground or have fun decorating their school supplies with their favorite heroes or cartoons. The playful and creative side of the stickers is undoubtedly unanimous among the youngest.
A. Sticker Bombing – a derivative of Graffiti
The importance of graffiti art and its role in the development of cities and underground culture has been highlighted for years in films, photo books, exhibitions and in towns. More than ever present in our current society, Graffiti has become for many a means of expression of ideas, which was the very purpose of stickers in the 70s/80s.
Some artists like Banksy also make it their main means of communication today to denounce the disparities found in the world.
Banksy, as well as other renowned Street Artists have also appropriated the Stickers by using them in some of their creations.
Graffiti is now known to everyone, yet Sticker Bombing seems to be in its infancy… So why? Why is Stickers Art (Graffiti's best friend in the 80s/90s) not used as much?
The answer is very simple. Even though stickers were common in the 70s/80s, the banning of “Slapping” in the 90s ended the wave of enthusiasm around this art form.
With many bans in major cities around the world, it became so easy to get fined or have your stickers ripped off that people started sticking their stickers on personal items.
But 20 years later, Sticker Bombing is making a strong comeback in households.
With the advent of social networks where it becomes so easy to share, the little brother of Graffiti is taking on a whole new form, and it is already becoming… more than a movement in its own right!
B. Sticker Bombing is everywhere and is back in fashion.
The great thing about Sticker Bombing is that you can give anything and everything a whole new face. Yes, almost any surface can be covered with Stickers.
Laptop, smartphone, car, motorcycle, furniture, skateboard, toilet bowl, pole, door, camera, turntables, camper van, bicycle, windows, fridge, tablet… You understood, the list is not exhaustive .
Only your imagination will set the limits. Imagine, stick, peel, repeat!
As explained above, more and more cafes, bars or restaurants are using them to cover their counters or tables. Garages specializing in "covering" are opening up more and more everywhere. We quickly understand the potential of this new fashion which is also attracting more and more interior designers.
They leave no residue, are highly water and UV resistant, and allow you to express your creative side.
3. THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF STICKER BOMBING.
When tackling Sticker Bombing, it is important to prepare well and carefully choose the stickers to use for your wrapping project, as well as the areas to be covered.
Today there are 3 main types of Sticker Bombing:
A. The Classic Bombing Sticker
As you have understood, the idea is to cover an object entirely or partially, in order to give it a different and quirky look. It can be done on any type of object, as long as the surface allows it.
B. Slap Tagging
Is simply sticking stickers randomly on post office boxes, poles or road signs. It is moreover the privileged means of communication of certain Street Artists in order to promote their name or their works. It is also a means widely used by people involved in movements or causes, in order to get a message across.
C. Mosaic Bombing Sticker
Here, the idea is to use a set of stickers to create a mural that becomes more and more precise the further away you go. It can be practiced on tables, walls...etc. A well-known artist designs portraits based on Stickers. His name is Noah Scallin. You can admire his work below.
4. IS STICKER BOMBING ILLEGAL?
Classic Sticker Bombing is of course not illegal, as long as you practice it on objects that belong to you, or that the owner of the object in question gives you permission.
Slap tagging is still denounced by cities and can be considered as an activity of vandalism. You probably have a 1 in 1 million chance of getting caught for sticking a sticker on public property, but it's good to know that you can't cover the whole town in Stickers either.
Life would certainly be more colorful and joyful, but that's what!
5. WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL STICKER BOMBING?
A. Step 1: Preparation
To start, choose an object and think of a style or theme that you want to apply last. For a Sticker Bombing at the top, it is important to clean the object well before applying your stickers.
You don't want any dust left on it, as this will affect the longevity of your stickers. It could also create small creases when glued.
Do not hesitate to use a brush or a sponge and apply a little household product to obtain a clean surface.
B. Step 2: Selection
Select your stickers before sticking them! Indeed, for a perfect customization, put aside the stickers that you like the most. You will finish with them in order to have the crème de la crème on top and clearly visible.
C. Step 3: Action
Let's go for gluing! Start by randomly sticking the stickers you like the least in order to roughly cover the surface. Then stick over your favorite stickers. By doing this, you will prevent potential holes / gaps between the stickers. You will also have your favorite pieces on top and clearly visible.
D. Step 4: Finishing
Use a ruler or a small plastic squeegee to get rid of air bubbles. This step is very important if you want a Sticker Bombing that lasts over time.
Practical advice: sometimes it is difficult to completely cover corners. The stickers don't fill the entire surface and that's not great.
The little trick is to sure-cover the surface and then use a Cutter to cut off the excess. Thanks to this, you can then marry perfectly any curve!
You can even try to make lines of stickers, it's just great.
Quality advice: prefer Vinyl Stickers if you can. Indeed, they have the particularity of being resistant to water, UV, and they are easily removed without leaving traces, even after months.
Do not hesitate to gently peel off your stickers in order to position them elsewhere if necessary.
The surfaces vinyl decals can cover are endless. From your computer to your car, from a piece of furniture to a Skateboard, from a lamp to a toilet bowl or even from a motorbike to a camera… the best advice is to let your imagination guide you.
6. HOW TO PROTECT MY BOMB STICKER AND PREVENT IT FROM DEGRADING OVER TIME?
Even though Vinyl Stickers are very resistant to the natural elements, they are not immortal like Superman or the Avengers.
If you have followed step 1 and 4 correctly, you can also use several additional techniques:
- The Varnish: perfect for all types of surfaces, it can be purchased in a spray can or in the form of a jar in DIY stores. All you have to do is apply it to the stickers once your customization is finished and let it dry.
- Spray adhesive: more or less the same effect as varnish, it will be used for wall or office coverings.
- Epoxy : it will allow you to seal the colors of your stickers for life. It will be preferred when covering a bar, for example. It could also be used in the case of a drawer bottom cover, one of a storage box for example.
7. SO? DO YOU WANT TO TRY STICKER BOMB?
If you ever want to try, we advise you to start with a small project. It sounds silly like that, but believe me, it's a real activity that requires preparation, which also plays on your creativity and your patience.
It will also allow you to realize how many stickers you need to cover a larger area for your next project.
You can start with a computer, then your office, then your car, then your whole house! why not, let's be crazy!
You will see that after each Sticker Bombing, you will gain confidence for your next project and the ideas will come to you on their own.
7. STICKER BOMBING: a fun, inexpensive activity! But it's even more so when you know where to find your Stickers.
lesStickyStickers: https://sticky-stickers.com/ , it's a bit like Scrooge's cave, for Sticker Bombing fans. It is the number 1 site in France with more than 400 packs in dozens of different themes.
They have super professional customer service and their products are top quality, ideal for your next wrap projects.
8. GO PACKED
Do you have any questions about this article or Sticker Bombing in general? Is Sticker Bombing a "Yes" or a "No" for you? Think the world should be covered in Stickers?
Whatever your opinion, do not hesitate to share your ideas or your love for Stickers by writing to us at email@example.com
Peace, Love and Stickers!