We love USA altogether!

The Heart Sticker logos in the most simplistic descriptions are community identification of people who love their place and in particular the state they live in.   A heart in Oregon represents the community of people who love Oregon.  Those people are either residing in Oregon or not.

Every place has people who love that place for one reason or many.  Our designs give that community the ability to recognize, meet and discuss what they love about the place.  And it is from this stage where the real magic begins.  It is our belief that the more people who love a place will discuss what they love about this region or what makes them a group of people of this place, good for them.  And ultimately better for all of us.

So, again, Heart Stickers identify the community of people who love: Oregon, Washington, California, Texas, Rhode Island, Maine, etc, etc.  Then all those places together make up of one map and that is United States.  It is the bottom up approach to continue to strengthening our nation. The emphasis is on the communities from the smallest groups to larger ones.

Based on this model, a state with a custom designed heart, we are making our best educated guess at creating a local and appropriate design.  This is hard.  Here are few reasons:

1. I am an Oregonian particularly and not a Texan, Floridian, or anything else.  We simply do not have the local knowledge that individual citizens do.  But we do our research and do our best.

2. Some of our states are so large, so diverse, and have so much population that to have just one unifying symbol is a challenge.  An example is Northern California is very different from Southern California.  And then in our research, we discovered there is the Central Valley and Central Coast of California.  And as you would expect, the needs and culture of each of these places vary as much as the weather, landscape, occupations, and culture.

But, we as an organization and I as an individual will do our best job, we will invite mistakes and failures, make adjustments till we find the best one that we can. So, it’s about us doing a good enough job to help the communities have identification so that they can find each other and start talking about the place they love.  Because when a community interacts, it is always a global connection!


Heart In Michigan

Heart in MichiganHeart in Michigan design is one of my favorite designs.  It is a green state with 2 blue hearts, one in the Lower Peninsula, and one in the Upper Peninsula.  The green part represents Michigan’s forested outdoors and Michigan State University. While the blue hearts represent all of the great lakes and rivers that Michigan has and the University of Michigan. This is the first design that I chose to borrow from the university systems.  I chose to use both rather than one.  We can call it my strong attempt to unify these two parties.

Two hearts together in one sticker hold a tough reason.  It is the simple fact that although there is upper and lower Michigan, they are two totally different places.  Also for this reason the Heart Sticker designs is two separate stickers.  They peal out independently.  This gives the consumer the option to stick both Upper and Lower areas on or just one of them.  For this reason, giving the consumer a choice, this is one of my favorite Heart Stickers.

I have a theory that more folks from the Upper Peninsula (UP) then the Lower Peninsula will only stick one of the shapes and the lower will stick both.  We will have to wait and see.

I can really only speak to the UP because I lived there as a child at 12 years old in the early 80s.

Coming from Chicago, it was an interesting transition from suburban Chicago to a small town on the upper Michigan / Wisconsin / Green Bay boarder.  The simplest way to describe this was like living in rural Canada.  It was bitter cold in the winter, Green Bay completely froze over and we all added an “-A” to the end of every sentence.  Hunting, fishing, sailing, snowmobiling, x-country skiing, it was a 12 year old dream.

So my heart was in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  I look forward to visiting again and crossing the Mackinaw bridge in the “Mittin” and checking out the LP.

Heart In Idaho

Since my first visit to Idaho,I was fond of the beautiful wilderness.  Heart in Idaho is simple state shape with a red gem cut shaped heart.  I chose this design because Idaho is the gem state and the state gem is the ruby garnet, hence the ruby red garnet gem cut heart.

The first round of design, the state was brown because in the hot, Idaho is mostly high desert with unforgiving heat and rough rocky landscape.  Brown really demonstrated this feeling but it did not lend well to the design.  So we lost the brown and it really makes the heart pop out now.

The town of tensed while in the 90s I drove from Moscow, ID to cout’ d’ Alene for some swimming in the lake.  While on the way, we passed through a town called Tensed.  I found the name to be interesting, almost comical. I joked,”Hey, I’m In Tensed,” then “Past Tensed.” and so on. As chance has it, I met a Idahoan who set me straight on the story of Tensed.

Down the highway from Tenses, there is a town named De Smet named for a priest who was special in the area.  However, there was another town that wanted the same name.  So they settled on naming their town De Smet backwards, Temsed. When they submitted the name to the county recorder, he mistook them for an ‘n’ and ever since it has been named the town of Tensed.

If you want a rough wilderness, Idaho is your place.

Heart In Montana

Heart in Montana is one of my favorite heart sticker designs and is drawn as a simple figure of the state with an oversized blue heart.  Specifically, it encloses deep sky blue heart and is whopping because Montana is called “big sky country”.

 It’s one of my favorite designs because of its simplicity, the pride of the Montanans and as design flows, it is pretty conventional and adapted quickly.

It took us only two rounds to come up with the final heart in Montana design.  The shape and oversized heart was always part of our design but it was the color of blue that troubled us. In the first design the heart was “sky blue” but when it was printed, it was too pale.  We wanted a deep rich blue that looked more like the sky with whiffs if high clouds.

A few notable places I have been in Montana are: Moose’s in Kalispell: A bar where you carve your name into the table and through your peanuts on the floor. It felt great while engraving the name on it.

And between the I-90 and Lolo hot springs, we found a huge log cabin bar in the middle of a long gravel road. One Saturday night we spent few hours rocking to a cover band, dancing the night away and slamming Foster’s oil cans.

Finally, the most impressive place I have ever seen is “the going to the sun” road.  Simply put, it’s outlandish that this road was ever built. From sheer cliff walls to passable road, incredible yes?

Enjoy Montana.

Heart In Texas

The heart sticker design of the heart in Texas is originated as the shape of Texas with the Texas state flag heart.  In contrast to one of our earlier designs, I felt this was relatively easy as I identified the passion of people belonging to Texas.

So what exactly do Texans love about Texas? Well, on a recent layover in DFW, I polled several locals. 

Me: “What is your favorite thing about Texas?

The #1 answer was: “The weather”. Wow! Interesting enough! Yet, the most disagreed answer was again “The weather”.

I’m not sure what folks love about Texas weather but I did conclude what they did not like- when it’s hot, it’s hot as hell and when it cold, it’s as cold as ice. Fair enough!

The other popular responses I heard were, this is home, family, and the Dallas cowboys.

One interesting note to make about DFW – Dallas Fort Worth airport is.  It’s huge.  I was told it is 24 square miles and has a heavy running through the center of it.  All I can say is, I’m glad i was not in a rush to get to my plane.  The rail system took much longer than I expected and I was constantly wondering if I should get off at terminal c1-20 or c21-39. Overall, I managed to figure out one thing that is common to every state’s citizen and that is the love and compassion they hold for their state. Be it for home, people, friends or just places. Well, same goes for Texans in Texas.

Heart in Colorado: A Heart Sticker Design Challange

The Heart in Colorado design is the shape of state of Colorado with a heart that represents the state flag and mountain markers representing the 14ner.   This design might seem simple but it was a difficult design to come up with because Colorado State is a rectangular shape and is has an identically shaped state directly to the north, Wyoming.

The challenge was putting a heart into the state and have everyone knowing that it is Colorado and not Wyoming.  To start, we looked at what Colorado is known for, which is their mountains. We also noticed that it has a great state flag.  If you have never seen the flag, it is blue and white stripped, with a red “C” and a gold circle in the middle.  The colors represent the blue ski, the white mountain top snow, gold for metal and a big “C” for Colorado.  I think it’s one of the best designed flags in the USA (we also enjoy  Ohio’s state flag and Portland’s City flag).

We decide to merge the locations of the 54 “fourteeners”, mountain peaks higher than 14,000 feet, and put most of the Colorado flag in the heart.  This design produces a design that just cannot be confused with Wyoming and takes two of the most loved aspects of Colorado and merges them together for our Heart Sticker design.  This is know our final design but the journey we took getting here was long and interesting.

Truth be known, we were actually beat to the punch on designing a Heart in Colorado.  A past resident of Portland, Josh Mischke, moved to Colorado in 2008 and was so impressed with the Heart in Oregon sticker that he created a Heart in Colorado sticker.  He took black outline of Colorado and placed an emerald green heart in middle of it.  Our first initial reaction to this was panic but then we calmed after the realization of the design flaw; the rectangular shaped state.  We knew what state it was because we were so familiar but we speculated other would not. Josh and the Heart Sticker Team became friends after several months of conversation and we purchased his Heart in Colorado stickers and website.

As we worked with our graphic artist on the Colorado Heart Sticker design, we revised the design about 8 times.  The heart was easy, take the flag and place it in the middle of the heart.  We ended up clipping off part of the “C” because of the dip in the heart. We knew that there was enough of the flag for the mind to make the leap and complete the design.  The real challenge was the 14ners.

How many 14ners are in Colorado?  The answer is 54.  We were only able to place 52 into our design because two of the peaks are so close to each other that they fell directly on top of each other on the design, so you can only see 52.  We don’t know the names of all the peaks but most folks from Colorado can name them instantly.  The next challenge we had with the mountains was placement.  It took at least three revisions to just get the placement of the peaks in a good enough place to represent where they are actually located.

After much time and effort we completed our Heart in Colorado designs.  This was one of the team’s favorite designs because Coloradoans are so much in love with their home. We have also known many friends that have such a tight bond with the people and the place, so we wanted to do the design justice.

Heart in California… a Heart Sticker review

Ask us what our favorite thing about California is and we will respond, “Californians”.  Heart in NorCalThey simply are just wonderful.  Oh sure, there are a few bad apples as there are anywhere, but for the most part Californians and as a whole, they are the most pleasant, social, and approachable people we have experienced.

Why do we think Californians are this way?  Because they live in California.  Any visit to California and it will not be long until you understand why 33+ million people live in this great state.  It has it all.

Let’s just start with the obvious, the ocean. The deep blue water runs the entire 800+ mile western coast line.  If there is anything that should be on your life list, it is to experience as much of the California coast line as you can and as you want.  “Spectacular” is one word you will use over, and over, and over again.  From the gentle and warm ocean beaches of Newport and Laguna, to the city harbor ports of Los Angeles, to the mind blowing beauty of Big Sur, (and we do mean mind blowing) to the frigid rough, rugged, and unforgiving coast line that is the primer that becomes the Oregon Coast, you literally can spend a lifetime alone this ocean trail and still not see it all.  Not even close.    Our Heart Sticker design has a deep blue heart because of California’s relationship with this rich blue ocean.

California cities are cultural melting pots that also must be experienced.  Go ahead, pick a California city, GO…  You will see a culture unlike any you have experience in your whole life.  Packed with people, adapted to each other with its culture that is all their own and totally and completely acceptable to them because it has to be in order for it to work.  A kind of we make it work because the prize is here.  We get it and any time you are here, you will too.

Sure, the first thing you’ll experience are freeways 100s of feet wide, packed with cars, motorcycles riding in-between cars and someway. But somehow, it Heart in NorCalworks.   This is just a part of the experience. And why?  Because when you get to where you are going, it is beautiful.  Palm trees, cafes outside, short skirts, nice suits, and sun glasses for all.  It’s feels a lot like being on vacation.   As Oregonians, we tends to lean toward San Francisco mainly because we can drive there in 9 hours or fly round trip for $99 and we do it often.

So why do 33,000,000+ people live in the golden state of California?  Just go and see for yourself.

Follow your heart, it will lead you home.

Heart Stickers spreading the love

Heart Stickers connect people to the places they love. It is a way for a person to say, “I love this place” through a combination of a heart and a place. The first Heart Sticker we created was in 2003, the Heart in Oregon.

Heart in Oregon

“My heart is here, my heart is in Oregon.”  That was what Chris Bucci, owner of Heart Sticker said to himself when he was pondering leaving his adopted home of Oregon.  At that moment, he drew the shape of Oregon with a heart in the middle on a napkin. Shortly after he had 1500 stickers produced and started building a company.

Chris originally intended to sell the stickers for $2 only to help make ends meet until the economy got better and he found a proper office job.   What Chris was not expecting was there were so many others who shared the same feeling as he did for his home of Oregon.

It could be that their heart was in Oregon, they called Oregon home, or they just loved it here.  Folks started to gobble up the stickers as fast as he could produce them and suddenly there were 1000s of Oregon stickers floating around the Portland area.

It was suggested to Chris that he take the same formula, a sticker with the state outline and a heart in the middle to expand his business.   However, rather than just replicate the exact formula Chris felt was more important and better strategy if the design for each state was representative of the locals.  This is also the main reason why none of the other states has green hearts.  It just does not represent them and for this reason, Chris started designing other states with local influences.

Heart in NorCal

HICH The California designs has a sparkly yellow state fill because California is nicknamed the golden state.  Washington has a green state fill because it is nicknamed the evergreen state.  The goal is to find a design that represents the local culture and community rather than replicate what works in one area and try to force it into another.

As you look at the Heart Sticker USA map, you will see all sorts of designs.  We spend much time researching and interviewing locals on what is an appropriate design for that state.  The map is a revolving design that we update when a better design is discovered. In addition, some states have such a large population base, like California, that it can support multiple designs (i.e. northern California, central California, southern California).

All States Design

The message in every state is the same, “I love here!”  We have also found that the more people who love a place or have a special feeling towards a place the more willing they are to take care of it, and that is good for them and ultimately better for all of us. So when you see someone who has your state’s heart sticker and you feel that way too, go up and talk to them about what makes that place special to you and them.

Heart in Oregon Design Explained

The shape of the state of Oregon with green heart.  What gives?

Heart in Oregon

The heart of Oregon is green because it best represents Oregon’s forest.   A few minutes hike in any Oregon forest and one can notice how lush and green everything it.  That is why the Heart in Oregon heart is green.

We have heard many alternative meanings to the green heart–Green living, Green Party, Eco-friendly, and even some not worth mentioning.  Those too are all important ways of Oregon life, it is the green of forest for the official meaning of the green heart.

What is a Heart Sticker?

What is a Heart Sticker?

The Heart Stickers themselves are just stickers.  Simple designs, the shape of a state with a heart inside of it.  The  Oregon stickers were simply created by saying, “My heart is in Oregon.”  The same can be said for Washington, California, Florida, Montana and so on.  This part was simple.

What do Heart Stickers mean?

I love it here!  Here can be the place where my home is, a place I’m visiting, or a place I long to be.

What unexpected has happened?

Community.  I have many examples of community that has evolved out of Heart in Oregon.  Folks with flat tires and others stopping to help because of the Heart in Oregon sticker.  People far from home feeling closer to home when they meet others with patches on their backpacks.  The simple shape of a state with  heart in combination with a person representing it means others may approach and of anything start that conversation.

Ultimately Hearts tickers are:

Just stickers.  But the magic is in the people who display and look and gain a feeling from them.

Follow your heart it will lead you home.


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