I have been facinated with the proliferation and ironic creativty of certain car stickers in the last few years.

And i got a camera in late 2007, so i started photgraphing these stickers while cycling around Seattle.
These are small white ovals with standardized country codes
on them, such as Germany or Spain.
They were required by treaty in 1968 so that it was possible to see where a car registered in another country was actually from. In recent years EU number plates have arrived and they carry a country code so the original white ovals are no longer necessary.

About 10 years ago, (the late 1990s) it became trendy to to bring home country stickers from European travels. When i came home in 1990 i brought an NL sticker although i never used it. I really wanted a CH.

However other stickers began appearing, mocking the pretentiousness of declaring a connection to a European country. Initially it was small, often quaint, artsy communities that appeal to well healed tourists.
So you could declare a connection to a charming rural spot such as Orcas Island, Port Townsend, Washington or Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
But before long the joke spread to National Parks,
And even neighborhoods!

And then, making fun of the stickers that were making fun of the stickers that were making fun of the mis-use of the original stickers, we started to see more mundane places popping up. The Naughties are clearly a time of ironic, even sardonic humor.

Finally it was states themselves, partially completing the circle. And in a mini fad within the fad, bike tourists would get white oval state stickers for each state they pedaled through!
Designers started to take some liberties, missing the point of the multi layered ironic irony.
Then it got weird. and bizarrely detailed. (That's a zip code of a wealthy suburb.)
Of course it quickly got creatively political.
Recently i saw this which was my first indication the Hillary will run for president next year.
Inevitably we soon saw slogans ('spay and neuter') and corporate logos (K2 skis).
And some were wonderful and wacky: 'What Would Dumbledore Do?'
Now growing in popularity is the marathon: And just the other day i saw 140.6 which is an iron triathalon.
Finally the driest of humor making fun of everyone
'White Oval Sticker'

back to mrk.land