The history of fandom

When you think of fans, what comes to mind? Extravagant cosplay outfits? Football hooligans? People bursting into tears as their favourite musicians perform? ‘Meet and greets’ with social media superstars?

If these examples sound a little extreme, it’ll come as no surprise that the word ‘fan’ comes from ‘fanatic’, a term that implies excessive behaviour, and is usually described in disapproving tones. 


A fanatic takes things one step too far. Yet, today we’re seeing fans of TV shows, boy (and girl) bands, sport teams, celebrities, lifestyle bloggers and brands, and even of fictional characters, reclaiming that controversial word, and celebrating their intense devotion through ‘fandom’. How did this happen?

We’re glad you asked. Join us in exploring the historical journey that paved the way to modern fandom-a history catapulted by a series of cultural and political factors linking the printing press to social media. It frames Queen Charlotte as the world’s first influencer, shows how Sherlock Holmes fans brought their hero back to life, and everything in between.

We believe fans make the world spin. 

Fans are vocal. They spread the word about their passion, advocating for the artists, products, brands and businesses they admire. Fans are loyal. They won’t take a generic version of your product, they want your stamp on it. Fans are passionate. They engage, provide feedback, applaud, wear the T-shirt, and keep coming back. Good brands have fans, not just customers. 

Curious to learn more? 

We’re a content studio that specialises in helping brands win fans. Get in touch!