The Visual Identity for Pride Amsterdam 2022 is All About (Gender) Fluidity

Posted inBranding & Identity Design

During the annual Pride Amsterdam festival, the vibrant city in Holland celebrates its LGBTQ+ community with dance parties, film screenings, sporting events, debates, exhibitions, education, and its hallmark Canal Parade. For this past summer’s iteration, the organization looked to the Amsterdam-based agency D8 for a visual identity that would reflect the spirit of the celebration and the LGBTQ+ community. 

The project’s colorful gradients and fluid organic shapes caught my eye and drew me in for a closer inspection. “We designed the identity of this year’s Pride Amsterdam to abstractly reflect the event theme, ‘My Gender, My Pride,’” D8 Creative Director Graham Sturt told me. “From the offset, we were clear we had to respond with an identity that addressed the complicated topic of gender sensitively, and that avoided the usual visual cliches associated with LGBT+ events. Composed of a diverse and colorful range of ever-changing organic forms, the dynamic identity visualizes the fluidity to express gender individually without conforming to socially constructed stereotypes.”  

D8 looked directly to the LGBTQ+ community of Amsterdam itself for guidance and input as they embarked upon the project. “To kick things off, we hosted an immersion workshop with ten transgender and gender-neutral ambassadors from the Pride Amsterdam community,” said Sturt of their discovery process. “Through a series of open discussions and interactive activities, we drew out a number of key themes that directly informed our creative concept.”

One of the key themes they identified as a group was the idea of fluidity that’s central to gender identity and self-expression. “At the heart of the creative concept, ‘My Gender is Fluid,’ were three guiding principles— Be informed, Avoid cliches, and Do it justice,” said Sturt. “By closely following these, we were able to sensitively and respectfully deliver an inclusive visual identity with relevance for all activities undertaken across the event’s packed, week-long schedule.”

The “My Gender is Fluid” concept is what ultimately inspired the shapes, colors, and iridescent gradients of the branding, which were crafted from hundreds of possible gradients and organic droplet shapes, then applied randomly. The juxtaposition of meticulously considered and spontaneous results in dynamic, atmospheric visuals that portray ever-changing identities and sexuality in a fresh, new way.  

To anchor the 2022 Pride Amsterdam brand system, D8 needed typography that complemented these colors and shapes and provided them with a legible foundation. They turned to the type pros over at Monotype for the task, who provided their geometric sans TT Norms. “D8 needed a simple, clean typeface to balance the highly colorful visual language. Monotype was honored to support the brand and supply the geometric sans TT Norms for the identity,” said the company’s Creative Type Director, Phil Garnham. “TT Norms is a superb utility typeface, highly functional, clean, clear, and crisp. There’s an effortlessness to it that is reassuring, making it a thoughtful digital companion for any brand.”   

D8 took the basis of TT Norms and modified it to suit their needs, creating a set of custom glyphs with square and round shapes to lend an air of quirkiness. “We reinvented it in a way that speaks to the Pride community of Amsterdam, adding warmth through roundness; a feeling of solidarity,” explained Sturt.

These typographic contributions from Monotype helped D8 execute a carefully considered creative vision with flying colors.