Laptop Stickers

Ever since the Dedicated Followers of Fashion post about laptop stickers used a photo I’d snapped of Cory Doctorow’s heavily stickered ThinkPad, I’ve been a(n even) keen(er) observer of laptop stickers and their owners. I’ve been avidly photographing them, uploading them to Flickr and tagging them ‘laptopstickers‘. Here are a few examples.

Gavin Bell
Gavin Bell

(Sparse, Apple logo not obscured.)


Matt Biddulph
Matt Biddulph (Dopplr)

(sparse, adopted danger-of-death personal branding placed in the middle of the Apple logo)


Cory Doctorow
Cory and his laptop

(Impressively heavy covering, with much overlapping)


Dan Hon
Dan Hon

(Sparse. Enormous ‘What Would Gordon Freeman Do?’ makes all gamers grin)


Ren Reynolds (no relation)
Ren Reynolds' laptop

(Sparse. As with Dan, you’d know Ren is a game geek pretty easily)


Having bought a MacBook Pro in January, I decided it was finally time to plaster it with stickers. It helps me get past the new-car feeling of having to keep it perfect, and since there are a lot of identical MacBook Pros out there, some personalisation is helpful. I figure that I’ll keep adding them, and if they peel off I’ll just add more. It’s a bit of a release not to be so concerned about the way it looks, though I was ironically obsessive about getting the right stickers before I began.

I’ve been collecting them for some time, but didn’t want to start putting them down on the lid until I had enough to give a good covering. SXSW was a great venue to pick up fun and relevant stickers, and Coté was kind enough to send me some too.

Incidentally, this is the reason I had the Autobots logo etched onto the bottom of the machine rather than the lid; I’d known since I bought the MacBook Pro that the lid was going to be en-stickered, and the laser etching opportunity, while too good to miss, seemed best placed underneath. It gives a chance for surprise and delight, too.

Here’s how it looks from above

Laptop Stickers

And below

My MacBook Pro, with Autobot logo

19 replies on “Laptop Stickers”

  1. I see these have universally chosen to go with up-when-open (other people see stickers the right way up), rather than up-when-closed (so you see then the right way up, but others see them upside down).

    (For what it’s worth, Apple changed their logo from up-closed to up-open with the titanium PowerBook in early 2001. I’m not sure if anyone still does up-closed logos; maybe Thinkpads?)

  2. Hi Paul. You’re right about ThinkPads, their minimal badging is oriented to be ‘up’ when closed, and upside down when open. At least up until the T61. I have not seen any of the newer ones yet.

    Yep, my stickers are in up-open orientation too. I will be on the lookout for examples of the opposite approach. Actually, Cory’s stickers are interestingly inconsistent. Some are up-open, some are up-closed and some are up-sideways. A wonderfully random creation.

    (I was watching an old episode of West Wing recently, and spotted one of the venerable early PowerBooks. It really stood out because the Apple logo was upside down.)

  3. Putting the apple logo the new way round was a mistake. I’m forever trying to open the wrong end of mine because of it. Maybe they should take a leaf out of Rolls Royce’s book and introduce one that spins round to always be the right way up.

  4. I now have way, way more stickers on mine seeing as the photo Roo took was on the first day of SXSW. That said, I accidentally put all of my cute fire eagle stickers upside down…

  5. Gavin: I like that NeXT sticker very very much. You are (were) planning to carefully peel it off your old machine and apply it to the new one (before filling the space during SXSW)?

    Dan: I should have got another photo of your machine at the very end of SXSW. (And Jemima‘s too; I believe she broke down during that week and gave in to the stickering.) And re upside-down: you muppet. :-) There were enough Fire Eagle t-shirts around that despite not getting one ([sulk]) I think I absorbed the image by osmosis. It’s an instant classic.

  6. Not enough MOO, ROO.

    You should see Alice Taylor’s – it’s covered in tiny tiny (like, <5mm) cutesy stickers in a symetrical pattern. It’s like some kind of japanese schoolgirl rash. Best laptop stickering ever.

  7. I had guessed that different stickers would peel (or not peel) very differently. To be honest, I am not planning to cleanly remove any stickers. I think as it becomes tatty and worn, I’ll probably just add more. :-)

  8. I would have guessed that you are better off with the MBP in that regard, if you do need to clean off sticker residue I guess it would be easier to wipe the metal casing of the MBP than something plastic.

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