It’s rare to walk into a workplace that doesn’t have at least one computer, cubicle or piece of used office furniture that’s covered in those ubiquitous, technicolor sticky notes.
They remind the average co-worker to do everything from filing an expense report to calling back a complaining customer. Even with the advent of the digital age with all of its tablet computers and smartphones, Post-Its don’t seem to be going away.
In fact, there are plenty of creative office denizens out there who see the colorful squares of stationery as the perfect medium to express themselves (more on that later).
But did you know that Post-It notes didn’t always come in such a wide array of colors (pinks, blues, greens, and oranges – oh my!)
Back in 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, an American chemist, developed a reusable, “pressure sensitive adhesive” while working for 3M. For a long time nobody knew quite what to do with it … that is, until Silver held a seminar attended by his colleague Arthur Fry, who had long dreamed of a bookmark he could anchor in place on his church hymnal. A metaphorical choir of angels sang as Fry decided he could use Silver’s not-too-sticky adhesive to create Press ‘N Peel, which 3M launched in stores in 1977.
The Press ‘N Peel notes didn’t take off, but 3M still thought there might be a market for the product, so they relaunched it in 1980 under the name Post-It Notes, and a business was born.
Here’s some more Post-It Lore:
– The original canary color was picked as an afterthought – the lab next to the Post-It folks had scrap yellow paper that they used to create the product and it stuck!
– It would take 506,880,000 Post-It Notes to circle the world once (probably about the same number you use to remind yourself to water the office fern).
– Fashion designer Isle Vitolina once created a line of avant-garde evening wear – including a wedding gown – made from Post-It Notes.
– A Post-It Note was once found clinging to the nose of an airplane that had made a flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis, traveling at speeds up to 500 miles per hour in temperatures of -56 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now back to that Post-It art. Let’s take a look at some of the less … errr … conventional uses for the sticky squares.
It looks like someone is trying to send Walt a message. Hopefully he cleans up that Jag a little before hitting his executive lunch.
If the walls in your office are looking a little dull and the budget for office decoratives is nonexistent, it might be time to raid the supply cabinet. Just don’t get caught sticky-handed!
Why not pay tribute to your boss with a personalized paper portrait? (As a side note, this is the only time Ray Charles will ever look square.)
A sure sign that the office geek is running amok: Ms. Pac-Man-themed Post-It art. (Post-Its sure are well-suited for pixelated ’80s video game art, right?)
A true starving artist can’t afford those big, fancy canvases. Instead, he can express himself on tiny pieces of paper – plus no need to buy any hanging mechanisms. (And anyway, that angry, fork-toting hot dog would be pretty terrifying on a bigger piece of paper).
We don’t know why, but looking out this window gives us the sudden urge to eat a mushroom and stomp on a koopa trooper.
Here’s a sure sign that you might have trouble unwinding after work. Plus, we’re a little concerned about getting paper cuts in odd places after sitting on that couch.
This is a good reminder to lock your office door before leaving on vacation. Next time, leave yourself a note.
Another Post-It-covered office: this time from a less thorough, although perhaps more anal-retentive prankster.
This makes us think that the guy sitting in the back of the conference room wasn’t actually taking notes during that last staff meeting.