Racking My Brain Over The Washington State Heart Sticker Design
The exact date was July 20th, 1992 when I first entered Washington State. I will never forget crossing the Washington border at the Tri-Cities area of Richmond, Pasco, and Kennewick. I was moving from Chicago to Seattle and felt a sigh of relief flow through me as I met mighty Columbia River. Finally, I had reached my dream destination! To me, this meant I had made it to my new home and my new life as a Westerner.
Being a visual person, one of the first things I noticed was the design of the Washington State highway signs.
It was and still is, a profile outline of George Washington’s head. I thought it was simply one of the coolest highway signs I had ever seen. Most of the Midwest signs are boring, white, reflective rectangles with a uniform black border.
It might sound a little goofy, but I was so taken by this unique highway sign that I based the “Washington Headed Home” graphic on the same concept for Heart Sticker.
The Headed Home sticker was in addition to the original Heart in Washington design. Have you seen it? The green-filled state with a white heart and border has become a staple of Washington culture. I see it everywhere.
I’ll let you in on a little secret… I didn’t even want to create the Heart of Washington sticker.
Why not? You might ask.
It was because I felt it was a betrayal to my beloved home of Oregon. But I was forced into it! I ran across a sticker (not an official Heart Sticker) that had a green heart set in the outline of the state of Washington.
This broke one of my cardinal rules! At Heart Sticker, only Oregon has a green heart. Period! So I had to get creative with the Washington state design.
But what a design challenge! Washington is the “Evergreen” state! How was I going to capture the true essence and beauty of a place that is so deserving of a green heart. . . using a green heart?
So I dug deep into my memories of Washington. I dreamed about its rugged mountainous beauty. In my mind, I drove the Interstate 5 through the steep, rocky foothills and cliffs. Deeper into the Cascade mountain range.
I revisited the iconic peaks that often have their heads in the clouds at 14,000 feet: Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, Mt St. Helens, and Mt Adams... and the glaciers in Olympic National Park.
And then, I had a design breakthrough. The heart could be white! It would portray the icy beauty of the higher elevations. Then I embedded in a green background to pay homage to the billion or so evergreen trees of Washington’s rainforest and old-growth stands.
Do you remember the original green background? It was “glitter” green. (It’s now quite rare, so I’d love to hear from you if you have one.) That green glitter represented the shine of a cut emerald, just like Seattle's nickname "The Emerald City.
Speaking of Seattle. I’ve been asked to create versions with the names of towns. Seattle, Tacoma, the San Juan Islands, and Spokane to name a few.
Are you looking for a place to apply your Heart Sticker? Consider Hydro Flask water bottles, Yeti coolers & tumblers, and Yakima and Thule racks.
And I’d love to hear your design ideas. Simply send them through our contact form. Along with your feedback and ideas for future blogs.
Until next time, make plans to visit the state you’ve been dreaming about!
Chris Bucci, Owner, Heart Sticker