custom sticker design

The Ultimate Guide to the Basics of Sticker Design

Posted by SingaPrinting Admin on September 29, 2023

Stickers are a powerful weapon for both businesses and the regular old Joe. They have many different uses and can be placed on almost every surface possible. Each one is unique in how they are used and designed. Depending on what you need them for, the aesthetic of these adhesive tools can change altogether.  

It should come as no surprise that the design of your sticker matters a lot. It is a way for you to visually communicate with others about what’s on your mind and what you want them to know. If you are new to using these tools, it can be difficult to know what’s what. Don’t worry, we are here to help you out.

We have created this guide to help our clients know their way around designing their tools and how a simple design can wield so much more. This guide will also briefly discuss the basics and tool recommendations. Stick around till the end to learn all about how you can create your stickers to achieve the outcome you want.

Let’s begin.

1st Chapter: What Are You Using the Sticker For?

First things first, you will need to establish what the sticker is going to be used for. This saves you the trouble of having to choose from a multitude of different options. Planning will narrow things down and make things easier for you later on. Here are some examples of what you can use these tools for:

  • Marketing: Mainly for businesses. The cost-effective nature of these materials makes them an ideal marketing tool. Examples of uses are promotions, advertisements, announcements, etc.

  • Decoration: You can use stickers for purely decoration, adding to or enhancing the aesthetics of certain designs and products.

  • Expressing yourself: One of the main reasons people buy and use stickers. It is a way for people to show off their individuality, opinions, and values. It is also a great way for them to support the brand that they like.

  • Creating a brand: To a company, a brand is everything. These tools can be used to spread your name and reputation during custom marketing campaigns, strengthening it in the eyes of consumers.

Once you’ve got an idea of what the stickers are going to be used for, it’s time to move on to designing. In the next chapter, we’ll be talking about the basics of design and how you can implement them in what you make.


sticker labels

2nd Chapter: Design Basics - An Overview

When you start going into the meat of things, designing, there are a few things you must know. If you’ve decided to create a sticker for marketing, you’ll need to know about the basics. It will be your guide towards creating something that will succeed in the harsh marketing environment. You should get familiar with the following:

  • Colour Theory: Learn about how colour can influence a person and how it affects the human psyche. Every colour is tied to a certain emotion and influences the message you want to send to viewers.

  • Typography: Just like how colour influences people’s moods and emotions, typography has the same concept behind it. There are many, many options and each one is used to convey messages to your audience. Improper use of fonts can lead to people dismissing your design altogether.

  • Principles of Design: These are a set of rules that you'll need to follow and be familiar with. You'll need to adhere to these principles to create an effective piece. While design is similar to art, it has a very distinct purpose. You'll want your designs to have stability and balance. The fundamental principles are emphasis, balance, contrast, repetition, movement, and white space.

While following these technical aspects, be sure to do your homework as well. Find out what recent trends are popular. Is the cute aesthetic on the rise? Ride that wave and see how far it can take you. You can either start a trend yourself or use a current one to bring yourself on people’s radar.

design basics

3rd Chapter: What Software Should You Use?

To design your stickers, you’ll need to know what tools to use and which software is the right one for you. Depending on where you are at, whether you are a beginner or not, the experience you’re going to have will differ. You should also take note that some tools can do things better than others. Here are three platforms we highly recommend:

  • Canva:This platform is one of the best free software one can use for editing images. It is rather easy to navigate and use. You can do everything on the browser or the mobile app. For a free app, Canva is incredibly impressive. The paid version also has some great features. The best thing about Canva though, is how friendly it is to beginners. If you are just starting, the learning curve is quite forgiving and all of the features are for free.

  • Adobe Photoshop: Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with image editing. Photoshop is the gold standard and has continued to dominate the industry for decades. The regular updates allow it to surpass modern competitors. Photoshop isn't just limited to editing photos. You can do almost anything, making it a fully featured package. The recent update adds powerful AI tools to bolster its already impressive resume. The only downside is that you'll need to have a subscription to access it.

  • Adobe Illustrator: If Photoshop is the king of image editing, then Illustrator rules the realm of vector drawing and editing. Similarly to Photoshop, the regular updates and wide range of features have kept Illustrator well ahead of the competition. Like its older sibling Photoshop, Illustrator is an industry standard. You'll have a lot of useful features and shortcuts at your disposal. Although the learning curve can be quite steep, once you get the hang of it, it will be easy to use.


designers tools

Of course, there are other software and tools out there. Don’t hesitate to try out different platforms and see what works for you. If you don’t have the time to design things yourself, you can always collaborate with graphic designers to create the best stickers for whatever you need.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for the guide! These chapters serve as your introduction to the world of stickers and design. You can combine this guide with others on the internet to gain more insight on the matter. We recommend you check out other design ideas to broaden your horizons and gain a bit of inspiration from others.