Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Real world sticker art

Here it is! The first real-world implementation of my sticker art concept. It's quite a bit more work to do than Post-It™ art, but the resolution is better.
Firefox logo with stickers on white background
Those stickers being really sticky, I did not want to put them directly on a window or on office furniture. So I chose to use transparent book cover film, the kind used to protect the books and notebooks of children. It's cheap, readily available, and I was able put a grid model underneath to help me not deviate too much. I'll see tomorrow if I can find a place for it in my office.

This relatively small piece used the standard 16x16 pixel Firefox logo as a model. I did the "polychromation" with white background, using the 7-color palette. It needed a total of 788 stickers: about one and a half pack of multi-colored stickers (8 sheets of 11 stickers of the 7 different colors per pack). I did not use a stopwatch, but I would say it took me between one and two hours of meticulous work to finish.

In fact, it's only after doing it and trying to gauge the result on different places that I added the "background" option to the application. I realized that the result looked quite different when viewed on a dark background than on a light background. From the start, I had assumed that the missing dots would represent white, but it's not always the case. If you put the piece on a window and look at it from the outside, everything around the stickers will probably look darker (at least in the daylight). On the contrary, looking at it from the inside, the outdoor will make the background appear light. On the Firefox logo, it does not make a big difference, but on other images, with large white or black regions, it can change everything.

Firefox logo with stickers on black background
You might also have noticed that I added a "Sticker unit price" input box. This will help you estimate your cost, in case you want an quote beforehand. I found a provider in France that sells monochromatic packs of 462 stickers for 1.20€, VAT excluded, when buying more than five packs. That makes the VAT-included unit price 0.0031 €. So my Firefox logo cost a bit less than 2.50€ in stickers.

That's all for the cold hard facts. I'm still pondering what I'll do next. If you want to join the new office-supply-abuse-revolution, you're all welcome!

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