Client, Year

Queer Community Cultural District of Denver, 2023

Services

Logo
Identity Development
Brand Guidelines

Awards / Press

Lavender Hill

Celebrating Queer history and contributions

Lavender Hill is Denver’s Queer Cultural District. Its formation is as unique as its community, with blurred boundaries that adapt to the ever-evolving LGBTQIA+ presence in the city. Working from language created by Fat Lip, Ashton built a brand identity that spreads positivity and visibility wherever it is applied. 

Lavender Hill’s logo is joyful and optimistic. It embraces the rainbow shape and color palette, long-standing symbols of pride in the Queer community. The identity also makes the most of the district’s namesake hue—lavender has historically been used as a euphemism for the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Lavender Hill celebrates the contributions of Denver’s Queer community while serving as a vital resource for all city residents and businesses. The identity’s welcoming feel and flexible system make it easily adoptable by a wide array of stores, restaurants, and institutions. 

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While coastal cities like New York and San Francisco have attracted more attention for their Queer communities, Denver has a rich history of LGBTQIA+ activity. Lavender Hill’s establishment ensures Queer stories will be a recognized part of the area’s rich narrative moving forward.

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Additional brand “badges” pay homage to pride pins, which have been used as a visible expression of support for the LGBTQIA+ community since the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

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Creating a sense of place can be as easy as a sticker. For example, bi-pride “we look both ways” bumper stickers work on multiple levels: as a helpful reminder for those crossing the street, as an inside joke for those in the know, and as a mobile marker for the district’s fluid boundaries. These layered elements illuminate the reality that Queer influence is often “hidden” in plain sight.

Like the district, Lavender Hill’s typography is a marriage of utilitarian and expressive influences. Contrasting the straightforward approach of Lab Grotesque with the undulating lines of Fer Cozzi’s Julia results in a fun representation of what it means to bring multiple, diverse elements of a community together.

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The color palette, like the rest of the identity, is multilayered. Take the secondary color system—these particular hues were inspired by Bob Damron’s Address Book, a pivotal publication in gay culture that detailed the handkerchief codes. Used historically by the Queer community to communicate in secret, a hanky’s, or bandana’s, color communicated the wearer’s sexual preferences. 

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The “Queer is Here” campaign is central to Lavender Hill’s identity. As the plain-stated complement to the district’s more coded name, it increases the visibility of Queer people in all spaces. It also gives a sense of the additional narratives present at “established” Denver landmarks and neighborhoods, thereby enriching the city’s cultural fabric.

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