Session: Young Women’s Design + Building Institute, Summer 2022

Builders: 35 artists

Materials: rubber carving blocks, carving tools, brayer, plexiglass, block printing ink, 11×17″ white cardstock paper, 11×17″ colored paper, risograph printer + inks, alphabet-burned screens, foam core board, black screen printing ink, squeegee, x-acto knife, spray adhesive

Description: To accompany our formidable toolbox float, the participants of the Young Women’s Design + Building Institute created individual protest posters to march with during the San Francisco Pride Parade. Led by instructors HyeYoon Song and Bethany Kaylor, our students used 3 different print media in the project: block printing, risograph printing, and screen printing, respectively.

Our creative process began with carving simple shapes onto rubber blocks. Our students then created a “master” for the risograph printer by printing their shapes in various patterns on a piece of white paper.  When it came time to print with the risograph, each student created ~25 prints (note: the students were only allowed to choose 1 color ink, but they could choose from a variety of colored paper!). Through a writing exercise, the students generated a simple phrase relating to their personal identities: “Don’t Assume,” “Luv Ur Roots,” “God is Gay,” “We Belong Here.” From there, our students selected 4 of their favorite prints, assembled the paper in a 2×2 grid on a large foam core board, and used spray adhesive to glue them on. The students then split into pairs to assist each other with screen printing their phrase on their posters. Our screens included a full alphabet of the font Bayard (as created by the incredibly talented designer and activist, Tres Seals) and a Girls Garage logo. Instructors then cut the foam core boards down to size with an x-acto knife. Et voila! Powerful protest posters for the Pride Parade. (Say that 5x fast!)