This might be a random post, but here goes anyway……. and I’ll deal with the stickers first. Do you have a fascination with the good old ‘sticker’? Where I come from, the classic self-adhesive label, which some argue, was invented in 1935 by a Mr R Stanton Avery, is called a sticker. It is also known as a decal in other parts of the world, notably, the USA. Whilst I’m happy to accept the evolution of name changes over time, in this post, a sticker is a sticker.

The humble sticker has always been used as a cheap and semi-permanent marketing tactic. How many times have you stuck a sticker of a brand on something? A brand says something about you, so it’s easy to throw a sticker on something you want to display it on, and just to show others how you want to be represented by somebody else’s brand. 

There’s a whole industry of sticker collecting out there and some of them aren’t cheap either. Even I’ve amassed a bag of stickers over the years, and some go way back into last century. At any big show, it was good fun to get around all the stands to see who could collect the most branded stuff and especially, stickers! I’m clearly not the only person on the planet with a sticker bag or box. I do know of some sticker-types who do a ‘sticker-stock-check’ on dark winters nights like some gardening people do with their seed stock in preparation for planting time.

Some stickers are even valuable or just very special to the owner. This one clearly is.

I like stickers for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they can remind me of an event that I did, so they’re natural memory joggers. Secondly, they can fill a space on a bike or something like a tool chest (I’ll address this one separately in the next paragraph). Have you ever looked at a space on a bike and couldn’t decide which sticker to put on? I have. Getting the sticker impact on a bike is crucial. The other thing is the application of the sticker. There’s nothing worse than a badly placed or mis-aligned sticker! Of course, if I buy a used bike and it has a sticker on it of a brand that I don’t like or doesn’t represent me, it’s got to come off, and fast! Getting stickers off needs to be done carefully or it can end badly by pulling the paint lacquer off as well. Not good. Printing quality can be an issue. Ever put a sticker on a bike, only to find that the next time you polish the bike, the polish takes some of the ink off? Doh!

Careful sticker positioning ensures that your favourite boutique magazine sticker has the style and impact desired

So let’s look at some sticker locations. I’ll discount bikes because that’s too obvious, and sometimes making a bike look like a well branded professionals factory bike isn’t always appropriate if the hero or heroine isn’t actually riding it. So, let’s deal with the classic tool box or tool chest. For decades, this has been THE location for random sticker-sticking. In years to come, we’ll be able to look at old tool chests and they’ll be a historical representation of the industry and brands. I reckon that particularly well stickered tool chests will end up in designer homes and full of knives, forks, spoons, candles, the cork screw and all of those random chargers that we all end up with. So, here’s a future investment tip; sticker your tool box carefully and it’ll be worth it’s weight in errrrrr……stickers probably. Well stickered tool chests have soul, style and illustrate their owners really well.

As stickers represent a great, effective and virtually free way of advertising for companies, where they are located becomes very important. Discreet stickering is a way to get the word out or make the location memorable. I’m talking about putting a sticker on a road sign or on an objective where you wouldn’t normally see it. I’ve named this type of stickering as ‘sticker graffiti’. 

Sticker graffiti. This sign is at the top of a steep hill, so potential sticker-readers will be either stopped for a breather or going slow enough to read it.

So that deals with the sticker thing and that other critical subject that I wanted to cover, is the names that we give to those plastic zip ties, wire ties, tie wraps or cable ties. I’ve seen grown adults debate this very seriously in the past. Granted, the debate was fuelled by alcohol, but people do have an affiliation with what they believe is the right term. To prove the point, go into another country, the next county or even the next city and ask for a bag of 100mm cable ties. You’ll be told that the shop doesn’t stock them and would you consider some 100mm zip ties as an alternative. Anyway, this is a debate for another day, post, lifetime etc etc……

Stickered tool cabinet, but the real question is ‘what do you call those plastic ties?’

All photos by the Author and with permission of Socks, the cat.