The Untold History of Sticker Printing
In everyday life, when shopping in the city, when going out with friends, or during other leisure activities, you come into contact with stickers on almost every corner.
Sometimes, they are small and colorful. Sometimes, they are large and discreetly colored, but they always have one goal: to attract people's attention to convey a message. Another function of the stickers is the categorization of objects or products of various kinds.
While the former sticker variants usually try to score points with unique creativity or even with fascinating designs, stickers used to categorize and organize are kept relatively simple. It is sufficient if only individual letters, numbers, or symbols can be seen on it so that the viewer can orientate himself on them. By the way, this variant has been known for thousands of years and is still widely used.
A little journey through time with the sticker shop is hardly discussed. That time, stickers were not used as it functions today.
Stickers Then and Now
The fact is that the first stickers were used in the distant past, around six thousand years ago. These stickers were not yet equipped with elaborate prints and high-quality adhesives to stick them on at will or remove them again if necessary because such aids were not known at that time.
Instead, stickers set out to fix these forerunners of stickers on objects - no matter what kind - in a different way. Indeed, if you look back into the past, the history of stickers is fascinating and multifaceted.
In the distant past, colors, adhesives, etc., as well as high-quality sticker printing materials were generally still wholly unknown. Rather, people at that time were able to get the best out of the materials and raw materials available to them. Because chemical substances did not yet exist, only natural substances were used. We also know today that the stickers of that time did not have an adhesive on their underside.
Functions of Sticker in the Past
You have to know that the stickers of earlier times were not primarily used for decorative purposes or even for promotional reasons because no one thought about them at that time. Instead, the resourceful retailers wanted to use the little helpers for categorizing and correctly distributing goods.
Jugs, amphorae, bags, sacks, and even stone containers were stocked with goods and provided with small tags on which characters, colored markings, symbols, or other signs could be seen. These should help make the type of goods, their weight, and possibly type-specific sub-categories visible to the user or recipient of the products.
As resourceful and imaginative as the people of ancient Egypt, the Greeks, and the Romans were, it is surprising that the stickers with an adhesive underside were only invented many years later. While the tags, labels, and signs were attached to the packaging in the distant past, mainly with ribbons made of leather, flax, or with the help of wax, the sticky underside was still completely unknown.
Resins, wax, and the like already existed at that time, but it had not yet been recognized that they had an adhesive. Around the end of the 16th century, letters or other documents were increasingly summarized in bound form. After that, the first books appeared over time. That was when modern sticker printing found its way.