Custom-made Normandy C.I.C. bag

Want this design to use for your own bag? It’s now freely available right here!

Way back in 2009, I bought a personalized dragon messenger bag from a store on Etsy and five years later to the day, I was still using it every day. The edges on it are a little worn and one of the clasps has been broken for a while but I can say that it’s held up fantastically otherwise.

However, at the beginning of this month, I began thinking that I needed a change. Something bigger so I could carry more things if I needed to, and just something different. So I started with the basics: search for bags that had something to do with the games that I love. As I mentioned in a previous post, I freaking love the Mass Effect series. I had already bought the N7 Elite Hoody so it only made sense to search for Mass Effect bags as well.

In my searches, I came across two bags mainly. First was the N7 messenger bag. A beautiful bag to be sure, and I always love black. But then there was the Normandy C.I.C. messenger bag.

Normandy C.I.C. Messenger BagIt was perfect. It was a cotton canvas bag with a distressed futuristic/army look. It mentioned the Normandy and the Combat Information Center. This was the bag Garrus Vakarian would be walking around with, because if you know Garrus, you know he loves his calibrations. And this said Calibration Kit right on it!

I'm Garrus Vakarian and you interrupted my calibrations
It’s even its own meme

There was a tiny problem though. This bag was not only out of stock, it was out of print. No more C.I.C. bags were ever to be made again. The company that makes the Bioware merchandise confirmed it for me. For days, I searched in vain for someone selling them through another store. But I couldn’t even find a used one on eBay. There were no Garrus bags to be found.


But all hope was not lost. You cannot save a universe without a calibration kit and I wasn’t about to let the universe down, damnit! I had a plan, you see. I gathered several pictures of the bag from the far corners of the internet and armed with some vector-creating software, I figured that I could recreate the logo without much issue. What I needed was a partner, someone who could put that logo onto the bag. I found that partner once again on Etsy, this time in Crawlspace Studios.

After it was confirmed that this would be possible, I recreated the artwork in Illustrator. I kept returning to it several times over a few days until I had finally tweaked it to my liking. It wasn’t exactly the same as the original bag (which used at least 3 different fonts (??) and their kerning was off) but I felt that mine was an improvement on it.

My final design
My final design

Then I sent it off to Crawlspace Studios and after a week of going back and forth, they were ready to do the screenprinting. Two weeks later, it was already on my doorstep.

My custom Normandy C.I.C. bag
My custom Normandy C.I.C. bag

$60 well spent if I do say so myself. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some calibrations to do that really can’t wait.

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