Digital sticker designs on a laptop scree

Digital stickers: How to make digital stickers and use them effectively

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Digital stickers are the small graphics you’ll find on various social platforms and digital tools. You can use digital stickers to decorate posts, digital planners, web pages, social posts, merchandise listings and much more! They are a great tool for building brand awareness and a customer community. This article will explain how to make digital stickers and how to use them to customize your digital designs.

Table of contents

What are digital stickers?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of stickers: print and digital stickers. There are many classic print stickers, like die-cut, foil, and glue stickers. Digital stickers, however, are high-quality PNG files with transparent backgrounds. This makes them easy to overlay on other images, just like sticking a print sticker on a water bottle or notebook cover.

Retro digital sticker design
Fun, cute and playful digital stickers

Source: sticker design by Distant Future via 99designs by Vista

Digital stickers come in various types and are often small in size, so they work with bigger images. When designed for digital planners, they’re functional, serving the same purpose that a print sticker serves in a traditional planner. These functions include:

  • Post-its
  • Checklists
  • Flags to highlight important information

Digital stickers can also be decorative. They’re a fun way to turn your creations into placeable, shareable pieces of art. Decorative uses for digital stickers include:

  • Memes: Reference recognizable memes in your digital stickers or turn them into fun icons for your website or social media pages.
  • Seasonal: Make your digital stickers holiday-themed or related to the specific season or time of year, such as ice lollies for summer or leaves for fall.
  • Specific events: Create digital stickers to celebrate a birthday or a wedding. Guests can even add celebratory stickers to event posts on social media.

Why create digital stickers?

There are lots of reasons to create digital stickers!

  • Make your digital planner feel more interactive
  • Jazz up your social media posts
  • Promote your brand and offerings, increasing brand awareness
  • Market products in a new and fun way
  • Give your followers something fun to engage with
  • Flex your creative design skills
  • Generate an income through digital sticker sales

If you’re thinking about designing digital stickers, decide what your goal is for them. Are they for your personal use, or do you want to share them with others? If you plan on sharing your stickers, is your goal to sell them or give them out for free?

Maybe you’d like to start creating free stickers to share and eventually sell them as a way to bring in extra income and build your creative brand. There are lots of places to sell digital stickers online, including Etsy and print-on-demand websites. With these online platforms, you have the bonus of being able to sell print versions of your digital sticker designs. You can also sell your stickers through your blog or e-commerce website if your hosting platform offers that capability or if you’ve set up your website for e-commerce.

pugs and green bean stickers

Source: sticker design by Depanda7 via 99designs by Vista

You can offer digital stickers individually or as sets. Take a look at other creators’ offerings to see how they group and price their stickers, and use this as your guide. Often, designers group stickers with similar visual themes, like fruits or rabbits wearing funny hats. Larger stickers may be sold individually for print as well as digital stickers.

sticker of a bear in an inner tube

Source: Sticker design by Soniaydesigns via 99designs by Vista

Only you can determine a fair price for your stickers, but it’s generally good practice to look at what other creators are charging for similar stickers and price yours to be competitive with those. Other factors to consider are your skill level, the time it took to create the digital stickers and any overhead you have to cover through their sales, like hosting and shipping costs. Generally, individual stickers are listed for around $2-$5, with larger bundles costing more. A 20-sticker bundle may be priced around $10, and a 50-sticker bundle may cost around $20. However, this can (and does) vary. 

How to make digital stickers in 5 steps

Making digital stickers is easy and fun! With VistaCreate, you can upload your designs or create digital stickers using VistaCreate’s library of images. Using VistaCreate is easy—just follow these steps:

1. Choose a format

With VistaCreate and other browser-based graphic design programs, one of your first choices is the format. This is the size of the canvas you want, such as a square Instagram post or a Facebook cover photo. You can also choose a custom-size format.

Since digital stickers typically aren’t perfect squares or rectangles and don’t necessarily need to fit a specified format, you can choose a custom-size canvas of any size you want.

2. Pick a template

Once you’ve chosen a format, you’ll need to choose a template. These are preset designs you can tweak any way you’d like. You can also choose a blank page—it’s totally up to you!

3. Add images and text

Here’s the fun part! Choose from VistaCreate’s library of photos and graphics to create your sticker design. Play around with different layers and colors. You can also add text to your sticker or make the sticker just text.

You might want to try making variations on the same design, like a few different color options. This way, you can explore a range of options for your digital stickers and offer them together as a bundle.

Good fiesta digital stickers
Retro tech digital stickers

Source: custom digital stickers by Tika Design via 99designs by Vista

4. Customize your sticker

There are many ways to customize your stickers, from using different filters and image effects to adjusting the size, saturation, orientation and scale.

5. Download as a transparent PNG

This is the most important step because it’s what defines a digital sticker. If it’s not a PNG with a transparent background, your digital image is simply an image.

From here, you can upload the stickers to a marketplace like Etsy, a program like Instagram or Discord, or have them printed.

Using other programs and DIY digital stickers

You can also design digital stickers using other graphic design programs like Canva and ProCreate. These programs work fairly similarly to VistaCreate, allowing you to combine text with images, duplicate them, drag elements and place them where you’d like before finally saving your digital stickers as PNGs with transparent backgrounds.

Tip

If you need professional help, check out one of VistaPrint’s design services, like 99designs by Vista, and get a designer to create stunning, unique digital stickers!

yoga-themed sticker set

Source: Sticker design by telinunu via 99designs by Vista

But what if you want to turn hand-drawn images into digital stickers? These might be images you’ve drawn on paper or in a program like ProCreate. You can easily turn these drawings into digital stickers, too. Just upload them to a program like VistaCreate, resize and save them as PNG files with transparent backgrounds. That’s it! You can even edit them digitally, if you’d like, by applying filters or adjusting the brightness, contrast and shadows.

Design custom digital stickers

Digital stickers are a lot of fun! They can also be a great way to build a brand community and make some sales. Now that you know how to make digital stickers, head over to VistaCreate to try out your designs. Or, if you want professional help, check out one of VistaPrint’s design services, like 99designs by Vista.