Responses by Tool.
Background: More than 40 cities across the United States have banned the Pride flag on city property. The Gilbert Baker Foundation (GBF), an LGBT nonprofit organization, envisioned a campaign that would allow anyone to proudly wave the Pride flag in any location. As a direct action of GBF’s vision, working in collaboration with INNOCEAN USA, we developed an AR filter for Instagram that enables social activists and supporters of LGBTQ+ rights to raise their own Pride flags nationwide. The campaign promotes awareness of the bans and prompt members of the LGBTQ+ communities and allies to take action, contact their local government officials and speak out against the bans.
Design thinking: After learning more about the mission and overall vision of the campaign, our process was first to clearly outline the user experience. We wanted to ensure the filter was readily usable by all supporters and that our instructive messaging was short but comprehendible. We went through several ideation phases to develop the experience we have now, which lets users plant, resize, rotate and move the flag in any position on any flat surface. Additionally, we focused on making the design and motion of the flag as realistic as possible to simulate other flags that are filter may be placed next to and to visually demonstrate that Pride flags are not easily bannable.
Challenges: One of the more difficult aspects of the project was the technicalities of the filter. Unlike many Instagram filters, the purpose of the AR Pride flag was more practical and less abstract, meaning it needed to have the ability to be placed on the ground without being disturbed by background movement that might pass through it while a user records it in a space. Our team performed a thorough round of quality assurance testing to guarantee that the filter could serve its main purpose while also including a fun, creative pop-up visual for the user to experience and enjoy while learning more about the campaign.
Favorite details: Tool is extremely honored to be chosen as the production partner for this experience and to be recognized for our continuous efforts to perfect our AR capabilities. What is so special about this project was our ability to make the filter versatile and placeable in any location. Users can easily see a Pride flag on their desk during work or in front of their local city hall while including messaging of their own that speaks to them personally. Not only are we proud of the flag being technically sound and representative of our work, but we fully support the GBF’s mission and are thrilled to see the powerful combination of creative technology and social activism.
Visual influences: All of our visual references came from Gilbert Baker, the original creator of the Pride flag. While his first design of the Pride flag features eight colors, we utilized the nationally recognized and adopted six-color design as a baseline. Our intent was to celebrate the artwork that motivated this campaign and translate its vibrancy as effortlessly as possible in an AR environment.
Specific project demands: Ideating, developing, refining and testing any AR project takes a great deal of time and effort to get amazing results. For this campaign, we had just two-and-a-half weeks to bring the filter to life, making the project tricky to execute without missing any key steps. The tight timeline, however, was hardly felt thanks to the collaborative process with INNOCEAN USA and the GBF’s collaboration. Their directive feedback combined with the common goal of creating a product that would be used for social change was a perfect motivator behind our sprint.