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Consider Stickers

Many years ago, an awards dealer told me that the best advertising idea he ever had was to place a sticker on the bottom of the awards he sold.

Consider Stickers

Low-risk add-on service can promote your customers and your business

By Shon Roti

Many years ago, an awards dealer told me that the best advertising idea he ever had was to place a sticker on the bottom of the awards he sold.

That sticker would exist in perpetuity with his company’s logo and information on it, waiting for the right moment and person to act on that tiny info sticker.

That statement stuck with me to this day (pun intended).

When I was recently asked to order stickers with the client’s logo on them (FIGURE A), it seemed like an unusual request—until another client ask for stickers. Then another. And another.

Within a 4-month period in 2020, I had ordered more than 2,000 stickers for four very different clients. This was not a fluke. But was it a trend? Could this be a moneymaker?



The overall global printing industry has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% since 2014 and is projected to be an almost $50 billion(!) global industry by 2024, according to

This includes everything from fruit stickers and beer labels to car decals and tracking labels.

Die-cut stickers (stickers cut into custom shapes) alone will reach $219.7 million USD by 2025, according to Business-, with a CAGR of 5.4%.


Whether used for self-promotion or your customers’ promotional needs, stickers are a unique and inexpensive way to reach a targeted audience, especially if the artwork is attractive and placement is ideal.

Compared with the cost of radio, TV, online ads, and other conventional advertising, stickers are tough to beat. Their power comes from their permanence and constant visibility. Go to any coffee shop and you’ll find the laptops up, cell phones out, and water bottles raised, all flashing brands with stickers.

Stickers are like quiet word-of-mouth advertising. The owner of the sticker-adorned laptop is expressing themselves with the logo or idea, essentially endorsing the product or service, telling you, “This sticker ad represents me; I trust it, and you should too.”

And what’s not to love? Everyone loves a sticker. Stickers tell people how you identify yourself, what your name is, whether you voted, and where you like to go on vacation (FIGURE B), among many other things.

Reddit, one of the world’s most popular online social platforms, was started with an advertising budget of $500, according to, and that entire budget was spent on stickers (FIGURE C). The stickers were passed out at local events and to passersby in an effort best described as guerrilla marketing. Since 2006, that is reportedly the only money they have ever spent on advertising, and Reddit is the 18th-most-visited website globally, according to Alexa Internet.




The answer, like all things economically speaking is: It depends.

One thing I can tell you is that many online retail sticker companies I have researched offer sticker production costs lower than my wholesale vendors, especially in short run quantities. That tells me the market is competitive; margins may thin if you should decide to start producing them yourself., one of the many online producers that I have frequented for die cut stickers, did not start to produce their own products until after they had already reached some success with their online sticker business, instead outsourcing to printing companies that would blind ship the product to their customers. (Their sticker startup story can be found at and is worth a read if you are considering producing stickers as a major source of revenue.)

For many of you, ordering stickers for yourselves or some existing customers may be the extent of your sticker needs. Given that you may outsource the printing, it might seem unlikely that your customers would come to you for this. I’m still surprised that most of my clients have access to their own logo files and are aware of the many online retail options for stickers but prefer to hand off the ordering process to me.


There are nearly endless resources for getting stickers. But consider exploring the wide variety of sticker options before you purchase. The range of options may be larger than you think.

They can be die-cut or made in traditional shapes with a kiss cut (circles and squares), transparent and opaque, removable clings, and eco-friendly. There are many finishes (matte, glossy, suede, fluorescent, foil, and four-color) and shipping options (rolls, sheets, or cut-to-size). They can be perforated or nonperforated.

The best question to ask before deciding on a sticker is “What is the sticker’s purpose, and who is it targeted to?” If it is for your client, they may already have that purpose in mind; you just need to ask.

Some of the sticker resources I have used or received quotes from are listed below. To expand your option, search “sticker print” to find hundreds of print resources.




After I had been asked multiple times for logoed stickers, I thought that I should start offering stickers as a product to other clients as well. One way I started to generate income with stickers was to use a custom design. I had already sold custom-designed coffee mugs and magnets to a local variety gift store, so why not offer the design as a sticker?

I pitched the idea to my client and in about a week, I had another one of my products in their store (FIGURE D).

If you already have a graphic software program and some creative talent on staff, this could be a great way to create some clever designs or add another product option for an existing client. FIGURE E is a sticker design I created. It was originally designed as an organization’s mascot/logo, representing a local running club, for use on sweatshirts, T-shirts, and awards. It was easy to turn the artwork into yet another product.


Stickers can be used to promote both you and your customer’s brand in a unique way with just a little creativity and some research. Will you make a million dollars selling stickers? Probably not. But it is one more product that you can easily add to the existing products and services you already offer—and you don’t even have to worry about the hassles of producing another tangible product in-house.

Aside from my business cards, stickers were the first (and only) piece of adverting that I purchased since I started 9th Street Designs. And the next time I’m visiting my local coffee shop, I will be flashing my brand, my client’s brand, and several custom designs in sticker form as well (FIGURE F).


Shon Roti is the owner of 9th Street Designs, a sublimation and graphic design consulting and promotional products business. A graphic designer, Roti has spent more than 2 decades working as a production artist and instructor in the awards and promotional products industry. In 2014, the Awards and Personalization Association named him Speaker of the Year. Find him at or contact him at

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