The Fascinating History of Stickers in Berlin


Stickers have become a ubiquitous form of expression in modern society, and it is very evident in the streets of Berlin. From political activism to street art and self-expression, stickers have played an integral role in the city’s cultural landscape for decades. Stickers can be found on nearly every surface in Berlin, from lamp posts and mailboxes to storefronts and walls and pavements. They serve as a visual record of the city’s history and culture, reflecting everything from political movements to pop culture trends. With 3DKleber we will explore the fascinating history of stickers in Berlin, examining their evolution over time and their enduring impact on the city’s artistic and cultural identity.


Stickers of Berlin
Stickers have become an integral part of the urban landscape of Berlin, adorning street signs, lamp posts, and even abandoned buildings. The origins of stickers can be traced back to the early days of advertising in Germany when businesses began using them as a cheap and effective way to promote their products. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that stickers began to take on a more political tone.
Early use of stickers in Berlin

During the Cold War, Berlin was divided into East and West by the infamous Berlin Wall. The wall was heavily guarded by border patrol agents who were tasked with preventing any attempts at escape from East Germany into West Germany. In response to this oppressive regime, activists began using stickers as a form of protest against the government.

One of the most famous examples was a sticker created by artist Klaus Staeck which featured a photograph of East German leader Walter Ulbricht with the words “I love socialism” written underneath. The sticker quickly became popular among West Germans who used it to mock Ulbricht’s regime.

Evolution of stickers in Berlin

As political tensions eased in the 1980s, stickers began to take on a more artistic flair. Street artists like Thierry Noir and Christophe-Emmanuel Bouchet started using stickers as a way to express themselves creatively. They would plaster their colourful designs all over public spaces, transforming drab walls into vibrant works of art.

The rise of street art also gave birth to what is now known as sticker culture. This subculture is made up of artists and enthusiasts who collect and trade stickers as a form of self-expression. Sticker books filled with rare and unique designs have become highly sought after among collectors.

Today, stickers continue to be an important part of Berlin’s cultural landscape. While they are still used for political activism, they are also used by artists and designers as a means of self-promotion. Bars, cafes, and clubs often have collections of stickers available for patrons to take home as souvenirs.

In recent years, technology has had a significant impact on sticker culture in Berlin. Social media platforms like Instagram have allowed artists to reach wider audiences than ever before. Many street artists now create digital versions of their designs which can be shared online or printed out at home.

Stickers as Street Art

Stickers have become an integral part of street art in Berlin, with many artists incorporating them into their work. Stickers are a popular medium for street artists because they are easy to produce and distribute. They can be printed quickly and cheaply, and they can be easily distributed on the streets without attracting too much attention. This makes them an ideal tool for political activists and other groups who want to get their message out to the public.

One of the most famous street artists who use stickers in their work is Shepard Fairey. Fairey is best known for his “Obey” stickers, which feature the face of wrestler Andre the Giant. Fairey’s stickers became ubiquitous in the early 2000s, appearing on walls, lampposts, and other surfaces all over the world. The “Obey” sticker has become a symbol of resistance against authority and conformity.

Another famous street artist who uses stickers is Invader. Invader is known for his pixelated mosaic images of characters from video games such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man. His stickers can be found all over the world, from Paris to Los Angeles to Tokyo. Some of his mosaics are small enough to fit on a sticker, while others cover entire buildings.

Stickers have also become a way for unknown artists to gain exposure. Many aspiring street artists create their own stickers and distribute them around the city in hopes that someone will notice their work. Stickers are a great way for these artists to get their name out there without risking arrest or injury by putting up larger pieces.

Stickers as Self-Expression

Stickers have become an integral part of Berlin’s culture, and they can be found everywhere from street lamps to bathroom stalls. While stickers were initially used for political activism and street art, they have now evolved into a form of self-expression. In bars, cafes, and clubs throughout the city, individuals use stickers to showcase their personalities and beliefs.

One popular trend in Berlin is “sticker bombing,” which involves covering a surface with as many stickers as possible. This trend has become especially popular among young people who want to express themselves in a unique way. Stickers are often used to convey political messages or show support for social causes such as LGBTQ+ rights or environmentalism.

In addition to political statements, stickers are also used to display humour or satire. Many stickers feature puns or jokes that reflect the quirky nature of Berlin’s residents. Some even incorporate local slang or dialects, making them particularly appealing to those familiar with the city’s culture.

Stickers can also serve as a form of identification within specific groups or communities. For example, members of certain music scenes may use stickers to show their allegiance to a particular genre or band. Similarly, sports fans may use stickers featuring their team’s logo or colours.

Stickers in Berlin Today

Stickers in Berlin have come a long way from their origins as a simple adhesive label. Today, they are an integral part of the city’s street art scene and a form of self-expression for many individuals. With the rise of technology and social media, sticker culture has evolved to include digital stickers, which can be shared across various platforms.

One current trend in sticker art is using them to make political statements. Stickers with messages such as “Refugees Welcome” or “Stop Hate” can be found on lampposts, walls, and other public spaces throughout the city. These stickers serve as a reminder that Berlin is a city that welcomes diversity and stands against hate.

Another trend in sticker art is the use of QR codes. Artists are incorporating these codes into their designs, allowing viewers to scan them with their smartphones and access additional information about the artwork or the artist behind it. This adds an interactive element to the traditional sticker format and allows artists to engage with their audience in new ways.

In addition to street art, stickers are also prevalent in bars, cafes, and clubs throughout Berlin. Many businesses allow patrons to leave stickers on their walls or other surfaces as a way of expressing themselves. This creates a unique atmosphere where visitors can contribute to the decor while also leaving their mark on the establishment.

Future Sticker Gluers

As stickers continue to be prevalent throughout the city, with new designs and messages appearing every day, they remain a powerful tool for individuals to express themselves and make their voices heard. As such, it is safe to say that sticker culture will continue to thrive in Berlin for years to come, providing a platform for artists, activists, and everyday people to share their ideas with the world. So next time you’re wandering through the streets of Berlin, keep your eyes peeled for these small but mighty symbols of expression – you never know what message they might be trying to convey.