Art Direction, Motion Design & Illustration by Patrick Hosmer

Stickers Need To Get The Fuck Out Of Here

Added on by Patrick Hosmer.

Hey. What was the last thing you purchased that didn't have a sticker on it? Nevermind I'll tell you. It was a pack of Lifesavers sixteen years ago and the only reason it didn't have a price tag on it is because you got it out of a vending machine at the Y. 

Stickers are on everything. They are in our lives like Gmail and Diet Coke and a hundred other things I never think about. Except I think about stickers all the time. 

Scientists love to tell you we've only been on Earth for the blink of an eye. That means stickers have been on Earth for like a proton fart. And yet in a few generations anthropologists (cyber-anthropologists?) will say the worst things humans have created are chlorofluorocarbons, fish tank algae, styrofoam, frankenfish and terrible shithead stickers. 

Stickers need to get the fuck out of here. A, for our children, and B, because they're dicks to you. Seriously. Look.

A sticker's job is to say this to you everyday. 

It wasn't always like this. Can you remember being four? I can, and I will admit that collecting stickers occupied 32% of my waking life, along with playing Legos (43%), throwing Madballs (16%) and kissing my Pound Puppy (9%). 

My love affair with stickers started as so many love affairs start. With an older woman. She was the newest employee at Children's Corner Daycare and looking back, she was probably like 17, but that meant she was still something like 60 years younger than the next youngest - what were they, teachers? They were like baby-sitters. Anyway, this girl pulled a Dangerous Minds and flipped the script on the Early Education System by introducing stickers as a kind of social currency. Sleep during naptime, get a cool sticker. Eat all your snacks, get a cool sticker. We went nuts for stickers. We traded them, we hoarded them. Started little Ponzi schemes with them. And they always went on the lunchbox, which for some reason was de rigueur.

But as is usually the case with early adopters (and young love), my sticker obsesh faded pretty quickly. When Scratch and Sniff introduced the Pizza Scent, I remember thinking: "Why not just smell some real pizza? The fuck outta here." As far as I'm concerned the entire sticker industry jumped the shark with that goddamn Pizza Smell. 

You said it, Metal Chin.

And stickers are not humane. Most of them - and I'm talking about PSA's (Pressure Sensitive Adhesives) - benefit everything except people. They benefit businesses. They benefit machines. They benefit marketing and sales. They don't benefit users. 

Do you know how many stickers your average store-bought DVD comes with? 49. Bringing a DVD home is an emotionally traumatic experience because you have to literally murder it with a knife and peel it apart before you can enjoy it. 

The process of buying any consumer good in a store almost guarantees you a follow up procedure that is very common these days: restoring your brand new product to sticker-free status. You are also guaranteed to fail at this. 

Sticker residue. The White Stain of Modernity. The Silent Germ of the Large Manufacturer.

Product Cancer.

This fucking thing is dead right out of the box. I want my goddamn money back, you mangled corpse sellers. Showing me a picture of something without ultra adhesive permanent stickers all over it is false advertising and a crime. Against my eyes. 

IKEA, how are your meatballs so good and your sticker placement so terrible? Actually stop using stickers, ya dicks, you sell furniture. My mom had two jobs when I was little. One of them was at AT&T and the other was keeping me from putting fucking stickers on the furniture. IKEA, stop be me as a kid; you're making the world's moms get second jobs. 

CB2, you're even worse. First you're expensive enough to be considered a high end furniture-maker so shame, shame for using stickers. Second, is three stickers really necessary? Third, the stickers are all on the side that is meant to be seen. And there's a fucking sticker on there just to say that! Last, the damn things don't even come off without a fight. One day I'm going to light you on fire (No I won't. It's a lovely credenza). 

Muji is one of the only places I have found that is smart enough to use low-tack adhesive on their labels. They come off gloriously like Post-its. Borders, don't think I haven't noticed you either, darling. 

Sticker-removing Tip: If you have a really tenacious sticker that's leaving behind some terrible tacky residue, any oily emulsion will do the trick. Smear a little mayonnaise on there and let it sit for a minute and then that disgusting garbage will come right off. It even works on bumper stickers. Or just use olive oil if you hate mayo like I do. You might also say, "Use Goo Gone," and to that I say no because I already have olive oil and it's the better alliteration.

Just don't use it on the fruit. You're gonna have to tough those stickers out by hand.