Behind the design of Wellington’s first Pride Bus

The double decker pride bus which is set to feature in the Wellington International Pride Parade on March 7 is a symbol of the inclusivity of the region’s transport system and a sign that everyone should feel safe and welcome on our buses, designer Josh Naus says.

Josh, who is a digital designer at the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the mastermind behind the design of the double decker pride bus, which is currently in service on the Number 1 route, says it is important to highlight that this city is an all-inclusive place.

“This bus is a joint entry to the Pride Parade from Greater Wellington, Wellington City Council, Tranzurban and Go Media and is the first bus to ever feature in this Pride Parade.

“Featuring rainbow colours was important because the rainbow is the most publicly known icon of the LGBTQIA+ community and is instantly recognisable. But standard pride flag designs are quite common and I wanted a point of difference so I decided to use the bus routes as a visual reference point.

“One thing that was particularly important to me was bringing a level of public education; this bus will be driving around Wellington for months so it is a huge opportunity to get some more information about the LGBTQIA+ community out there.”

Josh says a lot of people do not realise that each colour in the pride flag directly represents part of the community.

“It’s been that way since the flag was designed in 1977 by Gilbert Baker, but this has been a bit forgotten over the years. I was really happy to be able to bring it back into the public eye.”

Josh has done a lot of work with Rainbow Youth and InsideOUT, and says the design of the bus meant a lot to him on a personal level.

“I don’t want to sound like a sob story, but I grew up in a small town and I was in the closet till I left home, which is a pretty common story for people in the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I think a Pride Bus like this would have meant a whole lot to me when I was a teenager just to know that my local council was looking out for me, and the public transport system was a safe space.”

Josh says it was an honour to be part of the official launch of the bus, and it was an incredible feeling to see his work displayed across a double decker bus.

“This project was quite personal to me so it was a very proud moment – I sent a lot of photos to my mum and dad.”