Shop Talk

Tips on Designing for Stickers

With all of the new products that have been added to Redbubble, stickers continue to be one of the most popular, and it’s easy to see why. They look amazing, are individually die-cut, easily removable, and you can stick them on anything. Well, except for pets, and food, and your co-workers laptop screen but you get the picture. Anyway, vinyl stickers are a versatile way to decorate your surroundings, not only because they are so affordable, but because they come in such a wide variety of sizes. In order to get the most of out this fun product, we have a few tips that will help your designs stick out even more.

"One of the Birds" by jgingras

Use High Resolution Files

As with all available products, it’s important to upload high resolution images. This way your art looks crisp and clean. Stickers now come in large sizes all the way up to 14 inches, so higher resolution files will be offered in the larger sticker sizes and still look exciting. Due the varying size it’s best to think about the art your are offering and how they will look, not only in small sizes but also the larger ones. Pay attention to details, textures, and any text that might be a part of the design. Text in larger sizes might be easy to read, but if the sticker is purchased in the smallest size it might not be as easy.

Take Advantage of Transparency

While square and rectangular designs are great, every sticker sold on Redbubble is die-cut. This is most apparent when the image is an irregular shape. This gives you the ability to play with fun shapes and borders for every one of your designs. It’s also what makes these stickers so fun to collect. For those out there that cover their laptops, skateboards, and car bumpers with vinyl stickers, the die-cut shapes contribute to the feel the sticker covered surface has. Positive and negative space adds an extra element to the arrangement.

Before exporting your transparent PNG to be uploaded as a sticker, it’s a good idea to check for stray pixels. During the printing process, every pixel area has a border added to it and that area is then die-cut. So for your main image this works out perfectly and no need for you to add a white border around your work, however if there is a few stray pixels to the edge of your PNG these will also be die-cut and show up in the previews in your portfolio.

What I like to do is create an extra layer under my artwork, in your image editor of choice, fill it with an intense color not seen in your design and then clean up any stray pixels. This sticker by RB artist Julia Gingras shows how this is done.
Remember to delete that solid color layer when exporting. 

Check Your Colors

At one point, stickers and shirts were attached in our uploader. So when you added a new shirt design the same file was used for stickers. These files are now separate, and this gives you the ability to think about the colors you are using, most importantly white. Every sticker, die-cut or not, comes printed on white vinyl. So if you have any text or elements in your design that are white (#FFFFFF), they will not show up in the final printed sticker. This can look awkward if the main color used in your design is white. It will still be die-cut, but there will just be pixels here and there with a lot of white space.

To illustrate this, I quickly drew a cute little monster and only used white in the design. You can see below how this sticker looks and that the cute monster is not visible. You’ll just have to trust me, he was really cute, and I think the facial expression is my best so far. So, if you do want a very light color to show up in your stickers use off-white, #f0f0f0 for example.

Pro Tips

Let the stickers speak for themselves, use text only when necessary, or if the design is text based of course.

Think about making stickers that go together, like a series that could be collected.

To help promote your stickers on social media, check out our custom mockup template for stickers.

Adjust your stickers, and share any tips you have in the comments below.

Also, join us for the Digital Sticker Challenge!

View additional posts by Josh


Art historian, burrito enthusiast, and Email Marketing Specialist here at Redbubble.