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Author Topic: A symbol for the fandom?  (Read 4550 times)
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« on: November 23, 2008, 02:08:37 AM »

There are so many aspects to the furry fandom that it would be impossible to pick out a piece of art or literature that would fully characterize it in its entirety.  But wouldn't it be interesting to have a simple symbol or image that can represent the entire furry culture?  It would be something to put on the flag of some hypothetical furry nation to symbolize accurately what it means to be furry.

I've thought about what such a symbol would be like, but with few results.  Something involving a pawprint would be very appropriate, but I wouldn't want to isolate any particular species (although it may be unavoidable).  It might also be a bit unhealthy to include or exclude certain religions and beliefs (such as with a yin yang or a peace sign).

I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for something that we can all put on a shirt to say proudly, "I am Furry!"  Anything will do; it doesn't have to be an epic, creative idea to be considered.  If you can draw one and post it, that would be great, too!  I just believe it would be cool to have something nonverbal yet instantly recognizable by furries everywhere.
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 02:20:45 AM »

The Phipaw has been in existance for quite a while now; it's generally accepted as the closest thing to a 'worldwide symbol' that the fandom really has right now.
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 02:45:05 AM »

For some weird reason, that Wikifur page shows up for me as not having any text in it, so here's a link to a phipaw image. It uses the letter phi because, um, I guess because that's the letter that "furry" would start with if we all spoke Greek? But it's discreet to the uninitiated and it looks pretty okay. Smiley

I remember that Narei Mooncatt printed up a bunch of phipaws a while back to hand out at conventions.
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 02:53:14 AM »

Ergh, stupid Wikifur. The article exists, but only shows up if the first and second 'P' is capitalized; like so. :V
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 02:57:42 AM »

Yeah, the PhiPaw is a great and discreet symbol for all those in our little 'secret society' Wolf thhppt

I would love to find a ring with the symbol on it, nothing big or showy, just a simple silver ring with the symbol on it.... Oh well, x-mas is coming up so who knows? WinkWinkWink *knudge knudge* Wink
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 04:47:17 AM »

Yeah, the PhiPaw is a great and discreet symbol for all those in our little 'secret society' Wolf thhppt

I would love to find a ring with the symbol on it, nothing big or showy, just a simple silver ring with the symbol on it.... Oh well, x-mas is coming up so who knows? WinkWinkWink *knudge knudge* Wink

I tried finding rings/necklaces with phipaw's on em a while back, I had no luck =[
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2008, 09:16:36 AM »

I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for something that we can all put on a shirt to say proudly, "I am Furry!" 

What if we don't want to express such a sentiment? Tongue Not that there's anything wrong with being furry, but that some people might not want to be so up-front with their furriness. For me, "furry" and "proud" don't even belong in the same sentence; the process of self-discovery that I've undergone to become my fursona has made me more humble and grateful, if anything!

If there's any logo I'm "proud" of, it'd be the Ubuntu logo: LINK

I identify strongly with what their logo stands for, and I happen to think that it's visually attractive as well, especially when done in nice blue colors. ^.^ But even then I'd rather use it as a desktop wallpaper than as a shirt or tattoo. I also don't see the point in "discreetly" identifying myself as someone whose desktop OS is Ubuntu -- I'd rather help other people to discover it for themselves!

Maybe if furry meant something to me besides "liking anthros" and "finding it useful to see myself as one," something I thought was important that everyone ought to experience, then I'd want to spread it as widely as Free / Open-Source Software. As it is, the reasons I tell my friends to come here are because I can tell that they're interested in furry characters, and because they don't seem to have (m)any friends who are actually nice to them. I'm not sure I'd want to encourage interest in the fandom at large, though.
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 12:59:50 PM »

[information of interest]

Ubuntu seems cool, simply based on their logo (even though I have no idea of what kind of an OS it is  Tongue)

Anyway, in the face of such strong and radical opposition to furries on the Internet (as well as a frighteningly common notion of cultural purging), it's difficult NOT to feel proud (almost indignant).  It doesn't encompass my being, but furry is still very important to me, so I do want people to know about it.  Smiley  It all depends on the individual, I guess, and their personal choices, and I do realize that showing too much of one's self is NOT a good thing. Upside down  I also understand the desire to keep the fandom a bit more separate from the rest of the world, like "our own little group."  But I would rather it become a mainstream interest, so all of this unfounded racism can come to an end, or at least slow down.

