They are affordable, easy to apply and they reached such a popularity that they are available in every form and size. They are the vinyl stickers.
They are used to customize pretty much everything: from the walls of your house to your laptop, to the bodywork of your car. Their first large use was made in the automotive industry, as the material they were made of was, and still is, a perfect choice if you want to dress up your vehicle.
The first custom vinyl stickers were probably made at the Wedgwood factory, in England, back in the 18th century. The stickers were used to decorate porcelain because it was a good alternative to hand painting and reduced both costs and production time.
So how did we come to the creative use of vinyl stickers? As often happens, the credit for this successful transformation goes to street artists, who found in vinyl stickers new means to express themselves. It didn’t take long before interior designers started using them, taking the vinyl stickers ironically back to their decorative use.
Stickers and street artists
In 1970 a group of street artists from New York City took over the streets of the Big Apple, in their pursuit of a more accessible and affordable way of making art, an alternative to the more and more exclusive art market. Probably, they were the very same intentions that took to the development and growth of industrial design.
Ten years later, in 1980, the “Avant” movement members started using acrylic paints on paper to cover walls, storefronts, windows and everything they could reach in the cities. In their fight against consumerism, they created thousands and thousands of artworks, drawing upon the same distribution tactics used by the advertising agencies. They were guerrilla artists, whose aim was to aesthetically enhance city streets.
Thanks to the computer technology, artists are now able to print thousands of stickers in a short time, using vinyl rather than paper for their works. This choice gave many advantages: vinyl is waterproof, UV resistant and, as of today, you can even remove vinyl stickers from walls without damaging them.
Sticker art slowly became a global movement, as the artists started to share their files spreading copies of their works in cities all over the world. Technological progresses in the production of self-adhesive vinyl made possibile for the artists to use that material as a mural stencil. The man considered as the father of this particular use of vinyl stickers is the Parisian Blek le Rat, whose work is accepted by his fellow citizens a proper form of art.
Mural stickers and modern houses
The past five years marked the widespread diffusion of mural stickers. Interior designers use them to decorate house walls, printing images or quotations in order to make the room as warm and adorned as possible. There are virtually countless possibilities, because everything that can be printed can be transformed into a mural sticker. Moreover, stickers can be printed in any color and anybody can apply them to walls, as it is very easy to put them on the surfaces that need to be decorated. Last but not least, vinyl decals are also long lasting and easy to remove.
A myriad of websites on the internet offer well-made stickers, but one in particular struck me for creativity and craftsmanship, and it’s Italian!
Evergreen Orange and customized mural stickers
I’m talking about Evergreen Orange, a company founded by Caterina Ongaro. A graduated in industrial design from the University of Venice, she lived in the United Kingdom and in the U.S.A. before coming back in Italy. She now lives and works in Milan.
Evergreen Orange is her creative lab, in which work designers and craftsmen who dedicate their work to the production of unique and original wall stickers. There is plenty of stickers to choose from on her site evergreenorange.com, but the most interesting part is the possibility to create fully customized models, in order to satisfy every single customer.
So, if you are an artist, an industrial designer or just a design enthusiast, use vinyl for your creations! And, if you need an inspiration, check out evergreenorange.com!