#belgiumvinylsticker: discussing favorites

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We asked two #belgiumvinylsticker heavy contributors, two graphic designers and one newspaper editor-in-chief to select their favorites.

Richard De Muijnck

The idea to share vinyl stickers was initiated by Richard De Muijnck and Michael De Wilde. The duo started posting pictures of stickers about 5 years ago on their Harde Smart Instagram account and contacted us to join forces. Richard De Muijnck: "It really is a lost art. Most of those stickers look dope, they are small graphical masterpieces with a huge nostalgic value. And I noticed that many people tried to remove the stickers during the years, but failed to do so. They are stubborn memories of the record shops who sold the records years ago."

Read our collectors interview with Richard De Muijnck here.

Richard explores flea markets every Friday looking for records. Afterwards he scans the sleeves for stickers. Here are three of his favorite stickers:

1. Live Music
"No comment"

2. Music Man
"Music Man was co-created by my uncle Paul. My mother used to tell me how as a kid he used to have his room decorated as a record store."

3. Fried Chicken Records.
"S/o to Glenny D, 187 & Alain juice Blenders. FCP we don't deal with cunts!"

François Touki

Another solid contributor to #belgiumvinylsticker is François Touki. From the start of the project he started sharing images on instagram on his 72records_bxhell  account. 72records is François’ record shop in center Brussels and just the perfect place to collect vintage record shop stickers.

François Touki: “A large share of my time in the shop goes to cleaning and pricing new second hand records. As I see a lot of stickers, it’s easy to take my phone and snap a picture. It’s a good break from work, I really enjoyed the project. These stickers to me have been part of record collecting ever since I bought my first record at the age of 15. This must have been in 1991 or 1992. They always have been witnesses of shops that were already closed when I started digging. These shops only exist in my imagination thanks to their stickers.”

“Although there are often beautifully designed, I don’t think it’s a good idea to restart using them, they are from another era. It’s especially not a wise thing to do when selling a product. These stickers downgrade the sleeve of a vinyl record.”

“What strikes me is that every sticker has a different difficulty level when it comes to removal. There are no rules and it doesn’t only depend on the sticker or glue, but also on the sleeve. A laminated sleeve for example releases a sticker easily when you use a bit of gasoline, while with a cardboard sleeve you can use a lighter to soften the glue. But it doesn’t always work, every sticker is a different adventure.”

1. Rockaway Beat
"I used to be a regular at this shop in Brussels when I started buying records as a youngster. They used the logo of The Ramones which is one of my all time favorite groups. It’s the only sticker I try not to remove when I see it around on a vinyl record: the glue is very hard and the sticker almost impossible to remove. I’m still in contact with the old boss of Rockaway Beat Thierry, who is a huge fan and collector of The Ramones."

2. Pop Shop
"The sticker for Pop Shop in Aalst used to be small, discrete and at the same time visually very attractive. I love the choice of colour and the image of Marilyn Monroe on it. And not to spoil anything, this sticker is very easy to remove. Hahaha."

3. Ostensche Plaete
"Ostensche Plaete in Oostend picturing a cod listening to music is a very funny sticker. It’s also remarkable because of it’s white background while most of the stickers have a golden background."

Not Another Graphic Designer / Pieter De Kegel

Our in house and longtime The Vinyl Frontier graphic designer Pieter scanned the #belgiumvinylsticker database and selected three favorites:

1. Audiophon - Eupen
“I like this sticker because it’s so clear and strong. The graphic translation of the vinyl record is spot on and the typographic play with the record is not overly concocted and very legible. Overall the typography is well placed and kerned. I feel the address is a bit too close to the record but other than that, a very nice little sticker.”

2. Music Express - Diksmuide
“I’m a big fan of the psychedelic work of Martin Sharp, Wes Wilson or Bonnie MacLean so it’s no surprise I instantly picked this as one of my 3 favorites. The sticker sticks out from the others because it’s original. I just hope they have a large collection of psych records at Music Express haha.”

3. Music Mania
“Music Mania is something special because this is the record store where I’ve bought most of my records. The logo is minimal, yet playful by using different letter sizes and the off-center alignment. The logo really pops out when you see it on a record or a slipmat, all qualities of an instant classic.”

Stephanie Specht

Graphic designer Stephanie Specht is responsible for the beautiful artwork for Baloji’s latest releases. She selected her three favorite stickers.

1. FG Mons
"I love this design, so simple but strong and the RG typeface is just gorgeous! It does not need color or a special sticker-cut, it just works and has a strong character."

2. Maison du disque
"It seems very logic to make a sticker like this for a circular music ‘disc’ (LP or a cd if that already existed?) Yet it caught my eye because it’s fun to look at and the typeface is playful. The fact that they put the owner’s name underneath is nice and makes it personal, almost like a medaillon."

3. J. Desmet-Pille
"Here as well, very logic to make a sticker like this for a circular music ‘disc’ but the fact that it is not a full circle is very good. The obvious lines that refer to music bars are not too cheesy I think because of the silver and blue color use maybe. I also really like the typeface!"

Ben Van Alboom

Ben Van Alboom is editor in chief of the culture department of national newspaper De Morgen. His three favorites take a slightly different direction.

“First: a confession. My love for these stickers is about as deep as any river in Sudan. I’m big on (back) cover art, so the neurotic in me wants those stickers off! Of course, most of them are of such poor quality that, more often than not, I ended up ripping off part of the artwork with ‘m.

Having said that, these are kind of cute.

1. Radio Soulwax 
"I mean, you know. (I tried calling those numbers, and I didn’t get either brother on the phone. Lame!)"

2. Gaston Berghmans
"Bands these days are, basically, reinventing the wheel by selling their own vinyl records at gigs. Only, when legendary Belgian comedian Gaston Berghmans did so in the 60s and 70s, he didn’t just sell ‘m at gigs, he also owned his own record store." 

3. Music Express
"I double-checked, triple-checked even, and this sticker is – literally – the only good thing ever to come out of Diksmuide."