As for the PhiPaw, it seems to be a pretty good representation!  It symbolizes furry quite nicely (although a bit tersely), and has the potential to extend to all species ("insert foot here").  But . . . why Greek?  Is it because the Phi looks cool?  I think if we bounce ideas off of each other, we can come up with something better!  Even if we don't aim to replace the PhiPaw, it would still be fun to come up with some cool symbols, anyway!
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2008, 02:56:56 PM »

Ubuntu seems cool, simply based on their logo (even though I have no idea of what kind of an OS it is  Tongue)

Ubuntu is win. ^.^ You can try it out at http://www.ubuntu.com!

Anywho.

If I had to design "a logo for the furry fandom," I'd take some design cues from Ubuntu. Namely:

  • A design that looks abstract / high-tech and yet friendly / inviting at the same time. Apple's new logo is another good example of this design ethos.
  • A design that can be easily modded. Take another look at the Ubuntu logo on their website. It's very simplistic, but you can change the color of each panel and the shapes around the edges to make all kinds of variations. You can also put something in the center, or add little frills to each panel. Just look at the KUbuntu, XUbuntu, Edubuntu and Gobuntu logos, or even the PS3 Ubuntu logo, to see what kind of variation is possible.
  • A design that means something. I read the PhiPaw's description on Wikifur, and to be honest I think its connection to any kind of meaning for furry is tenuous at best.

Ubuntu and furry are both very diverse, and rather than a badge of conformity the furry logo should be another vehicle for self-expression. But at the same time, it has to have enough underlying meaning that someone could strongly identify with it, enough to want to make it their own.

Maybe we can take another cue from Ubuntu on this one? It recently emerged as the most popular distro of Linux, and is really the only "brand-name" one out there right now. Before Ubuntu (and even today, outside of it) the Linux world was extremely fragmented, diverse to a fault, and impenetrable to outsiders. Now it's rapidly growing, because Ubuntu isn't just Linux ... it's "Linux for human beings," and its community, branding and ethos are all about helping people. It's gotten people to try Linux and become passionate about it, as a tool and as a vehicle for social change, by making it clear that they focus on people and on ease of use.

So maybe we should be asking ourselves: What is furry, at its best and its most accessible to outsiders? What do we have that we want to share with other people, and how do we want to present that to them?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 03:22:53 PM by Tachyon » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2008, 03:23:08 PM »

Two replies in a row here, but it just occurred to me that the answer might be staring me in the face!

For me, and for a lot of other people as well, what furry's about is exploring your self-concept using a representation of an anthropomorphic animal -- in other words, your fursona. And whether furs RP as their fursonas, draw pics and write stories about them, or use them as forum avatars, just the fact that they identify with these characters is perhaps an integral part of being furry.

It serves all the purposes we'd want in a logo. What's more customizable than a pic of your fursona? And if you see someone with an anthro avatar in SL, or on forums someplace, doesn't that pretty well mark them as furry? Maybe it's not abstract enough to use as a gang insignia Tongue or a "Ya'll furs represent" kinda thing, but it seems to fit all the other criteria.
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 04:00:51 PM »

Some great observations.  A basic fursona pic would be the most accurate thing to represent the fandom, but I was thinking something along the lines of a symbol, something that (while customizable) cannot be altered so much that everyone's version is completely different.  It would be ideal to have something both nonverbal AND without a subject or character or person within in.  Ubuntu's insignia is definitely a great example.  It's more like something you would be able to wear as a ring or necklace (like the PhiPaw).
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 05:37:31 PM »

It's more like something you would be able to wear as a ring or necklace (like the PhiPaw).

