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Manifest Equality

Quantity Produced


Production Cost


Production Time

1 week

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

26 in × 20 in

Page Count

2 layer poster

Paper Stock

Cougar 80 lb Text and Cougar 100 lb Cover

Number of Colors

Silkscreen: 2 Spot
Inkjet: CMYK


Grey tinted gloss varnish




Farnham Light Italic


Occasionally we stumble upon a project that is so different from the rest within its category that we just stare. And then we ask lots of questions, and eagerly await the email that will answer our queries. Such is the case with this poster created by a group of friends under the name Excuses Design Collective. There are so many details that I want to share with you, that I am simply posting the email I received from them:

We were invited by Yosi Sergant to create work for the Manifest Equality gallery show that took place in Los Angeles in March 2010. Manifest Equality is a call to action to stand up against discriminatory legislation in the United States. Though Manifest Equality focused specifically on anti same sex marriage legislation, a broader approach was taken with this piece. Anti same sex marriage laws are not just a “gay issue,” but a human rights issue. The top layer features the Latin phrase “e pluribus unum” meaning “out of many, one.” The phrase was adopted by the United States in the late 1700s to represent the unification of the colonies and has since come to represent the melting pot metaphor. However, the antiquated phrase celebrates assimilation rather than diversity. The perforated top layer invites viewers to break down dated thinking to reveal lines of many colors that converge into a singular form. The lines create the word “one,” while maintaining their individual identities.

We wanted to create something that allowed physical interaction between the viewers and the work in order to symbolize how taking action can bring change. The E Pluribus Unum ribbon on the top layer was inspired by the ribbon in the Presidential Seal of the United States, which can also be seen on most American money. The bottom layer was inspired by the rainbow flag that is used in many different cultures to represent diversity. The flag is also widely recognized as a symbol of LGBT pride in the United States.

Producing the poster was rather challenging in general. We screen printed two colors and perforated the the top sheet with diagonal lines. We used baby powder to stop out the black ink, giving the ribbon a distressed quality, which worked out pretty well and made each run slightly different. We were originally going to screen print both layers, but printing a six-color rainbow split fountain for the bottom layer proved to be a bit more difficult than we thought it would be. So, we ended up producing the bottom layer digitally, which allowed us to really push the idea of diversity that we wanted to achieve by using thousands of different colors.

So there you have it folks, layers, baby powder, tearing, of-the-moment solutions, metaphors… a lot of thinking, and a lot of doing for a good cause with an awesome outcome.

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Manifest Equality Poster


Production Method



Collaborative project between Tyler Fortney, Garret Bodette, and Michael Gump under the name Excuses Design Collective



Silkscreening, perforating, and sewing: Tyler Fortney, Garret Bodette, and Michael Gump

This post was published in the original layout of FPO so all images are smaller. Project descriptions as well as production lessons are quoted in the main content area.

Post Author


Author Picture

Bryony Gomez-Palacio

Editor of FPO and co-founder of UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

May 4, 2010


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UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

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