Who’s your favourite queer graphic designer? It’s a hard question, and not because there are too many to choose from. Despite being a highly creative industry there’s still a notable lack of representation for the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly in terms of queer representation.
Last week, Folk people went along to the AGDA Designed with Pride event and took a guided tour of the Pride (R)evolution exhibition as part of Sydney WorldPride 2023. It turns out that the State Library of NSW has an extensive collection of queer content, from t-shirts, posters and photographs to letters, film and sound – all of which help shine a light on the lives, loves, intersectionality, activism, rebellion and struggle of this under-represented community.
The exhibition itself is a combined celebration of queerness, in all its forms, and a celebration of design from the home-made to the photoshopped. From the comical to the controversial, the collection takes you on a journey from the amazing graphics of the 1980’s pride t-shirts, to the (sometimes explicit) early HIV and safe sex awareness posters, to the amazing photography of the First Nations Queer and Trans communities.
While there’ve been notable strides towards inclusivity in the design industry, there’s still a lot of work to be done. According to a study conducted by AIGA, only 14% of designers identify as LGBTQIA+. This lack of diversity in the industry ultimately leads to a lack of representation in the design work created.
The lack of queer representation in the design industry is a real issue that needs to be addressed, and there needs to be a greater focus on diversity and inclusivity in the industry overall. For now though, we’d highly recommend getting along to the State Library and Pride (R) evolution to see how far we’ve come and to reflect on the work still to do in this space.