Harry’s creates a gallery site “to celebrate the creativity of the LGBTQ+ community” for this year’s Pride
To champion creativity in the LGBTQ+ community, Harry’s has conducted a series of interviews, each featuring illustrations by José Roda.
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- 25 June 2020
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- 4 minute read
In a celebration of Pride for 2020, men's care brand Harry’s is focusing its attention on “the exceptional talents and personalities of those in the LGBTQ+ design community," with Design with Pride. The brand’s third project celebrating Pride, and having previously raised nearly $300,000 for LGBTQ+ organisations like The Trevor Project and GLAAD, being an advocate for this community has been a continued focus for Harry's.
Continuing this celebration, this year’s pride campaign is two-pronged, showing Harry’s longstanding appreciation for both the creative and LGBTQ+ communities in differing ways. The first component is a “Shave with Pride” set, a limited-edition razor, of which a portion of sales will support LGBTQ+ related charities. 100 per cent of profits from US sales donated to The Trevor Project, and £10 of each UK razor sold to the Albert Kennedy Trust. This year’s edition also sees Harry’s continue its work with Spanish illustrator José Roda, who previously worked on the 2019 edition.
The brand’s work also extends online too, working with the illustrator to create an online gallery of interviews with creative names from the LGBTQ+ community. Across a range of interviews, each creative offers inspirational advice and insight, becoming “a culmination of so many things that are fundamental to us at Harry’s,” explains VP of design Scott Newlin. “Design with Pride truly is a celebration of the individuals that sit between these worlds, and inspire us all.”
Purposefully choosing creatives from a wide range of creative fields and global locations to feature, Harry’s goal “was to show how amazing the intersection is between the design world and the LGBTQ+ community,” Scott tells It’s Nice That. “We thought this was a good opportunity to share their specific stories of Pride.” Featuring a mix of people Harry’s know personally or designers the team are fans of, visitors to the online gallery can delve into conversations with heroes such as Debbie Millman, Italian design duo Formafantasma, artist Matthew Placek and fashion designers JC-RT, each discussing what Pride means to them and how being part of this community helped them find a way forward.
While Scott says he was thrilled for all the participants, it was Formafantama he was eager to include, having been a fan since seeing their work at Salone del Mobile in 2010. “It was pretty clear to me that they were special, and that if given the opportunity I’d love to work with them in some capacity,” he explains. “Their work is not only beautiful, but also extremely well-researched and developed with a strong concept in mind. They answered our questions with that same depth. It was really powerful to hear how their experiences have shaped who they’ve become as designers and people.” Elsewhere, it’s the contribution from JC-RT which Scott also admires, as he’d been hoping to speak with the duo of Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra after seeing them out and about in his neighbourhood. “This was a great opportunity for us to connect and I cannot wait to meet them in person when that’s something we can start to do again.”
The Harry’s creative team’s decision to work with José again is testament to the charm in the illustrator’s output, one Scott describes as retaining spirit. “It’s filled with optimism and warmth while staying minimal and elevated,” he remarks. “For us, he epitomises what it means to show pride, both through his work and as an individual.”
Collaborating with Harry’s to create 12 profile illustrations for the Design with Pride site, the venture was a new one for José. For instance, traditionally, his work is overtly characterful, and “never realistic” José tells us. Working closely with Harry’s to develop a style of illustration so that visitors could clock a recognisable interviewee, each portrait still retains “a fun, kind and pictorial style,” fundamental to his work. Open to continuing their partnership, Scott adds that José has become an “amazing collaborator” for Harry’s to work with continually. “We’re such big fans – really, he came by our offices last year and you’d think there was a celebrity walking through. His work and personality have really touched us as a company and we hope that that same feeling comes through on the site, and through the product.”
Finding a balance between realism and expression, each portrait is then linked together by a cohesive colour palette informed by the rainbow-coloured Pride flag – first designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 who's head of foundation, Charley Beal, is interviewed in the series. “From there on, we tried to find a similar palette, but somewhat more refined and subtle,” says José. These decisions were also informed by the fact that they would live in a digital context but still needed to obtain “vibrant and luminous colours that were also elegant and transmitted Pride.”
Now released for Pride, Harry’s has also facilitated ways for you to get involved at home, encouraging audiences to share a self portrait customisable with a series of stickers José has illustrated. Although we very wish much this was an experience of Pride happening in person, one benefit of this celebration being hosted online is that this community can continue to grow. “I’ve always loved that design, as a career and art form, is also a community,” concludes Scott. “We hope that people see that pride exists everywhere and that you build and create amazing things.”