To me, Pride is a celebration of our authentic self. A time to feel proud and unashamed when we don't fit into a specific box. To embrace difference and individualism. A celebration of where we are now and a reflection of how far we've come. Gratitude to all the people who forged the path for me to stand where I am today, with my wife and children.
A powerful Pride campaign is one which thinks clearly about its audience, with inclusivity at the forefront. It's not about sticking a rainbow flag on its product. It's about connecting to the emotions of its audience and understanding the challenges and ideals of the community.
Some of my favourites from recent years include Beyond the Rainbow from H&M that allowed customers to scan rainbow flags to hear stories from different people sharing their LGBTQIA+ experiences. The opportunity to connect with people in this way is emotive and compelling. It's thoughtful, reflective, and inclusive. They've really understood what makes a great Pride campaign.
Lego’s 2021 Everyone is Awesome campaign encouraged conversations about diversity at a younger age. I grew up with Section 28 - a law that said schools couldn't teach the acceptability of homosexuality. It was a hood of shame that many of us have worn for our whole school life, with the word 'gay' being the biggest insult you could ever say to someone in the playground. My daughter is in reception at primary school and there is full acknowledgement and acceptance of all the different types of families that exist. It's a world away from my school life and if companies, like Lego, can continue that conversation at home, with the toys children play with, I'm a fan!
With animation, our imagination is our only limitation! Animation is a blank canvas. A freedom to go anywhere you want, not bound by the constraints of reality. In this sense it parallels the aspirations of the LGBTQIA+ community and is a great medium to use for awareness campaigns.
Back in 2019, I had the pleasure of directing a typography lead piece for Stonewall’s 30th birthday campaign, Stars of Stonewall. The film used Stonewall’s star logo to highlight 30 pivotal moments in the fight for equality over the past 30 years.
The words of the campaign, voiced by the iconic Sir Ian McKellen, are so incredibly powerful that we needed to make sure that the visuals were complementary and simple, to not distract our focus from listening to the dialogue.
For the visuals, I focused on the repetition of the word ‘YOU’, using it as the main character instead of realistic or stylised human figures. We also limited the number of words on screen to keep it more poetic and punchier. Each time the word 'YOU' is repeated, it grows slightly bigger, building the intensity we feel hearing the long list of things LGBTQIA+ people were prohibited from doing.
In the second half of the animation, we see the Stonewall star bursting upwards with energy and positivity, ending the animation with pride and conviction.
Lucy Izzard has a style full of warmth, character, comedy and sensitivity. Before joining Aardman, Lucy worked with multiple animation companies over the years, including Slinky Pictures, 12foot6, and ArthurCox,