Six Feet Apart Please is a digital time-capsule of social distancing stickers made over lockdown

Flicking through the collection, you’d be hard pressed to find one you haven’t seen before in your own local dwelling. You know the type – bright and bold yellow lines or a pair of shoes. All over the subways in New York, for example, Savannah started to notice how the typical shoe-sole graphics were being replaced by Easter egg stickers of high-heels, dog paws, duck pads or horseshoes. “The stop by the Natural History Museum has dinosaur claws. They’re subtle but really celebrate the people; they’re very New York.” Other sightings include black rectangles depicting three pairs of shoes outside the Empire State Building – “the tiniest in the middle, showcasing the quintessential American unit” – and more temporary stickers, too, like skeleton feet marked sideways that popped up around the time of Halloween.
With the idea in tow, Savannah set out with her new “quarantine obsession” and constantly went out “sticker hunting”. This mostly took place in the mornings before work all across Manhattan, and it wasn’t long until she’d collated more than three hundred stickers in total. Of course, with such a large collection, you’re going to notice a few similarities, patterns and indifferences and Savannah started to document these occurrences, breaking them down into categories of shape and colour. One of the larger similarities that she became aware of is how the signs were used globally, receiving responses from people across Paris and South Korea who’d stated how they’d come across similar stickers in their streets. “This global synchronicity felt meaningful,” she adds. “I think it’s also funny that as a technology-raised generation, when we see something new, interesting or weird, we take a picture of it even with no plan to look at it again. We’re all sort of digital hoarders.”
“Watching these stickers become a global phenomenon really emphasised what a long-lasting icon they’ve become, and the ephemera they’ll hold for generations,” concludes Savannah. “Superficially, I love the way they range from functional to ironic, and showcase the way brands have evolved to stay relevant in a pandemic-draped consumer landscape.”
Looking to the future however, and “on a deeper note, someday they’ll disappear and I think we’re all excited for when we can close this six-foot gap,” she concludes. To hug, hold, and even just stand near each other again. Six Feet Apart Please will become a digital time-capsule to remember how far away we felt for a year in our lives, and the design that helped us navigate all that space.”

Posted by Contributor