Pride Month: Corporate Perspective. Design Lens.

Happy PRIDE Month! June marks the annual celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Uprisings. Pride represents taking a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, the different cultures, and many contributions – from the arts, music and film to business, innovation and politics.

Many companies choose to show their solidarity and support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month by tweaking their branding and highlighting LGBTQ+ people and messaging in their marketing and advertising.

While typically well-intentioned – some ‘corporate pride’ efforts are met with backlash from the LGBTQ+ community when the corporate values, beliefs and funding are not reflective of the outward expressions of LGBTQ+ inclusion and advocacy. This dissent usually occurs because there is a fundamental difference between ‘celebrating pride’ and just ‘selling it’. The LGBTQ+ community values authenticity, as pride is so personally connected to individual identities. 

So how do you show pride the right way? Whether you’re interested in celebrating pride for the first time or want to deepen your brand alignment with LGBTQ+ people and causes – here are some guidelines and references to help you show your pride!

Source: John Riggin

Show Your Pride

LGBTQ+ 101

Take time to learn about LGBTQ+ culture and history. Engage with the LGBTQ community and experts about why it’s important to show/represent pride as an organization.

  • Reach out to advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign to request information or even invite them to facilitate a lunch and learn.
  • Do design research – Articles like this one on MEDIUM can give great insight into DO’s and DON’Ts along with cultural sensitivities.

Be a Visual Ally

Consider modifying your logo as a visual representation of your support for the LGBTQ+ community and pride.

  • PRO TIP: Don’t just use the Facebook filter! Follow the example of organizations like American Airlines, Accenture, EY and have a custom pride logo designed.
  • Think about incorporating LGBTQ+ talent and/or design (e.g. rainbow displays) into your retail merchandising displays

Source: Nike

Use a FULL Spectrum

Hire or showcase diverse and underrepresented talent (including trans people and people of color) in your advertisements during pride. Here are some examples of campaigns who did that really well:

Go Beyond the Rainbow

Go beyond design – here are some additional tips to show your LGBTQ+ PRIDE after the month of June.

Beyond Pride Month

Incorporate LGBTQ+ into your ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts. Follow the example of organizations like PWC– who actively advocate for the LGBTQ+ community both within and outside of their organization through measures like inclusive health insurance and internal committees. 

Source: Nosh

Support Financially

Identify opportunities for your organization and team to contribute to LGBTQ+ advocacy and advancement.

  • Contact your local pride organizers and explore opportunities to sponsor and/or participate in your pride parade.
  • Partner with/Join organizations like GLADD – contribute your insights and talents to their internal committees and teams.

While timely and relevant visual support is needed; taking it a step further with company-wide initiatives, policies and programs is critical. There are many ways and levels for involvement and support. Take on the challenge with the first of many steps toward equity and inclusion for all.

By Dawn Mann
Published July 1, 2019