Facebook Sticker Illustrations by Sean Tulgetske
We were recently approached by Facebook who seemed to be having a rather interesting issue. They noticed social media apps using digital stickers, which was great, except for the fact that most stickers felt too a young or feminine for their audience. Facebook wanted to create a custom set of stickers for Facebook Stories that was playful and fun while not feeling too young nor gendered.
The project began with a list of words and phrases which Facebook selected for me to work with. I started to envision ways I could illustrate these words with unique personalities; sketching concepts on a large desk sized roll of paper. This allowed me to see how these rough concepts would fit together as a complete set as I developed them. I then took the strongest concepts for each phrase and redrew them on my iPad before presenting them to the client.
We then narrowed the designs down to the final concept for each sticker, at which point I went back over the sketches on my iPad and began to illustrate them fully. I kept to a somewhat primary color palate and refrained form overly working the designs. The final concepts were strong and if they were over worked or too polished the stickers would have lost their charm. The final designs are a little gritty and rough around the edges while still being graphic and bold in style. They are easily understood and read quickly, which was super important since stories only last a few seconds before changing to the next photo.
After finishing the set I noticed that some of the color options were a bit hard to see on different types of photographs. Given that we wanted to be inclusive in as many ways as possible, I went back in and created an alternate color version for each design. This helped to ensure that the stickers could be used on a wider range of photos.
In all honesty this project was more challenging than I anticipated, however, I had a lot of fun with it and am proud of how the pieces came out. Even though the images will only be seen for a few seconds at a time, I’m happy that I got to put some of my personality into these stickers which will be used by friends, family, and thousands of Facebook users around the world- which is pretty cool if you ask me.