comic eye die cut sticker

The Ultimate Guide to Designing Freebie Stickers: 6 Trends to Check Out

Posted by Sticker Canada on October 20, 2023

It has become customary for small businesses these days to add freebies as a gift for their customers. Stickers are the popular choice because they are extremely cheap yet can definitely bring a smile upon unboxing.

So if you’re not including sticky tokens yet to express your gratitude for customers’ support, there is still time to dive into the trend.

Why give away free items to customers


Gifting your customers is a subtle way of promoting your business. While giving free items is an investment, it can bring a positive impact to your business in the long run.

One advantage is that you can create a positive impression on your customers with your gift, making it easier for them to remember your brand. In return, they will likely re-order or recommend your products to family and friends at any given chance.

For a business just getting started or operating on a small scale, word-of-mouth marketing can really help get your name out there. With increased brand awareness, you can easily reach your target market.

You can tactically distribute your freebies to get the most out of them. For instance, by giving special stickers to first-time buyers or when a customer purchases a certain amount. It would also be a great idea to include one during the holiday season to extend your greetings.

What makes stickers a great marketing tool


The great feature about stickers, aside from being cost-effective, is that they’re suited for virtually any type of business. Whether you're selling clothing, ceramics, stationery supplies, jewelry, food, beverages, etc., they would make a great add-on to every parcel you send out.

No matter how simple it is, customers appreciate receiving gifts. Stickers may be small, but the thoughtful gesture will definitely go a long way in improving customer satisfaction. Although stickers are relatively inexpensive to produce, they are extremely effective in showing your appreciation for their buying.

It is important to note that your sticker designs must resonate with your customer’s interest while still relevant to your brand. For example, if you sell coffee, your designs should also be coffee-related illustrations or texts.

Make your stickers visually appealing by using unique and interesting designs; incorporate humor or inspiration. Additionally, use high-quality materials to ensure they last long and your customers can enjoy them for a long time. That way, they can be reminded of your brand as well.

In this blog, we feature six design trends you can easily follow to get started with designing your custom stickers.

1. AI Designs

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become more sophisticated, allowing even beginners to create stunning digital artwork easily. Using AI websites like Google’s AutoDraw can help you create more creative and original graphic designs for your stickers without having to hire a professional designer.

AI Designs

How to Use AutoDraw

Creating artwork on AutoDraw is simple with just a few tools. All you need to do is doodle the shape of what you want to create.

cup draw on autodraw

AutoDraw will guess what you are trying to draw and will suggest similar drawings created by different designers and artists.

drawing cup on autodraw

Click on your most preferred illustration.

mug draw design

You can customize the color using the Color Picker tool, and add color with the Fill tool.

mug design

Add texts as well using the Type tool.

coffee is always a good idea sticker design

In just a few clicks, you now have your personalized sticker design.

Check out more AI design tools you can use here.

2. Holographic design

The holographic design trend uses eye-catching prismatic effects as a way to add a touch of glamor and excitement to designs. There are several ways to achieve this effect, and one way is to print the design on a special vinyl material that can perfectly produce the illusion of depth and movement that the holographic style is known for.

Using holographic stickers is a great way to elevate your simple artwork from subtle and understated to bold and eye-catching. At first, the sticker will appear grayish, but when light hits its surface, rainbow colors are produced. The brilliance and colors change as you move it at different angles. The colors become more vivid under brighter lighting.

Additionally, hologram stickers have waterproof and heat-resistant features. They adhere well and stay long on surfaces, especially electronic devices.

lash bebe hologram circle stickers

3. Earthy Elements

As consumers are becoming more conscious of how their buying habits impact the environment and slowly shifting to eco-friendly products, some brands are also adjusting their branding to adapt to customers’ interests. With that, incorporating natural and organic elements into designs has become a trend for adding a touch of beauty and sustainability.

This design trend can be achieved by using details and images found in nature, such as plants, woods, stones, and animals. You can also use colors like green, brown, and yellow as a way to add a touch of nature to any of your designs.

To apply the same effect to your giveaway stickers, a Kraft Paper Sticker will make a great printing material option. It has a natural light brown color and a textured surface, giving off an earthy vibe to your designs.

love is in the air circle kraft paper stickers

4. Handmade illustrations

Another trend that is becoming increasingly popular is using hand-drawn illustrations to design packaging and branding materials. This results in a more personal touch to the design because the elements are uniquely made.

The process of creating illustrations by hand typically involves using pencils, pens, and ink to draw images on paper or other surfaces. To transform the designs into digital artwork ready for printing, you can use digital editing tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to trace the drawings. And then add colors and effects for added visual appeal.

You can also use digital painting apps like Procreate to create your designs using an iPad. This way, you can work quickly and efficiently, make changes easily, and work with several effects, such as pencil, watercolor, crayon, etc., to achieve a hand-drawn look.

with nini stickers

Image source: With Nini


Handmade illustrations are a great way to add warmth and personality to any design, which helps build human connections. Small businesses can apply this approach to their branding to establish positive and lasting relationships with their customers.

5. Modern nostalgia

Modern nostalgia is characterized by blending vintage-inspired design elements with contemporary styles. This can be in the use of typography, imagery, and patterns, but with a modern twist. The result is a design that feels both familiar and fresh.

This nostalgic aesthetics design trend can be achieved by using:

vintage typography, such as Cooper Black or Helvetica, in combination with modern fonts;
imagery from the past, like old photographs or illustrations, in a contemporary context;
patterns and textures popular in the past, like gingham or floral prints, in a modern way; and
pastels or jewel tones color palettes that were widely used in the past.

aloha die cut stickers

6. Artistic serif fonts

Apart from illustration-based designs, it is also a great idea to give customers stickers with motivational and encouraging words to light up their moods. Simple words like “keep going” or “you can do it” can create a positive emotional effect on people who receive them. But it would be better if the words were printed in vibrant and playful letters to amplify the message.

Serif fonts have been used for centuries, but in recent years have become increasingly popular for creating more expressive artworks. The small lines (or serifs) at the end of each letter’s strokes are often associated with traditional and classic designs. But by playfully modifying such features and creatively manipulating the letters by distorting, liquifying, and extending the strokes, you can create an eye-catching sticker design with just words.

When choosing colors for your stickers, it is important to use a contrasting color scheme to make the texts stand out. For example, you could use a dark font on a light background or the other way around. You can also use shades of the same color to create a more subtle effect.

Additionally, when creating motivational sticker designs, it is important to keep them simple and easy to understand. Too much text or too many design elements can make your stickers cluttered and hard to read. Instead, focus on a few words or phrases to convey your message.

nest custom die cut stickers

Final Thoughts

Just like anything else, the world of graphic design is dynamic and ever-evolving. By following the design trends, you can create stickers that are up-to-date, stylish, and effective to impress customers.

Just remember, however, that in deciding which design approach to employ, ensure that it is relevant to your brand. The designs must help highlight your brand identity while still appealing to your target market.

All in all, no matter what your style is, there is a graphic design trend out there that is perfect for you.