Merchandise ideas (offshoot of the "crossdreamer flag" thread)

Joined: May 8th, 2018, 9:09 am

July 26th, 2018, 12:06 pm #1

In the crossdreamer flag thread, I raised the possibility of putting such a flag on merchandise such as fridge magnets.

Well, once the idea got into my head I couldn't get rid of it and I had to do something. So today I actually created several products on Zazzle using my proposed flag design. I haven't published them, but they are saved as drafts. Recall that my design emphasises MtF when oriented one way, and FtM when oriented the other (rotated 180 degrees).

The products I created are:

(1) Flexible magnet: height 4 inches; width 6 inches. A straightforward presentation of the flag design, and of course easily rotated.

(2) Chiffon scarf: length 45 inches; width 10 inches. Contains three reproductions of the flag along its length, interspersed with thin strips of the transgender flag. Deep purple background (along edges and between images).

(3) Candle: diameter 3 inches; height 4 inches. White background, with MtF orientation on one side and FtM orientation on the other.

(4) Morphing coffee mug: capacity 11 ounces. A morphing mug (i.e. one that displays a hidden image when warmed) struck me as a decent metaphor for coming out.  Of course, you can't turn it upside down while using it, but I included both orientations, optimising the design for left-handed FtM crossdreamers and right-handed MtF crossdreamers. Includes transgender flag stripes above and below the flags.

I also thought of making a belt, but I don't know how the belts sold on Zazzle actually work, as I don't recognise the style of buckle. Since belts are traditionally threaded clockwise for men and anticlockwise for women, I feel I need more information before proceeding.

What do you think? Should I publish these? Do they risk accidentally being too popular for my personal store? Would you buy them? I have no intention of creating products other than those listed above, but I can certainly make the flag's vector files available to others.
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Joined: September 14th, 2016, 8:12 am

July 26th, 2018, 1:29 pm #2

Sorry, but I wouldn't buy those items. If I ever will buy something with transgender/crossdreaming symbols, very much I would like those symbols to have two meanings: one obvious and "safe", while the second, true meaning is not so obvious.
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 2:24 pm

July 26th, 2018, 5:53 pm #3

I think it is a good idea. 

apm77's design is not that obvious, although it would lead to questions if the trans flag is included. Anyway, I like it.

But maybe there could also be room for "secret handshake" symbols that only the insider would know, and which both Barbara and i could proudly put out there, without "the others" being the wiser.  Like the blue rose, maybe?

apm77, could you by any chance share some images of the designs here, in the forum?
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 9:09 am

July 26th, 2018, 7:42 pm #4

Jack, here's one image from each item:

crossdreamflagmerch.jpg
(I haven't uploaded directly to Tapatalk before. I feel it's better to use my own webspace when I can. But since this was a request from you...)
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 2:24 pm

July 27th, 2018, 4:32 am #5

I think they look very good! 

You are a designer, aren't you?

If we are going to use this design or logo for CDL and CDL related publishing, we need some kind of strategy.

I think of the Crossdreamer facebook page and the Crossdream Life Magazine part of the CDL "properties", and we should probably use the same logo all over.

But first: Let us see what the others have to say.

By the way, could you also share a larger size file of the logo, so that I could test how it would look as part of the CDL design?
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 9:09 am

July 29th, 2018, 11:36 am #6

jackmolay wrote:I think they look very good!
Thanks! :-) Of course, the Zazzle editor is not exactly a precision tool, and I wouldn't rely on it to create a professional quality product. (For example, two images that are supposed to be exactly the same size and aligned might turn out not to be, quite.)
You are a designer, aren't you?
Mind you I never did any courses; it's all on-the-job training. See The Dragon's Cave for a link to the company I work for.

While I was working on the flag, I showed it to one of my supervisors (Annabel) and asked if she could guess what it meant just by looking at it. She said something to do with male and female but other than that she had no idea.

Later that day, I told her it's for an Internet forum I'm a member of that's for people who enjoy imagining themselves as members of the opposite gender, and explained about the two head and shoulder ribbons representing the real and imagined selves. She said, "Well, that definitely works".
I think of the Crossdreamer facebook page and the Crossdream Life Magazine part of the CDL "properties", and we should probably use the same logo all over.
Well, let's talk about the difference between a flag and a logo.

I think a flag should belong to the whole community. It should be something that anyone, anywhere, who reads about crossdreaming and thinks, "Yep, that's me" is entitled to use.

But a flag often occurs as a motif in the logos of specific organisations. The pride flag is a good example, as any Google Image search for "pride logo" will show. Or compare the conlang flag with the logo of the language creation society.
By the way, could you also share a larger size file of the logo, so that I could test how it would look as part of the CDL design?
There's a 1875 x 1250 pixel .png version downloadable here.

I made the flag in Adobe Indesign, and can make the vector file available in various formats.

Another issue worth thinking about is credit, because in publicising the flag you'd probably have to say something about how it was designed, but I don't want to attract too much personal attention over this. No need to hide my contribution but don't want it shouted from the rooftops, either. Fortunately, no journalist will touch crossdreaming with a bargepole. For most purposes, I suggest something like "chosen from among several designs proposed by CDL members".
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 2:24 pm

August 7th, 2018, 4:07 am #7

Thanks, this is very helpful. I am working on this.

As for credit, I suppose we could name apm77 as the designer. People will understand that that is a handle of sorts.
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 9:09 am

August 7th, 2018, 7:37 am #8

I really don't know what's best credit-wise, so just raising it as something to think about. Feel that a blog post is one thing but explanatory text permanently attached to the flag and used to promote it would be a whole other level of visibility. I hope I'm interesting to my own people but wary of becoming interesting to someone researching new developments in the transgender world. On CDL I don't make a secret of my RL identity but I keep my mentions (e.g. links to my blog) infrequent.

But probably I'm worrying about nothing. It's not as if crossdreaming is set to become the next pop culture fad.

Looking forward to further updates.
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