FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Mid-America LGBT Chamber revealed new branding during its monthly B2B Network event. The branding was created by Hallmark, one of the organization’s Founding Partners.
Kansas City, Missouri | Tuesday, September 10, 2019– The Mid-America Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Chamber of Commerce revealed new branding tonight during its monthly B2B Network event. The new branding follows the decision to rename the chamber and the design was created by Hallmark, one of the Chamber’s Founding Partners.
The new branding was revealed through a promotional video in front of a crowd of over 150, including members, prospective members, board members, and members of the press. The video featured interviews with Chamber board members and individuals from the Hallmark creative team, including the designer Andrea Karmazyn, and is now available online. Following the video, additional remarks were provided by Bobbye Sweat, Hallmark’s Diversity and Inclusion Integration Director, and Michael Hopkins, the Chamber’s current Marketing Director. The branding was kept a secret until the video presentation, after which large branded signage was revealed.
“We told Hallmark that the new branding had to be vibrant,” says Hopkins, “in the spirt of our decision to rename, we had to find a way to represent and celebrate the wide range of gender, sexuality, and racial identities within our community.”
The new branding incorporates the Gilbert Font, a typeface that was created to honor the legacy of Gilbert Baker who was a Kansas native, long-time LGBT advocate, and original creator of the rainbow flat – a long time symbol of the LGBT community and LGBT equality. The font includes bold colors and shapes that make up the letters with the color blended wherever the shapes overlap.
“When we heard the story about the Gilbert font, and then saw as a concept for our branding, we knew it was absolutely the best representation of our organization and community,” says Hopkins. “The overlapping colors making new colors is the perfect symbol of the intersectionality within our community, no one person is just L, G, B, or T,” he said.
The Chamber changed its name from the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in April 2019. The decision was based on a desire to more accurately reflect the diversity of its membership and project a more inclusive image to the community. At the time, Mid-America LGBT Chamber President Danny Zaslavsky said, “we are proud to advocate for our bisexual and transgender members and fully support the spectrum of gender and sexual identity that exists in our community.” The decision also aligned with the stated objectives included in the Chambers’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan.
The rebranding project was led by Hopkins and the Chamber’s marketing committee, with Hallmark and its Creative Marketing Studio driving the creative vision. Multiple options were created, though the final rebranding was affirmed unanimously by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The Chamber simultaneously launched a new website, www.midamericalgbt.org, and has updated most of its social media presence.
“There were about 18 total people working to make all of this happen,” says Hopkins, “and while we still have some more work to do, I think it’s going to be hard to go anywhere and not recognize our new identity.”