I have always loved tattoos… on other people. Tattoos can be a glorious form of artistic and meaningful self-expression. The courage to choose art that speaks to you and expresses who you are and to commit to that art being on your person forever is beyond me though. I find myself evolving constantly and the art that speaks to me today won’t mean much in a year or even a week.
I do however understand the need for self-expression and I have always considered my car to be one of my primary options to tell the world who I am without speaking. The obvious first choice for automotive self-expression is your choice of car. Then you can explore the world of seat covers, air fresheners and other accessories. Perhaps the simplest and cheapest option to add your own personal touch is a sticker.
Stickers come in a variety of formats these days. You can find the standard rectangular bumper sticker, the custom shaped stickers, raised 3D stickers and even stick on chrome badges. The style and type you choose will depend entirely on your personality and preference. Regardless of the sticker you choose for your ride, the process to stick it on will be the same.
Very similar to a tattoo, before you apply the sticker make sure the surface is clean. If it is glass use an alcohol based product to wipe the glass clean. If you are applying the sticker to a painted surface, use a paint friendly cleaner to remove any dirt or sticky residue. Once the surface is clean make sure it is dry.
Once you are ready to apply the sticker trial the position with the piece before you remove the protective strip from the sticky side. Make sure the sticker fits neatly and does not crinkle on a curvaceous bend. If you need to, use a whiteboard pen to mark where the edge of the sticker sits.
If the sticker is small you can remove the protective strip and place the piece straight on. If the sticker is large you will need to slowly peel it off the protective strip and onto the freshly cleaned surface. Start at one end and use your card to smooth the sticker out as you slowly pull the protective strip away. Depending on the size of the sticker this may be a two-person job.
Make sure that the sticker is smoothly stuck across the whole surface and that every edge is pressed down neatly. Use a flat edge such as your driver’s licence or credit card to rub over the sticker removing any air bubbles or creases. If the bubbles don’t push out, you can use a pin to pop them gently. Finally, like a tattoo you will need to care for your sticker. Try to avoid wetting or washing the sticker for the first few days and avoid any contact that might lift the edges.
A sticker on your car is a simple but effective option to tell the world who you are. A sticker on a car also hide a plethora of paint imperfections and blemishes. Best of all, unlike a tattoo if you get tired of a sticker or your tastes change you can always take it off and replace it with your new art.