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What sticker do you want?

Sticker galoreThere’s a fun addiction to these adhesive agentsBy arrangement

Sticker galoreThere’s a fun addiction to these adhesive agentsBy arrangement  

Clever design, colourful quirky imagery and easy message are making stickers rise up in popularity

For someone who has preserved a pack of Dalmatian erasers (inspired by 101 Dalmations , of course) bought for her by her parents in the late 90s when Kemp Fort was better than the best candy store around, I have come a long way. Now, my stationery collection includes everything from journals and quirky letter writing pads to brush pens of various kinds, and stacks of handmade paper in different colours and textures (some of which I have actually been using)!If there’s been one constant in my assemblage, it’s got to be sticker sheets. What started off with smileys and Disney characters has now grown into an enviable assortment that includes monogram labels, slogan stickers, doodles by indie artists, and everything in between. And before you brush off stationary hoarders like me as juvenile, it’s probably time you stash up on some stickers too because they are trending at the moment!

According to Shivali Vakil, Chief Designer at Mumbai-based Artchetype Studio, “Stickers do to stationery what icing does to your cake. They convey a lot in very little, while adding visual appeal. They also come with as much emotional appeal. Stickers can bring a smile while gently nudging you to not forget a task, for instance. They are visual mnemonics that convey a message, evoke a response, or simply create curiosity. Stickers have become popular because of their availability, their clever design, and their resonance with human emotions. Today, we hardly send a message without an emoticon; stickers do that in a physical space.”

Founder-Designer at The Wild Oreo (that retails via Instagram), Ashlesha Giri, feels that “stickers add a colourful dimension to the mundane adult life. Also, stickers of things we can relate to like that of our favourite series/characters/memes/destinations/food give us a sense of individuality.”

While stickers of any kind are trending, customised options are preferred by many. Sumeet Chawla, founder of juststickers.in informs, “We provide bulk custom stickers and even single customised stickers. The bulk solution is mostly used by companies who need premium stickers of their brands for events or internal use. We recently launched a special category for application developers called ‘App Icon Stickers’ with which any developer can get a sticker made out of their app's icon by just entering the URL on their app. We have been collaborating with a lot of brands and many more are to come soon. Recently, we collaborated with Alicia Souza to add some of her super cute designs too.”

Speaking of how he came to establish his niche sticker company, the creative-entrepreneur says, “I am a developer at heart. We participated in the Yahoo Hackathon in 2012 and received some swag stickers. That was when I wanted to put up stickers of the technologies I build stuff with, just to give a shout out to the world around me. However, I could not find these anywhere in India. I realised that if I want stickers, there must be other developers too who would want them. I finally started working on my idea in 2014 by conducting a very simple market research. I was on a mission to bring on board various designers from all our India with the only aim of making super awesome stickers. I believe we have amazing design talent in India and stickers are a great way to showcase that and earn money on the side as well.”

While post-its and gadget stickers are hip, there’s no denying that bumper stickers have always been in fashion. Luckily though, we have moved on from the ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ variety. “Stickers are the most fun way of expressing ones individuality, and costs and pains a lot less than tattoos, jests Cherian Kunnath, founder of The Indian Family Sticker that specialises in quirky vehicle stickers.

Bengaluru-based illustrator, Alicia Souza, launched her yearly planner and doodle calendar that includes stickers. Obviously, the response was overwhelming, as has been with the wall decals she designs for retail. She says, “I adored stickers ever since I was a little girl and my adoration has grown into a full blown love affair as an adult. It doesn’t hurt that the trend is tagging along. And of course, there are so many like me and that’s great for business too!”

So if you haven’t already caught on to the trend, there is no better time than now to knock yourself out. And if you are a hobbyist like me (I do think we are connoisseurs in our own right), of course you know there is always room in your drawer for at least one more glossy sheet of quirky stickers!

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