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Sticker Design Contest at DEF CON 29

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  • Sticker Design Contest at DEF CON 29

    Sticker Design Contest

    Ancient warriors used tattoos as a means of indicating rank in battle; it was the sort of mark that told the tales of their various conquests - their struggles and triumphs. Similarly, traversing the halls of DEF CON, one can see more modern versions manifesting as stickers - especially on laptops and other electronic equipment.

    The DEF CON art contest showcases art of many different forms - wallpapers etc. However, there is not presently a medium for expression that is more portable and ubiquitous in hacker culture, especially at DEF CON. Just like DEF CON usually bundles stickers in its conference schedule booklet, which ends up on a majority of laptops and other devices of attendees, the winning entry in this contest could be either added to that list of stickers, or sold standalone as swag.

    We use stickers to break the ice with strangers, as a barter currency, to tell the tales of our struggles and triumphs. After all, is a hacker really a hacker without a laptop adorned with these markings?

    Here's your chance to be part of hacker culture, by creating something that people around the world will treasure and proudly display. Submit original artwork in the theme of the con, that you believe best exemplifies hacker culture, that will be used as printed stickers.

    On your marks... Make your mark.
    PGP Key:

  • #2
    Click image for larger version

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    Contest Rules
    - The contest is open to artists of any age, in any country.
    - The theme of the contest is "Signal vs. Noise". Please incorporate the theme in your sticker design.
    - Please submit a PNG file of no more than 6 inches x 6 inches (or 4096 px x 4096 px), any shape inside these dimensions is acceptable.
    - Artwork can be an original painting, drawing, photo, computer generated illustration or screen print.
    - Artwork must be original/copyright-free - please do not include copyrighted content in your submissions.
    - Submissions close on 5-July 00:00 UTC

    Submissions must be made via email (


    • #3
      πŸ—“ The deadline for submissions has been extended to 31-July 00:00 UTC.

      πŸ† Prizes include graphic design software to help further your design mastery.

      🎟 Submissions may now also be made right here in the forums (start a new post/reply to this thread).


      • #4
        Attached you will find my submission to the Defcon 29 sticker contest.

        I incorporated the sticker theme "Signal vs. Noise" visually.

        The entire image is made up of snippets from the same fractal which was generated using the color palette from the DC29 theme. The typeface is Conthrax which is also from the DC29 theme.

        In the sticker image I show signal like waves struggling to survive within the noise of the fractal patterns embracing the "Signal vs. Noise" sticker theme.

        The sticker image was created with Adobe Photoshop using a 6x6" canvas at 600px/in resulting in a 3600x3600px image when exported to png.

        Let me know what you think.

        Thanks for your consideration.

        Richard Gowen (a.k.a. @alt_bier)
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Here's my entry into the contest :) I was inspired by the signal to noise theme, as well as the importance of being part of a community during these times of isolation. The two people (in red) are the signal and stand out against the noise (background people). They both are hackers and have DEF CON stickers (omg, a sticker inside of a sticker) on their laptops. The significant of the red also serves as a reference to "red" teaming. Art was created in Illustrator and exported to photoshop for conversion to PNG. If made, stickers should be cut around the rounded rectangle.
          Thank you!

          Click image for larger version

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          Attached Files


          • #6
            DC 27 was my first, a blast, and a reminder that I should have been going for many years. Seeing the velcro name badges the goons wore got me thinking: "Red: Stop & listen!"

            Being new, I thought "If only there was a way better than attending DC 101 to voluntarily flag new folks to help break the ice"… and maybe in badge or sticker form.

            Green was an obvious color choice, partially because it is traditionally the color of inexperience or newness, but also it being opposite of red, with an intent here to say: "Green: Go & talk… and listen"

            Originally, I came up with the first version of this, but then got thinking about noise: Analog tv static, not just black & white, but green as well, and through that noise, the identifier which is more legible from a distance.

            These both put together in Paint.NET at 600dpi (2400x900px, 4"x1.5" intended printed size) and some custom C# to generate low resolution noise images which then would be scaled.

            Thanks all for the time & consideration.

            P.S. To spread the love, I've a few hundred of each on the way and to aim to drop a pile or two at DC 101... even though these are not explicitly DEF CON branded.

            P.P.S. Also yes, I need a better handle.


            • #7
              Here is my take on the DEF CON 29 sticker design contest theme: Signal vs. Noise. After various concepts and iterations, I finally came up with a retro design that fits the visual style of this year's DC. Each element, including the DC logo were rendered with the noise filter. The layout was inspired by the box art of Atari 2600. The theme in Conthrax font had also been added a gradient filter that was inspired by the 'Back to the Future' logo design. The gridlines can be found in the background that holds together all the elements in place making up for the entire composition. The edges were curved as to avoid the sticker from being scraped or removed on any surface. I had fun the whole time while creating this since it is my first time laying out for a sticker design. Stay safe, everyone.

              Dimensions: 1800 x 1800 px (300 dpi)
              Attached Files