A grassroot movement linked together on Twitter under the group name BjörC./TeamNaturist @IbanSaram has come up with a symbol which in a few months has spread around the globe and become widely accepted as the new world wide symbol for naturism.
If the symbol had not caught attention and if naturists around the world had not started using it, it would just have faded away and nobody would have cared. But naturists worldwide are increasingly adopting it and have started using the symbol. Many bring their own creative additions to the symbol - which they are free to do - and this has led to some naturists denouncing the symbol. Many lament that they were not aware of the competition until it was over and smell a scam. They question in particular the process that lead to its selection.
Meanwhile, the symbol continues to gain wider and wider acceptance as grassroot naturists don't seem to give a rat's ass if the symbol is "endorsed" by the naturist establishment.
BjörC. has in an interview with Hector Martinez explained the process that the TeamNaturist went through to eventually crowning the now popular symbol as the winner.
From the beginning, BjörC. and TeamNaturist was looking for a symbol that did NOT signal naturism. The symbol should be recognized by other naturists so that they would know that the user of the symbol was (also) a naturist - but it should not scream to the whole world that "I am a naturist".
"We needed to come up with a way for naturists to make it possible to identify each other, discreetly," he explained.
"In late summer 2020 I sent out a message to all the followers that I was calling for anyone to send in their suggestion for a naturist symbol and asked them to retweet it," BjörC. explained. The contesters had one month to submit their design.
"Two of the proposals were too explicit. Nobody was going to put that on their car. Several were clearly taken from other peoples logos and just flipped or turned upside down or other tricks. Eventually we had about thirty submission. All were emailed to certify their rights to the creation."
When there were 20 symbols left, they were posted two by two on twitter and people were asked which one they liked. And please share the pair so more people could vote. After eight day, if there were less than 2 percent difference between the votes they had received, they both went on. If more, only the winner continued to the second round.
"In the second round there were fourteen designs. In the third round we were down to seven," he explains.
Hector asked what the criteria was and how voters were asked to considered which one was better than the other.
To this, BjörC explained:
"First question is - is this usable? Is this something people are going to wear? Second question was - would you go to an event displaying this symbol? Because we had the hope that eventually some event organizers would adopt the symbol and if people said they would be happy to join an event under this symbol, it would facilitate this usage."
"Our final question was - how recognizable is this as a naturist symbol? Because in fact we wanted the opposite! We wanted a symbol that was NOT obviously naturist to the whole world. It should not scream "I am a naturist!". There were some that I liked but if we thought they would not be used as a discreet signal, they did not fit what we were looking for. There was one of a naked man and a naked woman standing together and it got massive score as the most recognizable symbol - which disqualified it," BjörC explained.
Eventually there was a shortlist of three with a very close gap between them. The whole process had taken altogether 2 months from accepting submission to the final vote.
"What does the symbol represent?" Hector Martinez asks.
"This has been the fuel for many conversations," BjörC. replied.
"If someone should explain it, it should probably be @sillybare who submitted the symbol. To me, it is simply the waves of the land and the sea, with the sun above it."
"Remember, the symbol should NOT explain what naturism is. It should be recognized by other naturists and thereby put you in contact with other people who are naturists."
So now the designer is earning a fortune, right?
Since a lot of people do go to the website https://sillybare.com/ and buy the products on display there, the designer is possibly making some money. But you can also go to https://www.naturistsymbol.org/ and buy the products on display there. And on the last website you can download the symbol in different sizes and backgrounds and start creating your own line of merchandising because the symbol is designed by Jacob Braun but licensed under the rules of the Creative Commons.
On the website https://sillybare.com/ the designer explains:
"You do not need to cite credit to me to simply use it online in your social media profiles, websites, etc. You do not need to ask for permission to create a t-shirt or a hat or other items, even if you will be selling those items to others. You can super-impose the symbol on your photos. You can combine it with the logo for your club or business."
"But if there is any question as to where the symbol originated, that is with me."
BjörC explained on twitter in an answer to someone, that nobody has to choose between symbols. You can put two symbols on your website or as many as you like. On the back of your car you can use the naturist symbol, the LGBT flag and a feminist symbol and the AANR logo as you please.
Anybody can add any tagline in combination with the symbol. One such tagline that has caught on is #IAmTheFaceOfNaturism used by people who want other people to recognize them as naturists and thus realize that naturists are people just like other people.
The main difference between the logos of INF-FNI and AANR is that these organizations own their logos and try to control who has the right to use them and slam lawsuits on people who should in their opinion not have the right to use them - for the good reason that they represent a quality stamp of recognition of certain standards guaranteed by that organization.
In contrast to this, the naturist symbol is free for all - it does not guarantee anything except that the person using it by his or her own definition is a naturist. What kind of a naturist the person is remains to be seen when or if you get to know each other. There are different ideas of nudism and naturism, but the differences between people defining themselves as naturists or nudist is much less than between people defining themselves as Christians.