Skittles made headlines a few years ago when it began marking Pride month by draining the rainbow from its famously colourful sweets, and going monochrome, with black and white packaging. The idea was that with the colour gone from its packs, Pride could have the rainbow to itself.
Last year, Skittles deviated from this slightly with monochrome packs that featured colourful art by queer artists, and this year it's gone for a similar vibe, with packaging art by five LGBTQ+ artists.
For every pack sold, Skittles donates $1 to GLAAD, a charity that is working to combat anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. So far, so good. The problem is that the mix of the colourful artwork and the greyscale Skittles with a white logo looks a bit of a mess. We don't think it's up there with the best packaging design ever created.
The artists are Biance Xunise, Mady G, Shanée Benjamin, Symone Salib and Zipeng Zhu, and the mish-mash on the packaging isn't the fault of the artists themselves, but seems to be more of a design problem. By trying to take away the rainbow and add it back, all within one small space on the packaging, the packs feel overwhelmed and busy.
This just goes to show that however worthy the cause is, execution is everything.
Skittles states that this is just a preview of things to come and that we should check back May 31 to "see how we'll celebrate Pride this summer". So watch this space to find out what else Skittles has up its sleeve.