Gay Washing

First off, an apology. That’s an awful post title that fails to represent the detailed identity taxonomy of Pride. I will try harder. Rainbow washing?

Second, it has been a brilliant few weeks walking around London and seeing Pride colours. I have always struggled with the graphic identity of Pride. My interest in design and branding developed at the same age I started to understand my interest in both men and women. My design taste aside, the representation and, right up in your fucking face washing of those colours really resonate to so many of us. Strong people on a strong mission.

Here’s my confusion. I have always worked in a sector that is about selling something using design, leaning more towards the functional side. Pride represents a fucking serious issue and there remains a lot more to work on for the many. Companies run by people can choose to contribute positive actions. They can choose to market the effort and values they have fought for and therefore the true impact they have made.

Or, they can choose to gay wash their brand for a month. They can still carry on as they are, not think about the words they choose inside their business, not improve their culture.

Below, Revolut are offering me a Pride card (that’s cool), they are suggesting I use it to donate to good causes ‘like Equality’. My bet here is I don’t have to pick to donate to Equality. I have no idea what Revolut as people are doing to make an impact. It looks like this one is on me. If I like Equality.

This is mean, I’m not picking on Revolut as I personally know very little about their company culture and actions they have taken for their staff, vendors and network when it comes to what is really underneath that rainbow wash. I know nothing.

But, they have missed a great opportunity and a potentially great product idea to tell me what they have personally done. I’d believe in their mission more if they had. There are countless other examples all over London right now. People are behind these brands and messages, what are they changing themselves to not just be a gay wash this month?

Pride marketing ≠ Proud companies.

Quick formula: We changed X and Y, and it had impacts to A and B. Enjoy Pride — We’re going to.

Spotted on the Central Line, London

p.s. I hope Medium are doing some good stuff too 😉

Edit: Zoe Scaman wisely recommend I link to actionable resources. Thanks Zoe. Smart.

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