I made this: Lil’ Monster Sticker Set for Coco App

I’m very excited to announce that the Lil’ Monster Sticker pack I designed has launched on Coco. This was such a fun side project and I’m really glad I now have the knowledge of what goes into creating these sticker sets. I wanted to shed some light on the process, since it took longer than I thought it would.

Leveraging Old or Unused Illustrations

I had tried to go back through some of my school work to see if I could leverage some old illustrations as a starting point. We landed on some monsters I had done for a few different classes. They were still pretty rough, so I took the time to retrace in illustrator. I ended up keeping only the pink angry monkey guy and scrapping the rest.1_inspiration3


Next came sketching

One thing we agreed on was that instead of a traditional sticker pack of one character with multiple emotions, I would create a pack of different characters showing different emotions. We did this because we have analytics installed that will tell us which character is most popular. In the future if we find that one is used a lot more than others, we could potentially make a whole new set of that one character with different emotions.

So I started sketching. I noticed right away that I had to unify these characters somehow and I noticed that some people use the same style of eyes, the line quality, markings (like spots or stripes),  teeth shape, and the color palette.


I also learned that it wasn’t enough to create these characters. They each had to express an emotion that people want to communicate in every day life. I started with the basics like happiness, sadness, laughter, fear, anger, and sleepiness. Some of them I added words or lines to add to the emotion.

The key is to overeggagerate the details (like the ice cream cone, the rain drops, and the spider) because they are viewed on small Screen sizes.


There of course were some that did not make the cut: 

Notice how some used completely different eyes, or the outlines were black or non existent. The teeth were different shapes or the expression was just off. In some cases, there just wasn’ enough detail or emotions to make them worth using.


There were other things that had to be considered as well, such as the banner that goes inside the sticker center and some other pieces like an icon of one of the characters head. The banner is used as a selling point, so it must be strong. It gives you more information on the characters backstory. I chose to place my monsters in a secret lab scene. The challenge is to create a background that isn’t too busy or detailed because we needed the monster and the name of the sticker set, Lil’ Monsters, to be legible.


Once all the monsters were created, I had to make about 9 different sizes (80 pieces in total) for various areas of the app to make sure they fit on both IOS and Android devices.



Key Takeaways

  • Most sticker packs are of one character in different emotions.
  • Consider what emotions/situations people want to use to express themselves, and also tailor them to the personality of your characther(s). Hunger, Fear, Sleepiness, happiness, sadness, anger, laughter, No, Yes, Ok, LOL… etc
  • If you do multi character packs, choose to unify them with line quality, eyes, markings, teeth, color etc. Make sure they look like they all belong together.
  • Overeggagerate the details because they will be viewed on small screen resolutions.
  • There will most likely be other assets you need to create (icons, banners, thumbnail sizes etc)
  • Most stickers require a thick white stroke around them. Make sure this is smooth and even around your character.

Marketing the Stickers

We also created an incentive program that asked our fans/ users to like the facebook page in order to “unlock” the monster stickers. We also created a blog post on how to like the page, and sent every user an in-app message announcing the challenge.


In less than a week we reached our goal, the user participation on Facebook is up, and the stickers are now live! Download Coco and check them out yourself! Check out the full project here.

  • Thanks for sharing your process.

    10 July, 2014 at 8:44 pm
  • I was just curious what font you used for the banner.

    10 July, 2014 at 8:45 pm
      • Cool. Thanks for letting me know. This came out really well.

        11 July, 2014 at 11:01 am