Stickin' to My Roots
I've never been too into the sticker trend. Interestingly, I love seeing how others choose to express themselves through the collages of designs they paste across everything they own, but I personally have never seen a sticker that resonated with me enough to justify paying to display it as a symbol of who I am, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and design a few of my own.
I've been thinking a lot about my home state Arizona lately, so I figured I'd put the nostalgia imagery that has been running across my mind into a tangible design. My initial sketches consisted mainly of the iconic elements that come to my mind from growing up in AZ: prickly pear cacti, cactus blossoms, heat, sunshine, monument valley, etc.. Just trying to get a feel for how each of these could be drawn differently to portray a different vibe and message.
Vibe and message were important to me. I've seen plenty of Arizona stickers, but none that captured its character to me. Arizona has become this perfect mix of the old and new; you can find hints of old-western historic charm mixed into new growing communities almost anywhere you go within the state. My solution for combining the two was simple but I think very effective. I decided on a newer, fresh design with a letterpress texture. A simple portrayal of the old and new that characterizes the state.
My designed were getting close to what I wanted to portray, but a few things had to be changed. While I am inclined to lean towards the "simpler is sweeter" strategy in most cases, I had to admit to myself that isn't quite as simple as my designs were expressing it to be. The lack of color variety equated to a lack of visual interest. In addition to this, representing the state's name with a stock font on a simple banner was not the way to share its personality. I dropped what wasn't working and moved forward testing different ideas, going back to the sketchbook to figure out how I could design a more honest portrayal of the state name.
I made a surplus of designs and patterns, and I tried my hand at multiple font styles before deciding the best way to portray the the state name would be through its most popular icon, the cactus.
The finished product: three unique stickers that capture the true character of Arizona through their portrayal of Arizona's elements in a fitting color scheme (reminiscent of the colors found in Arizona's landscape), and rustic but youthful style.