Famously, Freedom of the Press belongs to him what
one. Similarly, Freedom of Expression could be said to be
when you can't find a bumper sticker that says what you want.
Some three years back, I figured out how to make my
own bumper stickers and have been "expressing myself" (or making
a fool of myself) by plastering my poor car with leftie bumper
My wife is a minimalist and gets by with the one bumper sticker she
asked me to make for her CRV.
If you want a closer look, here's a higher resolution version
Now that Kerry was 'defeated', I removed some so it looks a little
patchy, but never fear, there's more to come. Some new favorites:
Moral Values Explained: Sex by O'Reilly, Lies by Bush, Gambling
Bennett, Torture by Gonzales.
Any Idiot can start a War
Hey George, Send Your
Kids to Iraq!
The bumper stickers I make are black and white (no color),
made on a normal laser printer (an old IBM/Lexmark 4029) on a special
vinyl label material that can make it through a laser printer's fuser
the toner powder gets melted onto the page) without turning into taffy
lunching your laster printer. They are extremely durable (after
3-4+ years, they're as good as new if a little greyed from accumulated
I generate the design using Corel Draw (though any middle
or better computer art software can be used).
So, you'll need:
- A computer art software package. You will only frustrate
yourself trying to do this with Word or WordPerfect. Take the
and get the real thing if you don't have one already. The latest
of the top contenders, Like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator, are
pricey and have lots of bells and whistles, more than most of us will
need (and confusing as well). My answer is to get a back level
version. You'll be getting the real thing, not a tricycle, and
you'll develop some real skills. Back level CorelDraw, say
version 7 or 8 (11 is current now), can be had for as little as
$5. Just search in Google or a price engine. The doc will
be on the CD for
that price and you can get tutorials off the web.
- A B&W laser printer (Color laser printers supposedly get too
hot for the label material). This printer should be capable of
accepting manually fed individual legal-sized sheets and should be
capable of straight-through printing and print discharge.
Tray fed paper feed input and tray discharged output require 180 degree
U-turn bends that are problematic. You should be able to feed it
straight in and have it come straight out after printing. I use a
clanky old Lexmark/IBM 4029
- The label material
- A print or paper trimmer
The label material
Comes from a great operation on the West Coast, RippedSheets.com
(a ripped sheet
is a printing
trade term...in the trade, the stock (paper, whatever) is made in
enormous sheets or rolls. An intermediary jobber would cut or
section those big sheets to turn out ripped
sells specialized label material.in small qunatities and sizes.
I use their #102600 Outdoor Waterproof White Vinyl Super Permanent Self Adhesive
I buy "legal" size sheets, 8.5"x14". One sheet cut into thirds
down the length of the long side yields three 2.75"x14" bumper
stickers. Alas, it isn't cheap; the legal-sized sheets cost $3 to
$6, depending on the quantity you buy. I would suggest you buy no
more than you can use
in 2-3 months, as the backing paper that covers the adhesive side can
difficult to pull off if it sits on the shelf longer than that.
Designing and Printing the Bumper Sticker
I'm not going to tell you how to do the artwork, but I do have some
- Don't try to print individual bumper stickers: they'd be too
small and finicky to print well on your laser printer. Instead:
- Develop, as a single artwork file/image, three different bumper
stickers (or make 3 copies of the same design) in your artwork
software, based on Legal sized paper, in landscape format, like this: