Photoshop tutorial: Create amazing sticker art

Fuse an astoundingly unique creative style with die-cut stickers, and you have your very own slap-&-go graffiti playset. Waste shows you how to stick up for yourself.

In this masterclass, Leicester-based duo Waste – the combined talents of Daniel Lowe and Norman Hayes – have drawn inspiration from the likes of Ed Roth and Jim Phillips to create an astounding sticker collection.

And not only can you explore how the duo create their art, but we’ve included the full sticker sheet free with this issue for you to slap onto surfaces anywhere.

Mention stickers to professional designers, and the inspirational styles of the likes of Jim Phillips and Ed Roth spring to mind. Roth, who was part of the 60s ‘Kustom Kulture’ in Southern California, kickstarted a whole generation of grotesque characters that have since formed the basis of sticker and card art.

It was a mantle taken up in the mid-70s to late 90s by Phillips, who transformed the art style into detailed skateboard deck art that came to dominate the scene.

Roth, who was born in 1932, was an artist and cartoonist who was behind the hot-rod icon Rat Fink, and other extreme characters. His passion was custom car building, but his staggering array of outsized, imaginative monstrosities that appeared as cartoon characters sealed his fame.

It’s reported that Roth’s hatred for Disney’s Mickey Mouse led him to draw the original Rat Fink. After he placed Rat Fink on an airbrushed monster shirt, the character soon came to symbolize the entire hot-rod/Kustom Kulture scene of the 1950s and 1960s.

Fast-forward to the mid-70s, and the other great inspiration for Waste’s style – Jim Phillips – stepped into the limelight. Best known for his rock posters – his second poster was for the first East Coast appearance of The Doors – from 1975 to 1990, Phillips was art director for Santa Cruz Skateboards, where he created hundreds of skateboard deck, T-shirt, sticker, and ad art designs.

His stickers became so popular that his designs chalked up sales of eight million over a two-year period. These two sticker-design giants were responsible for a cultural phenomenon. You can find out more about Jim Phillips at, and more about Ed Roth at

Step 1
We're going to design a sticker sheet that will be printed on self-adhesive vinyl and die-cut. To start, launch Photoshop and create an A5 landscape document, setting the resolution to 300dpi, and colour mode to CMYK. Name it sticker sheet layout.

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