How stickers spread a simple message around the world
Posted by Krishan Coupland on
Many people believe that they don’t know how to make a difference in this world, but in reality, everyone contributes to making the world a better place in their own unique way.
The thing is, when we think about making a difference, we immediately think about doing something big, but the truth is that even a small contribution to someone's life can change their entire day or even month – even something as simple as paying them a compliment.
Making a difference with sticker art
Matthew Hoffman started the You Are Beautiful sticker project in 2002; he had no idea just how far his message would spread. The project was run out of a two-car garage until 2018.
In the beginning, he created a batch of just 100 stickers with a simple message: you are beautiful.
This simple statement was intended as a small but positive affirmation for whoever might happen to spot one of Hoffman’s stickers; just a daily reminder that you are beautiful.
Without a doubt, this is a message that struck a lot of people and touched some hearts. Now, fifteen years later, the estimation is that they may have sold close to five million stickers. It goes to show just how much people really care.
Sticker art is an incredible way to say something to the world. They are small, they stick to things, you can hand them out and they never go out of style!
How the You Are Beautiful sticker art project started
Where did it all start? How was the You Are Beautiful sticker project born? Well, when Matthew Hoffman moved to Chicago, it was his first time in the big city. Surrounded by a lot of visual noise and a lot of audible noise, the city excited him. There were so many different types of people and cultures, all in one place!
Naturally, anyone new to the busy city life will also feel instantly overwhelmed. You could feel lost in the chaos. Matthew wanted to make something that was quiet and comforting. This project would be something that makes anyone part of the conversation.
The You Are Beautiful sticker project was one of the very first viral messages, spreading out in the real world rather than online. These stickers instantly spread a simple message around the world. The project brought meaning to a lot of people's lives.
Sticker art is real, it is a tangible product that won't go anywhere. So, when purchasing these stickers, you know that you are making a real difference; anyone can come across this message in their daily life. Hoffman tried to make stickers that blended with the environment, with bold and colorful letters so that the message could stand out.
These days, most of us lead a busy lifestyle. We are all part of the rat race, without any of us slowing down. We are so used to chasing things, we forget to see the beauty in life. The purpose of the You Are Beautiful sticker project is to remind us to slow down sometimes and see the beauty in all of us.
How the You Are Beautiful sticker art project changed over the years
Remember, this is a project that started before social media even existed. In those days, people were used to getting mail and using their PO Boxes. People would send Matthew photos with their You Are Beautiful stickers, and even letters; they’d use them to map out where each sticker was in the world.
These days, especially with Instagram and sticker hashtags, there are billions of photos. The world essentially got so much smaller when social media became a thing.
As the project's success grew, they were soon shipping You Are Beautiful stickers around the globe, in one hundred languages.
The peoples' voice
‘The project has actively combatted negativity by distributing millions of You Are Beautiful stickers’ says Hoffman.
‘Through the years, it has grown into various large-scale, wood installations and murals, as well as collaborations with many designers, students, and artists, worldwide. There have been a lot of people creating their own art from the project and putting their own spin on the movement.
One that stood out in particular: someone drew the words in sand with their footprints. They stayed in the photo for scale, and so you could see it was massive.
It's just amazing to see what people do with absolutely no materials or budget. All it takes is just a little bit of time, which is great.’
Get your own You Are Beautiful Stickers
The You Are Beautiful project is still ongoing. You can, as always, request free stickers, or place an order for a larger number if you want to blanket your neighborhood with a simple, sweet and positive message.
This is a message that should be spread to loved ones and strangers alike. With a message like this, there should be no political or religious motive, just a positive affirmation of the fact that all of us are beautiful in our own way.
Start your own sticker art project
Interested in starting your own sticker project to make a difference in this world? You can easily create custom stickers online to let your artwork speak for itself. You, too, have the opportunity to spread a message using sticker art, and create something meaningful in this world.
Inspired to create your own sticker art, yet? Get $10 off your first Sticker Mule order when you sign up by clicking the button below.