Fandom can be exciting, excruciating, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. We fall in love with a sports team, an author, or a fictional character and boy, we love HARD! Each loss, each character death, each page we finish brings the misery of completion, of finality.
In order to try and stave off some of this finality, and in order to bring us closer to the things we love, we create totems and tokens of our fandom. Sports fans make custom jerseys with their names on the back. Fans of an author or work of fiction create derivative works of their own, based in the same universe and utilizing the same characters. Occasionally these works find their way into the wider world, and spawn a whole community of fans and fan creation.
Some brands are fully onboard with the idea of fan created merchandise, including Zazzle. Why is fan merch such a fun idea? Let’s dive a little deeper!
Fan created merchandise allows for controlled design creation
Some brands are very strict about how others use their works, especially if a fan is trying to monetize on that work. Providing licensed fan merchandising opportunities keeps the intellectual property safe from misuse and from having others profit from the hard work of someone else, while letting fans have some fun of their own.
The brands that we have partnered with want to share the love that their logos and characters inspire while making sure that those intellectual properties are protected from misuse. Each one of our brands has specific rules that you need to follow in order to use their logo and character likenesses. Please be sure to check out those rules, then start you designing spree!
Fan created merchandise allows fans to participate in their favorite universe
I am a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys, but I got tired of buying the jersey of my favorite player and a few years later watching that player go to another team and my jersey becoming out of date.
This all changed for me when I started customizing jerseys with my last name on the back and my own choice of number (33, by the way). I had so much fun I did this for all my favorite sports teams. It made me feel closer to the game, and to the players, even though I was still just as removed as I was before.
This is the thrill of fan created merchandise. It draws you closer to the “action,” whether you are designing a shirt to feature a quote from your favorite movie/show/book or a funny image around your favorite brand. We love what we love because we feel like we are a part of it. Fan created merchandise helps us express this love!
Get started creating your own fan designed merchandise
So, now that you know some of the benefits of fan created merchandise, you should start creating your own! At Zazzle we have partnered with a couple of different brands, schools, and military branches to allow their fans to design our products with fun images, pictures, quotes, or other text and artwork to express the love they feel for these creative endeavors. Our FanMerch partners include Portlandia, Orphan Black, the Armed Forces, and many more. Have some fun designing your own products and showing them off to your friends and family. You can even create amazing gifts for everyone you love. Check out our Fan Merch page to start designing today!