LD Forrest Graphic Design

Client:My Gay Houston/Visit Houston

Photos:Spenser Harrison

Category:Advertising, Photo Editing, Design Layout

Winner - 2015 National Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International

This landmark My Gay Houston ad campaign was warmly welcomed by Houston's LGBT community, was mentioned in Ad Week and won a national 2015 Adrian Award, an award considered to be one of the most prestigious in the travel marketing industry.

My Gay Houston Ad Campaign
Print Ads

My Gay Houston serves two roles, informing Houston's LGBT community on local happenings and promoting Houston as an LGBT-friendly travel destination. AJ Mistretta, senior public relations manager at Visit Houston and editor of MyGayHouston.com, paired active LGBT community members with some of Houstonians favorite activites around town and enlisted Spenser Harrison as the photographer to capture the moments.

Shot in the Winter of 2014, my role was to retouch the photos to give more of an any-time-of-year feel since this campaign ran all year through 2015 and picked up and continued in 2016. Aside from changing the seasons, my duties were to come up with the ad layout for full page ads in regional and national LGBT publications as well as turn these fantastic images into moving digital ads.

Digital Ads

Cinemagraphs are a technique of isolating parts of a video so that a short, often loopable, range of motion can give an image a unique quality that isn't quite a video, is more robust than a normal animated ad (think blinking buttons and a flashing 'BUY NOW' sunburst) but is far more interesting than just a still graphic.

While shooting the still images, Spenser recorded short video clips of the models. I took the video and broke it down into frame by frame images and then combined select frames to create the loopable motion. Lastly, I masked the rest of the image so that the only moving pixels were the ones creating the motion - this keeps the file size low since GIF ads typically have very strict file-size requirements. This technique has grown rapidly over the last year and for me, nearly every step of this was a learning experience that in the end paid off really well for My Gay Houston.

Tools: Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop