Sticker art is usually bold and flashy. It features thick outlines and vivid colors that are impossible to ignore. The initial idea is what makes sticker art memorable.
In this tutorial, I’ll be sharing six easy techniques to make your sticker art unforgettable.
Step 1. Start with a sketch.
Before you create your sticker, you should do some planning so you have a rough idea of how the sticker is going to look.
Get a sheet of paper and a pencil and start sketching. Don’t worry about precision too much at this point. Just let your creative juices flow freely.
Step 2. Create your document.
Launch your image editor and create a document sized 8.5” x 11″ in CMYK color mode and with 300 pixels per inch of resolution.
Illustrator or another vector-based program is particularly good for sticker art because it will make it easy to turn the sketch into art with clean lines.
Step 3. Import the sketch.
I recommend using a scanner to import your sketch. Any flatbed scanner will do, but make sure you pick a resolution of at least 300.
If you don’t have a scanner, you can use your camera. Set the camera on a tripod or on another stable surface, select a high-quality file and make sure you have adequate light.
Step 4. Trace.
Once your sketch is imported, open it in your vector editor. Some people like working with the Live Trace feature in Illustrator. However, if you want the line art to be accurate, it’s better to just use the Pen tool to trace your original sketch.
With the Direct Selection tool, move handles and points to fix inaccuracies. Once you’re done with tracing, use the width tool to adjust the strokes’ width to give it the look of inked artwork.
Step 5. Fill with color.
You can create color schemes to make your artwork consistent. Use the colors you have selected for filling your line art.
Keep things simple. Just a few captivating colors are the best for stickers. Black and white stickers will also look pretty cool if you are interested in that.
Step 6. Die cut guides.
Select all the elements in your sticker and copy and paste behind the original art. Merge all in a clean shape with the Pathfinder tool.
Scale the shape by 110 percent. Set fill to none and stroke to 1 pixel. If you need to make adjustments to the guide, use the Direct Selection tool to move around individual anchor points.
When you are done, you can simply copy and paste your final sticker art into your 8.5” x 11” document.
You can use the same document to hold several different stickers to print. The number of stickers you can print at once will vary depending on their dimensions.
The most important step to make your sticker awesome is the planning stage. Tracing and coloring require patience, precision and time, but the initial sketch requires thought and creativity.
Edited in Illustrator CS5.