San Francisco’s Transgender Cultural District (“The Transgender District”), a nonprofit formed in 2020, is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. From their website:
The mission of the Transgender District is to create an urban environment that fosters the rich history, culture, legacy, and empowerment of transgender people and its deep roots in the southeastern Tenderloin neighborhood. The Transgender District aims to stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces.
The Transgender District needed branding for the renaming of the organization from Compton’s Transgender Cultural District to The Transgender District, including:
- A redesigned logo
- PDF “sponsorship kits” containing promotional material and an interactive reply form, which go out to likely donors, both corporate and individual
- Social media and event graphics
- A Constant Contact newsletter template to publicize its many events and offerings.
Projects for this ongoing client need to introduce the District to the international scene and show the energy, vibrancy and strength of the District’s transgender community.
For the new logo, Co-Founder and Executive Director Aria Sa’id wanted me to use the pink and blue of the transgender flag but insisted, “absolutely no butterflies,” a cliched symbol of transformation. Using the two colors, I created a dynamic swirl to denote change and movement. The type is strong, but not overpowering in size, with subtly textured edges to keep it from being harsh. The logo appears in color and black-and-white, in horizontal and vertical formats, and with and without the web address.
I created a multi-page sponsorship kit to entice donors and garner grants, as well as social media graphics for in-person and virtual events.
Compton’s Cafeteria Riots 54th Anniversary Party
The main event of the summer was a virtual party celebrating the 54th anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riots. The riots were a revolt against the long history of police harassment and brutality towards transgender people in San Francisco, particularly transgender women. According to renowned trans historian Susan Stryker, the Compton’s Cafeteria riots were “the first known incident of collective militant queer resistance to police harassment in U.S. history.” This was in 1966, three years before the much more famous 1969 Stonewall Inn uprising in New York City.
I used a 1960s paisley pattern for the background of the graphics, and added bright, energizing colors, including intensified versions of the pink and blue of the transgender flag. The “Save the Date” had a period photo; the announcement closer to the event date used photos of the actual performers and speakers, which I rendered in black-and-white to make the colors stand out more.
Constant Contact newsletter template
The District wanted to welcome their viewers and supporters and make sure they stayed up to date on the District’s offerings. A key part of the newsletter was the announcement of the Transgender District’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which provided essential aid to people in the District already affected by the virus—a larger percentage of the population than in San Francisco in general.
The newsletter template needed to be flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of content, from text to still images to video links. It also needed to be easy enough to use that a District staff person could make attractive, informative letters with a minimum of training. Altering the built-in styles of the platform, I approximated the fonts and layout of the work already designed.