I recently changed the cover photo on Trinity’s Facebook page when we announced the public phase of our Capital Campaign, but I decided to use another one for the month of February in observation of Black History Month. As I was designing it today, I really wanted to stick with the color scheme of this design (below). It’s so bold, it’s stands out, and it’s different from the other cover photos we’ve had. From a design standpoint, I like going out of the box a little every now and then.
But I hesitated, and before I went any further (adding “Black History Month” to the image), I changed the color scheme completely, largely due to this news story. Anytime I post something with a religious message (Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, etc.), or with a remotely personal meaning (remembering September 11), or even when I’m pushing the envelope with a message related to diversity, I spend a great deal of time contemplating the verbiage, images, colors, and even punctuation (period vs. exclamation point). Inevitably, someone will be offended about something at some point, but stories like this really cause me to not take any of it lightly. As stupid as the store owner’s idea in this story may sound to a lot of us, I can honestly see how she thought it was a clever idea, much like Coca-Cola’s Superbowl commercial featuring “America the Beautiful” with each stanza sung in a different language. I thought it was neat, and a great illustration of how diverse our country is, which I’m sure is the reaction Coke expected from the majority of their audience. I doubt they expected the extreme public outcry that’s making headlines and trending all over Twitter and Facebook right now.
While the image I chose to post (below) still may not be well received, I think it’s “safer” than the above image. I can’t help but chuckle a little at the thought of the possible negative reaction to the above image, though. It’s possible that Trinity could have been accused of being out of line and racist, despite the fact that the person who created and posted the image is Black! However, it’s also quite possible that that mere fact would have outraged some people even more. Honestly, there could have been so many different outcomes, and a “cool, out-of-the-box” design wasn’t worth the risk, so here’s the one I went with: