We're nearly halfway through Pride Month, the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. It happens in June every year to mark the date of the Stonewall riots (opens in new tab) in New York, and this year's a big one as it's the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.
This year also feels like a particularly important one thanks to the current social and political climate that's seeing attacks on LGBTQ+ rights from a number of quarters, so it's heartening to see big brands doing their bit and showing their support for Pride Month in various ways. Even if it's just something like a temporary logo (read more about logo design (opens in new tab) here), new packaging in support of Pride, or a line of rainbow T-shirts, it all helps. Here, then, are eight brands supporting Pride Month in various – and colourful – ways.
- The stories behind Pride flag designs (opens in new tab)
Skittles has had a long association with Pride, and for the past couple of years it's marked the event by draining its rainbow (opens in new tab) in favour of colourless packaging. This year, though, it's decided on a different approach, and challenged Straight Forward to come up with a new packaging concept for Pride. The London agency brought in four artists who identify with the LGBTQ+ community – Thomas Wolski (opens in new tab), Fox Fisher (opens in new tab), Kate Moross (opens in new tab) and Maia Bokye (opens in new tab) – to create a collection of limited edition packaging designs (opens in new tab) that celebrate Pride while staying true to Skittles' brand messaging, with fantastic results.
There are very few major companies with an openly gay CEO, and Apple is one of them. Tim Cook tweeted in support of Pride Month (opens in new tab) last week, and while Apple never goes as full-on its support for Pride as other brands do, in recent years it's marked the event by releasing limited edition rainbow straps for the Apple Watch. This year is no exception; the new Pride Edition Sport Loop (opens in new tab) is available now.
Converse is pushing the boat out with its 2019 Pride collection (opens in new tab), with eight limited edition designs that aren't just rainbow-themed. For the first time, Converse is also reflecting the transgender community with a set of designs using the pink, blue and white of the trans flag. As well as straightforward rainbow stripes there are some amazing lightning bolt designs, and it's not just footwear; there are some great-looking tops, too, as well as a hat and a bum bag. Converse will be donating proceeds from its sales to long-standing local and global LGBTQ+ partners, including the It Gets Better Project.
Instagram has quite a few tricks up its sleeve (opens in new tab) to mark Pride Month 2019. It's unveiling 10 installations across New York that celebrate lesser-known LGBTQ+ pioneers, places and movements, and with the #UntoldPride hashtag it plans to honour history, empower queer expression and foster safety across the Instagram platform.
Instagram is also rolling out some new features for Pride Month. Along with GLAAD it's identified a set of popular hashtags such as #lgbtq and #pride2019, which will be displayed in a rainbow gradient this month. It's also partnered with The Trevor Project to create a guide to online well-being and self-care, and it's updating its gender selection options in Profile to be more inclusive, with the 'Not specified' option being replaced by 'Prefer not to say' plus a 'Custom' option.
Another brand that recognises that there's more to Pride Month than the rainbow flag is Budweiser. As a sponsor of Pride in London it's running an inclusive Fly the Flag (opens in new tab) campaign, and has produced a whole set of flag cups reflecting the many different palettes of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, ensuring that no community gets lost in the crowd. And to help ensure that its impact lasts beyond Pride, it's partnered with nine charities that support the whole LGBT+ community.
For anyone who finds all these rainbow designs just a bit too loud, there's always Gap. Its Pride collection (opens in new tab) for 2019 turns down the saturation just enough so that you can show your support without dazzling anyone, and it's also produced a set of understated black and white videos focusing on LGBTQAI advocate Jodie Patterson and her 'chosen family' of friends, relatives, mentors and neighbours. Fifteen per cent of its Pride collection sales will go to the United Nations Foundation in support of the UN Free & Equal campaign.
07. Marks & Spencer
We can't do a Pride Month round-up without recognising the brilliance of Marks and Spencer (opens in new tab)'s LGBT sandwich. Whoever came up with the notion of adding guacamole to a BLT, we salute you. We're pleased to note that M&S has donated £10,000 to the Albert Kennedy Trust, as well as another £1,000 to BeLong to Youth Services in Ireland. The sandwich is delicious, too.
Mike Pence: Not Flying Rainbow Flags at Embassies the 'Right Decision' by the State DepartmentNASA: k😂😂😂@GeorgeTakei https://t.co/LlxtuEwFta pic.twitter.com/jemQqNQK7QJune 11, 2019
All right, NASA (opens in new tab) isn't officially supporting Pride. You may have noticed that the USA has banned its embassies from flying the rainbow flag during Pride Month, and someone at NASA has decided that this simply isn't good enough. In reaction the US State Department's ban, rogue NASA staff got artist Lauren Power to create a NASA Pride 2019 logo, and we absolutely love it. Head this way (opens in new tab) if you want a t-shirt, tank top, sticker or mug adorned by it; all proceeds go to the artist.
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