Contest will determine the look of St. Pete Pride’s theme

By : Steve Blanchard
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St. Petersburg – St. Pete Pride’s annual celebration is still six months away, but the organization is looking for suggestions on how to illustrate the theme for 2015: Making History.

The design of the theme would accompany St. Pete Pride’s new logo, appear on its website and be incorporated into marketing strategies.

“Every year we have a theme—last year’s was Global Equality,” said Eric Skains, executive director of St. Pete Pride. “This year’s theme covers all of the history the LGBT community has made over the years, and all of that is fair game.”

St. Pete Pride made waves at the beginning of the year when it unveiled its new logo and plans for expanded activities. Skains said he and the board expected what he called “sticker shock” at the redesigned logo, but the call for artists to design this year’s theme is not a response to any negative feedback St. Pete Pride has received since the unveiling.

“Most of the [feedback] we’ve receive has been generational,” Skains said, referring to the new logo featuring two interlocked hexagons. “We knew there was going to be a section of the community that wasn’t going to be accepting. The only feedback we’ve really received is through Facebook and if we’re using that as a scientific response, we’ve received more likes than negative comments.”

Skains said emotions linked to the new logo could bring out a few more people to board meetings, but he’s not sure if that will generate more participation in St. Pete Pride’s planning.

“Last year we incorporated the biggest change any Pride in Florida had seen by switching it to a two-day event and adding a night parade,” Skains said. “That brought out a few more volunteers, but not a lot. We’re seeing more coming in this year though because they enjoyed themselves in 2014.”

The design contest to illustrate the 2015 theme, Skains said, was unrelated to the new logo and redesigned website. In fact, it’s been in the works for a long time.

“This was always something we had planned on doing,” Skains explained, adding that a design contest was decided upon months ago. “We wanted to put it out there and get several artists involved. It’s something we did in 2012 with our first ‘Carnivale’ theme and it went pretty well.”

Designs must be submitted in PDF or EPS format by 5 p.m., Feb. 20. The top “three or so” submissions will then be voted upon by the community through StPetePride.com. The winning artist will receive $500 cash.

Voting will run the last week of February through the first week of March. The themed artwork would then immediately appear on marketing materials throughout the year, but especially leading up to the festival the last weekend of June.

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