As opposed to a forum avatar or a fursuit, I take it. ^.^

At the same time, though, the obvious rejoinder might be: Wouldn't anything animal-related work equally well? Not even all furs know about the Phipaw, but when they post here saying "I think so-and-so might be a furry" it's usually because they can see that these people are interested in animals, especially anthropomorphic ones.
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 06:01:42 PM »

I think if we bounce ideas off of each other, we can come up with something better!  Even if we don't aim to replace the PhiPaw, it would still be fun to come up with some cool symbols, anyway!
Whatever you come up with I will snap it up in second Smiley Im in that small percentage of furries who thinks the PhiPaw does not look cool...at all.Whatever you come up with,be it an F with a @-tail around it or whatever,no matter how wacky it is,I would take it over a greek letter any day of the week Upside down
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« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2008, 06:15:49 PM »

Whatever you come up with,be it an F with a @-tail around it or whatever,no matter how wacky it is,I would take it over a greek letter any day of the week Upside down

Whoo! ^.^ LINK (starts with the second one)
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2008, 07:22:21 PM »

Whatever you come up with,be it an F with a @-tail around it or whatever,no matter how wacky it is,I would take it over a greek letter any day of the week Upside down

Whoo! ^.^ LINK (starts with the second one)
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2008, 07:50:37 PM »

No offense, but I really don't see the need to create a new furry symbol all over again when furries already are using the pawprint symbol and/or the Phipaw. Both of those are working just fine as is. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2008, 08:13:45 PM »

What you guys said about the avatar pic is what I see most ofter and my self use. Any one that I've helped with lucid dreaming know that I have the same sig and nearly the same avatar on my other forums.

I also kinda like the Phi-paw.
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2008, 08:43:16 PM »

No offense, but I really don't see the need to create a new furry symbol all over again when furries already are using the pawprint symbol and/or the Phipaw. Both of those are working just fine as is. Smiley

This. I remember on our first discussion on the phi-paw, the people suggested, as a way to make it customizable, to use the pawprints of your specific fursona. On the version that our very own Psynett made, they used a fox print, but it could be relatively easily modified to any pawprint.
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2008, 08:51:43 PM »

No offense, but I really don't see the need to create a new furry symbol all over again when furries already are using the pawprint symbol and/or the Phipaw. Both of those are working just fine as is. Smiley
I'd go with the PhiPaw more than any other paw print because some schools like to use a pawprint as a symbol indicative of their school and mascot.
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2008, 09:19:05 PM »

I'd go with the PhiPaw more than any other paw print because some schools like to use a pawprint as a symbol indicative of their school and mascot.

True that! Pawprints are fairly common.

I personally don't find the PhiPaw very attractive, though.
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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2008, 03:49:34 PM »

True that! Pawprints are fairly common.

I personally don't find the PhiPaw very attractive, though.

I think the idea is to find something clever that shows who we are, without getting too artistic.
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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2008, 05:28:17 PM »

Indeed.  The phipaw, while pretty appropriate in my opinion, is a little BORING!  And even if we don't aim to replace the φpaw, it'll still be fun to see what we can come up with!

I would say to include something like a stylized earth, but that might inadvertently represent the eco-conscious groups.  Yuck!

(Just kidding -- conservation of the environment is important!)
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2008, 02:57:34 AM »

call me odd but i'm not at all liking the phipaw...did i say it right?

If I designed it, i would want it without a paw print all together...it's alittle too obvious. Like if the gay pride flag was a pic of two guys/girls kissing...i dunno. The rainbow flag is pretty well known now without being so blatent. (forgive me again for the spelling errors)

creating a symbol that sums up all the most treasured aspects of your fandom should create a much better symbol. Did you know the Jesus fish was created so that Christians could identify themselves to other Christians without being persecuted? One person would draw one arch in the sand and if the other was Christian too they would recognize it and draw the other half.

a hand with a claw on the index finger may be good...keep in mind i'm thinking off the top of my head and not giving this much thought...but if i come up with something i'll post toot-sweet
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2008, 04:16:02 AM »

[information of interest]
Ubuntu seems cool, simply based on their logo (even though I have no idea of what kind of an OS it is  Tongue)

"N00buntu" (so called since it's a newbie version that you would use to familiarize yourself with a Linux OS before moving onto something better) is a Linux Distro. I don't like it; I much prefer Slackware.
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« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2008, 10:13:04 PM »

"N00buntu" (so called since it's a newbie version that you would use to familiarize yourself with a Linux OS before moving onto something better) is a Linux Distro. I don't like it; I much prefer Slackware.

Ubuntu is an operating system based on the Linux kernel. And it wasn't the first one I tried, either. ^.^ Come, join the smiling people holding hands! We're going to change the world.

And Millislim gives a very good example! I actually think that using a fursona to represent you actually works sort of like the fish.
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