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Row as Manchester Pride Festival seeks new identity for £500

Designers have been urged to boycott a competition to design an identity to mark the 21st anniversary of gay festival Manchester Pride.

The organisation had issued an open invitation to the industry to create a brand that can be used across all the festival’s promotional material including the main stage, which this year will feature artists like Chicane and Beverley Knight.

Festival director Jackie Crozier was quoted as saying the team were hoping to see a “distinctive design that captures the spirit and essence of Manchester Pride.”

In return for this effort the winning designer will receive £500 and two VIP tickets for the festival’s Big Weekend which takes place at the end of August.

But said one Manchester designer: “Please, fellow creatives, boycott this outrageous bun fight for scraps from the table. By any rules £500 is below a pittance for a rebrand. By these rules its plain offensive. If ever there was a misnomer then 'Pride' is it - don't devalue design!”

Said another: “Manchester Pride is based in the next office to Design Initiative, the body that promotes design in the North West. Perhaps they should pop next door for advice.”

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UPDATE

Manchester Pride festival director Jackie Crozier has replied, saying: "Manchester Pride is a registered charity and, as such, we have to use our very limited budget wisely. This includes spend on branding the event.

“We are a not-for-profit organisation and have donated £895,000 to local LGBT charities and groups across Greater Manchester since 2003.

“We ran a similar competition in 2008, which was very successful, with almost 100 entries. These ranged from amateur to professional designers. As a result, we then built a strong working relationship with the winning designer, who then delivered the concept for 2008, 2009 and 2010.

“The information provided on our website offers guidance to those wishing to enter the competition. It is hoped that we would build a longer term relationship with the successful designer and in turn we envisage that this individual/collaboration or design agency would then be contracted to deliver the design element for this year’s Manchester Pride, one of the UK’s most prominent and successful Pride events.”

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