The 50th anniversary of Pride was a truly momentous milestone, and a testament to how far the movement has come in just half a century. But the central messages had been lost, drowned out in a sea of cliches and commercialisation.
That’s where we came in. To mark the 50th anniversary, Channel Islands Pride asked us to create a campaign that honoured the history of the event while reshaping it for the future.
Channel Islands Pride x Liberate
Positioning, brand identity, event roll-out, merch, you name it.
From the first marches of 1972, Pride has always been about standing up for everyone. From joining the picket lines with miners in the 1980s, to defending black rights, women’s rights, and the rights of those with disabilities.
But in recent years it’s been in danger of becoming just another date in the diary. Another opportunity for brands and sponsors to be performatively progressive by getting behind a cause.
We approached Pride with a radical proposal to take back the core values of Pride and remind people what it’s all about – making real change. To do this meant an education in LGTBQ+ history, mixing past with the present to deliver something truly special.
The first step was to move away from the disco balls, glitter and pink that had grown tired over the years, and centre the campaign around the 70s aesthetic used when Pride first started all those years ago.
The psychedelic Eckmannpsyche typeface harks back to those hand-painted placards from the 70s, and gave the bold campaign statements even more oomph. It helped us to challenge people’s perception of Pride and the LGBTQ+ movement in general.
We’re always challenging our clients to think completely differently and be really bold. This was certainly the case with our decision to remove the Pride rainbow from the aesthetic. Instead, we built a palette inspired by gay, lesbian and trans rights flyers from the 70s, creating an authentic brand identity that forced people to sit up and take notice.
But we know how important it is to have an open and constructive dialogue with people. And as the event itself drew nearer, the need for the rainbow as a universally recognised symbol of allyship and inclusion became clear. After a consultation within the community, we allowed the iconic colours to emerge as the campaign progressed from the serious to the celebration.
The bold new colours and fresh aesthetic were a huge success, with staff, punters and performers alike all donning the psychedelic t-shirts and getting behind the refreshed brand.
And the impactful statements centred around the campaign slogan ‘Gay is good’ helped drive engagement, challenge people’s misconceptions, and start a new future for Channel Islands Pride.
CEO, Liberate Guernsey