8 Interesting Facts About Bumper Stickers You’d Be Surprised to Know

Bumper stickers are a great way to put your personality on display as a driver. Some common themes for bumper stickers include politics, religion, family, safety, and more. While bumper stickers can cause some conflicts, they are considered free speech. However, some states also have restrictions on what you can legally have on your bumper stickers.

Free Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

Full Bio →

Written by

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Dec 13, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single insurance company.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

The Rundown

  • The first adhesive bumper sticker was developed by a screen printer, in the 1940s, utilizing leftover war materials
  • Common themes featured on bumper stickers include politics, religion, family, safety, humor, and more
  • Bumper stickers have become the focus of a discussion on free speech

If you’re a driver who likes to display your personality on your vehicle, bumper stickers are a great way to do so. With such a wide variety of designs, it’s effortless to find a bumper sticker that represents you, your family, your beliefs, your passions, and more.

Bumper stickers have a unique history that many people don’t know about. How did people begin using bumper stickers? How did some of those popular stickers transpire? Read more to get answers to these questions and learn some interesting facts about bumper stickers.

Protect your vehicle with affordable car insurance by entering your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above to obtain free car insurance quotes.

8 Interesting Facts About Bumper Stickers

It is common to see cool bumper stickers while driving down the road or to encounter humorous bumper stickers for cars while in a small gift shop on vacation. But have you stopped to think about how car bumper stickers have become so popular?

Read below to learn some exciting facts about bumper stickers.

1. Before the automobile was invented, people would advertise with horse fly nets.

Back when people were still driving horse-and-buggies, they would decorate horsefly nets with advertisements.

2. The first bumper “stickers” were made from metal and cardboard.

When the first automobiles were invented, many of them were without bumpers. In 1927, when bumpers began being installed on cars, people began decorating them with metal and cardboard signs that they would hang with wire. However, these usually didn’t last very long.

3. The first adhesive bumper sticker was printed in 1946.

Modern bumper stickers are credited mainly to Forrest P. Gill, a Kansas City screen printer. After WWII, Gill had an ample supply of adhesive-backed and fluorescent paper that he made into an adherent bumper sticker that outlasted the archaic handmade signs.

Bumper stickers became famous via their usefulness in advertising. Tourist sites were the first organizations to adopt the use of bumper stickers in bulk. Marine Gardens in Clearwater, Florida was the first organization to request a large order of 25,000 bumper stickers from Gill.

4. President Eisenhower popularized the use of bumper stickers in election campaigns.

Bumper stickers were used heavily to advertise political preferences during the 1952 presidential election between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.

Since then, all presidential elections have taken advantage of this advertising opportunity, and politics continues to remain a central theme for bumper stickers.

5. A man with no children developed the “Baby on Board” sign.

In 1984, a friend asked Michael Lerner how to advertise the “Baby on Board” signs. Even though Lerner didn’t have children, he had had a recent experience of driving nervously with his nephew in the car. So he made some minor changes to his friend’s design to develop today’s version.

Less than a year after putting the signs up for sale, Lerner had sold three million of them.

Some of today’s other best bumper stickers revolve around religion, family, and safety. For example, there’s the “Coexist” bumper sticker, the “Create your own stick figure family” decals, and the “Slow down move over” version.

6. Some states forbid obscene language or images on bumper stickers.

There are a few states that forbid drivers from displaying obscene language or images on bumper stickers. However, when it involves a legal battle, the states will generally back down.

There are stories of people getting pulled over and ticketed for having curse words on their bumper stickers. However, once those individuals hire an attorney, the issue is generally dropped.

7. Bumper stickers have been the focus of free speech discussions.

In 1991, a bumper sticker led to a court case that made it to the Georgia Supreme Court. Cunningham vs. the State began when a Georgia resident was charged with having a bumper sticker “containing profane or lewd words.”

The Georgia resident argued that the state’s law violated the Constitution, and the court agreed and ruled that it violated the 1st and 14th Amendments. Therefore, bumper stickers are considered free speech.

8. Drivers with bumper stickers are more aggressive than those without.

In 2008, Colorado State University ran a study concluding that drivers who had bumper stickers on their vehicles tended to be more aggressive drivers than those who did not have bumper stickers on their cars.

The study also determined that the message listed on the bumper sticker did not matter. Even if the driver had a bumper sticker about love or something humorous, they were still more likely to be aggressive, as opposed to those without bumper stickers.

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Where can I purchase custom bumper stickers?

If you’re looking for a custom bumper sticker to suit your personality, there are plenty of websites that you can use to create a design. For example, you can order custom bumper stickers from Vistaprint, Zazzle, and MakeStickers.

Depending on which website you choose to make your own bumper sticker, you may be able to upload photos, include your text, edit templates, and more. In addition, you can make funny car decals, inspirational quotes, sentimental images, etcetera.

You may also visit a local sign shop to determine if they have a bumper sticker maker to assist you with your custom design.

Regardless of whether or not you have bumper stickers, your car is worth protecting. Enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below to find an affordable car insurance company near you.

Free Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption