Fresh from the Field — Identify, by Curative
This Fresh from the Field features incredibly important mahi from the team at curative, whose scope was to develop a brand identity, social media strategy templates, and a microsite for research into the experiences of young LGBTTQIA+ New Zealanders.
LGBTTQIA+ rangatahi, youth, and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand are invisible in every official national statistic.
There is no official collection or monitoring of such data in relation to the education, health, or social care experiences of Lesbian (L), Gay (G), Bisexual (B), Takatāpui (T), Transgender (T), Queer (Q), Intersex (I), Asexual (A), and other sex, gender or sexually diverse (+) identities.
To help close this gap in the data, a large scale survey was proposed to capture issues of importance for LGBTTQIA+ rangatahi within subject matters relating to education and employment. The survey aims to build understanding about, and give a voice to, young people (14 – 26 year olds) in the LGBTTQIA+ community, ultimately answering the overarching research question:
“How does discrimination, equity, and opportunity feature in the educational, employment, and social experiences of LGBTTQIA+ teenagers?”
Critical to the success of the survey was recruitment. Six workshops across Auckland, Northland, Wellington and Christchurch gathered insights to help guide the needs for the brand and its communications to help achieve high levels of engagement.
Curative was approached to develop a brand identity, social media strategy, microsite and editable social media templates to enable effective, targeted communications to encourage people to take the survey, and make it easy for them to spread the word about the survey within their own circles.
A name and tagline was also needed that could speak to the rainbow communities and their allies without requiring them to publicly identify as queer, enabling young people on the road to discovering their identity to engage with the survey without feeling like they were labeling or ‘outing’ themselves. The brand also needed to be flexible enough to speak more specifically to sub-groups that exist within the rainbow communities.
How do we Identify?
Following an ideation process, Curative recommended the survey adopt the name “Identify” along with the tagline “Diversity counts”.
There are many different ways humans identify. We can think about this in terms of how we identify as individuals, but also how we identify with each other and our experiences. The name “Identify” acknowledges how the survey is working to build understanding of identities in the LGBTTQIA+ community. It is active, yet simple. It also provides a nod to language familiar in the rainbow communities, which encourages open discussion about people’s gender identities and sexual orientation.
The tagline “Diversity Counts” layers in further topics of importance; naming diversity as a key focus of the study, and talking to the current conversations about LGBTTQIA+ communities not currently being counted in broader population research. The tagline highlights the study’s desire for the community to come together to be counted.
Creative Concept: Breaking out of the box
Traditionally, survey forms are quite prescriptive, with limited scope provided to fully capture the complexity of human identity. Boxes, lines, ticks, crosses, and predetermined options limit our ability to express ourselves beyond the categories that are deemed as important by the surveyor.
Humanity is so often expressed in how we write, draw, and make marks. Our gestures have the power to create meaning, or change the meaning of the things that already exist.
Curative’s response to the brief was to combine these two conflicting areas at play within the study. The aim was to emulate the experience of filling out a form in a way that breaks out of the traditional survey approach, subverting the norms of forms and embracing the complexity of humanity.
We created a brand where structured survey form elements combine with hand-drawn flourishes to create space for playful executions that speak to youth and experimentation. These flourishes and doodles represent a person’s agency to self-determine their identity, enabling them to break free from the boundaries set by societal norms.
A vibrant colour palette worked in tandem with the graphic system to deliver a brand that was bright, engaging, and simple. This colour palette was carefully chosen to reference flags of the rainbow communities, without falling back on the rainbow pride flag familiar to many outside of the rainbow communities. This provided subtle pointers for people familiar the symbolism of these colours, without leaning on cliches.
One of the challenges we faced was creating a brand system that allows for targeting specific groups, while remaining easy to execute across various types of media. The combination of shapes and gestures gave room to create icons that speak to a wide variety of groups within the LGBTTQIA+ community, without sacrificing coherence across the different applications.
Promotional material was essential for informing our audience about the survey. Ensuring it was easy for this material to be shared between people was paramount. Small cards and stickers were chosen as mediums for these promotional materials.The cards acted as a call to action at large events, providing information about the survey, and pointing people to a microsite where they could complete the survey. Stickers were offered as koha for people who decided to participate in the survey.
Each card and sticker featured an icon speaking to one of the various communities, which made them eye-catching and more personal to the recipient. Sets of colours and icons made the cards and stickers into informal collectible sets. These materials and the campaign were launched at the 2021 Big Gay Out as part of the Auckland Pride Festival.
Creative direction: Kaan Hiini
Design team: Nicole Streeter
Design strategy: Eddy Royal & Jo Mitchell
Project manager: Sarah Wilson & Georgia Hoskins-Smith
Client: University of Auckland, RainbowYOUTH, InsideOut and University of Waikato