Aaron Ashmore founder of Etch and Pin


Nostalgia. The feeling of comfort we get from familiar sights and situations. That tune you listened to on the way to school on your Walkman; that cartoon series you watched on repeat on a Saturday morning. That sticker collection you had where you bought some every weekend until you’d collected them all. 

This is the feeling that you get from the Coventry Sticker album. As Aaron Ashmore, founder of Etch & Pin, sits down to show me his next big creation I’m filled with that comforting feeling and also one of huge excitement. This… is something big. 

So following on from the success of your Coventry enamel pin badges, what made you change? 
I know, it seems like a bold move! My pins were in full flow and it was a little bit of a crazy change of direction… but this was something close to my heart. When I completed the 12 months of badges I thought, what’s next? What else can capture that sense of pride, be super collectable and nostalgic all at the same time. That’s when the idea came to me - the Coventry Sticker Album.

What were the big goals for this album? Tell us more.
I wanted to create a time capsule that captured what it means to be in Coventry in 2019. It’s a labour of love, where I’ve scouted out all the best photographs, businesses, landmarks and individuals I could find. It’s had involvement from so many people and by no means a definitive list but it’s a snapshot of places that I felt captured the character of the city. Plus, I get to be in my own sticker album- that’s always been a dream of mine and now it’s come true!

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It looks incredible and the images are stunning! Who’s been involved?
There’s a huge list of talented photographers, businesses and landmarks involved - they’re all listed in the back. A lot of these photographs are done by “amateur” photographers from around the city but all of them capture the city’s beating heart. There is a real community feel as we all worked really hard together to make this book what it is and it really showcases some of the talented photographers we have in the city. It’s already created this amazing community and I hope that they feel like they’re part of something truly special and we can share it with you all.

So how can people collect these stickers - how does it work?
The album itself and the first set of stickers are £10 posted, and then we release a sticker pack per month. Twelve months and you’re guaranteed to have all the stickers you need to complete the entire book. However, they’re randomly placed so you never know what’s coming next. Plus, you know that feeling when you used to collect stickers as a kid? The “got-haven’t-got-swap” conversations that you just don’t get nowadays. Well, we wanted to capture that feeling too - so all the shiny stickers will be placed randomly in the packs so you can still get that feeling of excitement for completing the collection and swap with other collectors.

It seems like this is something completely different! I’ve never seen it done before!

This was my contribution to Coventry in the lead up to 2021 and it’s for everyone. It’s for the families sat at home to share with their children who hand it down to their children. I want it to be something nostalgic for people that they can look back on when they’re older, as well as reminiscent of their childhoods. I am hoping that this sparks people in other cities to do the same - that it helps them to find out what lies at the heart of their communities and build one for themselves. This has sparked so much pride and recognition for our city from those involved and I hope that by collecting and completing the books we can all share in that feeling. 

You can buy Etch & Pin’s Coventry Sticker album from their website.

Written by Amy of Writing Into The Ether

Amy Turner