"Thank you so much...one of the most talked about floats of the parade, and one of our best"

-Brad Balof, General Manager, Sidetrack.

LOVE WINS: Pride Parade float for Sidetrack

Having designed Chicago bar Sidetrack’s summer camp-themed overlay, we were asked to create a float representing that theme. It was a fun extension of the work we had done at the bar, but nothing especially impactful. Due to the dividing political environment, the owners of Sidetrack felt the float needed send a positive, unifying message of LOVE WINS. With about 3 weeks time, we switched gears and developed a float design based on Sidetrack’s message and their interest in incorporating a heart as the main visual. The wonderful staff of Sidetrack provided some incredibly helpful paint and assembly assistance and the end results were a big success!

Parade floats are among the most challenging artistic creations in our experience. Even modest designs require a sizable budget. Scale and stability, prominence of the message or branding, wide viewing angles, accommodation of people and equipment on a relatively tiny footprint, and unpredictable weather are just a few. Frequently, the entire float must be assembled in a very short amount of time.

Interpreting the LOVE WINS concept using a heart as the central visual posed additional challenges for two specific reasons:  three-dimensional hearts are not friendly shapes to construct or interact with.  We also did not want to create something that looked like a valentine or worse, be super basic and forgettable. The float had to support a number of people at elevated heights, contain several large speakers, a CO2 based confetti cannon and include space for at least half a dozen sponsorship logos.

We created a design based around a rainbow of DayGlo fluorescent paint colors. Fluorescent colors are surprisingly difficult to work with and not inexpensive or readily available. Perhaps for these reasons or that their popularity peaked in the 80’s, you don’t often see these colors in a parade, but they make for a blindingly bright rainbow in a sunny day. Their novelty would stand out from the sea of non-fluorescent rainbows.