One of the fun things you’ll see at Costume-Con is people collecting badge ribbons! Badge ribbons are small pieces of printed ribbon that attach with an adhesive strip to the bottom of your membership badge or to the bottom of the next ribbon in the chain. They are a tradition at many science fiction conventions, particularly on the East and West coasts of the USA and Canada.
Badge ribbons are a fun way to add your own unique flair to your convention experience, but they are not a requirement. Most badge ribbons are created by individuals at their own cost and distributed for free. Ribbon distribution tends to be open and available to anyone (sometimes with caveats such as speaking a certain phrase or wearing a certain costume), and generally not for any compensation. You can give out ribbons to costumes you like, to others wearing costumes from a certain series, or for any other reason you like.
- If you see someone freely handing out ribbons, it’s okay to approach them and ask, “May I please have a ribbon?”
- If someone declines to give you one of their ribbons for whatever reason, just accept their decision politely.
- When someone quietly palms a ribbon to another person or otherwise engages in a behavior suggesting they are being secretive, it’s rude to ask them for a ribbon. The individual could be low on ribbons, or they may have made a ribbon that is specifically given to only their friends.
- It is considered rude to randomly walk up to strangers and ask, “Do you have a ribbon?” Remember, ribbons cost money to print and not everyone who has ribbons is going to want to give them out freely to just anybody.
- The best way to get ribbons is to offer your own ribbons for trade. For example, if you see someone with ribbons but they are not giving them to everybody, it’s okay to ask, “Are your ribbons available for trading?”
- Ways to decline ribbon requests include “I’m sorry, but this ribbon was specifically made to give to my friends.” And, “I’m sorry, I only give this ribbon to people who speak a password.” Above all, remember to be polite!
Use your imagination when it comes to printing ribbons! Many ribbons feature quotes from TV shows, movies, games or books, while others are silly memes or inside jokes. Some fan groups or businesses use ribbons to advertise their club, their website or events. All we ask is that ribbons not have any derogatory or rude phrases on them.
Here is a short list of vendors from whom you can order badge ribbons. Please note this list is merely a suggestion and we make no official endorsement of any vendor.
Be sure to place your order early enough to allow for shipping. Our badges will be about 3.5″ wide.