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The Evolution of Bumper Stickers and Car Decals

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The Evolution of Bumper Stickers and Car Decals

Everyone loves stickers – they are a great way to show off your style and personality. From water bottles to laptops, stickers and decals are an easy way to display some great artwork. One of the best ways to use stickers is to personalize your truck or car. These stick-on accessories are a great way to bring a little flair to your vehicle and even let others know what’s important to you.

But did you know that stickers have had a storied past and have experienced an evolution of their own? In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the fun history and interesting evolution of stickers and decals, from bumper to tailgate.

A Brief History of Car Stickers and Decals

A Brief History of Car Stickers and Decals

Before car and truck stickers and decals became popular in the 1950s and 60s, they had been around for a long time already. Stickers as we know them were invented in 1839 when adhesive paper first came on the scene. Originally made for the US Postal Service as the first postage stamps, these first stickers were the precursor for the more well-known stickers of today.

After stickers found success at the USPS, the Office of Price Administration (OPA), began using them in 1942 during World War II. The OPA used stickers to track gasoline usage during the war and its corresponding ration program. Each car had a sticker that dictated the vehicle’s allotted gasoline usage.

After World War II, car manufacturers used decals to display their logos. As car culture and consumerism really started to take off in the 50s and 60s, many car enthusiasts began utilizing bumper stickers to show off their love for a hobby and the cars they drove. The love for using car stickers and truck stickers has only grown since then and continues to be a popular way for people to show off what they love while they drive.

After the initial wave of incorporating car stickers and truck stickers into pop culture, people began using stickers to express themselves more and more. By the 1970s, car stickers and truck stickers became modes of expressing beliefs, thoughts, and opinions. Some were humorous quips and political statements, while others were various pop culture references.

Car and truck stickers also became very popular with American colleges and universities. Putting your school’s logo or slogan sticker has become a common way to show school pride. Many people also use car and truck stickers to show pride in their car itself or something they love to do. Stickers can be a badge to represent a larger community you are a part of, whether that be a hobby-based community or maybe the place you’re from.

Funny and Cool Bumper and Car Sticker Sayings

Funny Bumper Stickers

Adults on board. We want to live too


  • “Adults on board. We want to live too”
  • “I’m not speeding, I’m qualifying.”
  • “Honk if you love peace and quiet.”
  • “My other car is a time machine.”

Vintage Bumper Stickers

Take it easy


  • “Keep on truckin’.”
  • “Have a Nice Day”
  • “I brake for garage sales.”

Cute Bumper Stickers

Please don’t hit me, I don’t know how insurance works


  • “Pawsitive vibes only.”
  • “Fueled by coffee and kindness.”
  • “Hakuna Matata.”

For Truck Lovers

I love my truck


  • “You Can Go Fast. I Can Go Anywhere”
  • “Truck Yeah!”
  • “I’d rather be muddin’.”

Classic Car Fans

Vintage soul, classic ride.


  • “Oldie but goodie.”
  • “Vintage soul, classic ride.”
  • “Life is too short for boring cars.”

VWs Bumper Stickers

Go Your Own Way Sticker


  • “Peace, Love, and VW.”
  • “Home is where you park your VW.”
  • “VW drivers have more fun.”

Race Cars Bumper Stickers

Sorry officer, I thought you were up for a race


  • “Race it, break it, fix it, repeat.”
  • “Eat, sleep, race, repeat.”
  • “Racing is life, everything else is just waiting.”

Female-Focused Bumper Stickers

Women Make great leaders. You're following one right now.


  • “Girls just wanna have fun…driving!”
  • “This girl can drive!”
  • “Like a girl? Try keeping up!”

Car Stickers and Decal Options

Stickers and decals have begun to migrate away from the bumper to the tailgate in recent years. Particularly with truck drivers, more and more drivers are using personalized stickers and decals to decorate their vehicles in new and exciting ways. The tailgate has become the new place for sticker and decal enthusiasts. From hunting and fishing motifs to witty sayings, there is a way for everyone to put a personal twist on their vehicle.

Our favorite car or truck stickers always show off the driver’s personal style and how they roll, and our new “This Is How I Roll” truck sticker does just that! Show off your love for your vehicle, whether it be new, retro, or just plain old awesome. This brilliant sticker is available now, along with the rest of our collection for Jeep and truck lovers.

This Is How I Roll” truck sticker

Car lovers know best that new isn’t always better, and old isn’t a bad word. What better way to let people know that you’re not old, just classic, than with our “I’m Not Old, I’m Classic” car sticker? This witty sticker is part of our larger merch collection for classic car lovers available on our website.

merch collection for classic car lovers

If driving or racing is not only a big part of your life—it is your life, we have the collection to let your passion ring loud and clear. Our “Race Hair Don’t Care” stickers or “Eat, Sleep, Drive” stickers are both some of our favorite sayings. These stickers are sure to spark a smile on others’ faces as they drive by.

With our custom collection of car and truck stickers, you are sure to find something to fit your personality and vehicle. Stickers are a fun way to show off your passions and let everyone know what you love. Don’t hesitate to start decking out your car or truck!

Why Use Car Stickers?

Besides showing off what you love with car stickers, bumper stickers can also help you identify your car among the rest. Trying to find your car within a crowded parking lot or street is always more difficult than you want it to be. Try using car stickers or truck stickers to make your vehicle stand out in the crowd. While being easier to find, your ride now might just also be the best-looking car in the lot.

Bumper stickers can make people smile, too. Something as simple as reminding people to be thankful in their life or to stay positive never fails to bring a smile to someone’s face. It might not just be a positive statement; maybe it’s a great joke that another driver can enjoy while passing you on the road. Pop culture references or “memes” are always a fun addition to cars and trucks. Fun little messages on bumper stickers are another aspect of larger car culture. In fact, people might even strike up a conversation if they like your bumper sticker enough!

Another reason to use bumper stickers is that they might even help other drivers keep a safe driving distance from your car. Driving can be tedious, and drivers aren’t always paying attention 100% of the time. Having a bumper sticker may pull a driver’s attention back to the road and help them avoid getting too close to your car and causing a potential accident.

Car Stickers and Culture

Over the decades, car culture is something that has become synonymous with American culture. Car culture was born out of consumerism in the 1950s and 60s but has grown into more than just buying new cars. A car is the mode of transport for people and things first and foremost, but it is also an integral part of many car enthusiasts’ identities. The purchase and ownership of a car is more than owning the vehicle itself; it becomes part of your life in more ways than one.

Personalizing your car is one way that represents the way cars are a part of our lives. However, when personalizing your vehicle with stickers or decals, you don’t have to commit forever. Choosing a paint color or wheel type for your car is a big decision because you will have it for a while. With stickers, you can change them out as you please. They are a small addition to your ride that makes a big difference but doesn’t have to be permanent if you don’t want it to be.

Car and Truck Sticker FAQs

Like any decision you make for your vehicle, you want to know all the important details. Stickers and decals are a great addition to any car or truck, but make sure you know how to apply them correctly without leaving any damage after removal.

Are Stickers and Decals Easy to Remove?
Most stickers and decals are easy to remove and will not damage the paint or external surfaces of the car. Something to keep in mind before the application is to test out the sticker on a small surface of the car before applying the entire sticker, just to make sure there is no issue. Most bumper stickers can easily be removed by soaking them with WD-40 or applying heat from a blow dryer. Then, wipe any remaining gunk away with rubbing alcohol.

Is It Okay to Put Stickers on Your Car?
Yes, it is okay to put stickers on your car. However, it is important to only use vinyl stickers because they will not lift paint or finish off your car’s exterior. It is recommended to only put stickers or decals on windows, tailgates, or bumpers because these areas do not have paint and therefore don’t run the risk of damaging the exterior of the vehicle.
Can Stickers and Decals Be Used on Any Surface?
Stickers and decals are designed to stick to most surfaces like metal, glass, and plastic. However, a more porous or irregular surface like fabric or brick might be more difficult for the sticker to stick properly. It is not advised to put stickers on the painted surfaces of your car to be sure they don’t remove any paint.

What Is the Best Application Process for a Car Sticker or Decal?
The best practice to apply your car sticker without it lifting and to have it last longer is to thoroughly clean the application area. Clean the area of the car to ensure it is free of dust and dirt, and then dry it completely. Before applying the sticker, wipe it down with a damp cloth and some rubbing alcohol to make sure it is also completely clean. When applying, use a credit card or another flat-edged item to press down all bumps or ridges to get the cleanest application.
How Long Do Stickers and Decals Last?
The life of a sticker or decal depends mainly on the wear and tear on it. If exposed to extreme weather conditions more often, the sticker might not last as long as one that has more temperate weather conditions. However, in general, stickers can last up to five years or more.
What Type of Sticker Is Best for a Car?
The best material to use for a car sticker is white vinyl. White vinyl is the preferred option because of its durability, especially with water. Stickers made from white vinyl generally last five years.
Which Is Better: Decal or Vinyl?
Both are good options for cars and trucks. Decals are better than vinyl if you want to cover a larger area. Decals also hold up better with long-term outdoor and weather exposure. It largely depends on the area you plan to put the sticker or decal and how much weather exposure it will have.
What's the Difference Between a Car Decal and a Car Sticker?
In general, stickers are smaller than decals, but when it comes to cars and trucks, they are made of all the same materials. Decals could be considered larger stickers that cover more surface area and are usually placed on windows. You might have a window decal but a bumper sticker; the decal is just larger but still is a sticker adhesive.

Car and Truck Stickers: Personalization with Style

Stickers and decals

Stickers and decals have made it a long way since their modest beginnings in the US Postal Service. Today, they are a fun way to make a big difference and add a little something fun to your car or truck while showing off your interests and hobbies. Expressing yourself through stickers on your vehicles is also another way to show that you are part of a larger community. Whether that be the fishing and hunting community or your alma mater, it is a reminder that you’re part of something bigger than you and your car.

Don’t be afraid to deck out your ride and let everyone know what passions and hobbies drive you. Personalize it using car and truck stickers to truly make it your own!