For Pride Month of 2018 I made a large pride flag for our window display, a 12×20 print built out of handset decorative material, rule, and type. At the time it fulfilled for me three purposes: we needed one, it was an opportunity to refurbish our newest press, and it was a meditation on important history that I, a very shy and nervous person, could do instead of a parade.
It was large in every sense of the word—time-consuming and resource-heavy and difficult to make in any volume. For the window it was perfect, but it takes a lot of lead to cover the 40 square inches of each stripe, and a lot of time to make every stripe unique, and there were only six perfect ones in the end. And in thinking about a more manageable and accessible size of mini-print, I also thought about smaller identity-communities within the larger one, the huge variety each with their own gorgeous colors, stripes, and symbols.
So to make a series of prints featuring the pride flags of many different identities under the LGBTQ umbrella, I’m finding ways to simplify the process. As a long-term project, they’ll be done in greater quantities, at a smaller size (about 3 3/4 x 5 1/2 in.), and with a carefully planned sequence of one-color passes.
It’s about efficiency in making up forms since, understandably, pride flags were not designed within the limitation of printing one color at a time! In fact, my decision about which flag to print first really came down to technical testing. The bisexual flag is in theory made up of two colors which, overlaid, make three: the pink and blue stripes, overprinted in the middle stripe, add up to the purple.
One form and two passes for three colors—a beautiful efficiency that I hope can be replicated in some other, more complicated flags.
The transgender flag is similarly achievable in one form and two passes, needing only a rearrangement of spacing and, for my own preference, a rotation of each stripe for a less regular pattern.
As they’re completed I’ll be putting the physical prints up in our Etsy store, but I’ll also be scanning them and putting digital copies here. Feel free to use them for banners, icons, etc.—personal use only, please!