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.

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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.

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