No On 8 'Milk' Premier Buttons

Galleries - Production Design

No On 8 Milk

Button Design: Event

Milk/ Groundswell Productions/ Focus Features


The political buzz around town here in West Hollywood is all about Proposition 8. Prop 8 is the bigoted ballot initiative that would remove the current California State Constitutional Right that allows same-sex marriage.


So it seems a proper fit to draw connections between the battle against the proposition and the opening of the Gus Van Sant bio pic on America's favorite gay rights advocate, 'Milk'.


The original call I got from Danny Glicker implied that Gus wanted to do something big. Something that would draw attention to the No On 8 campaign at the San Francisco premier. And what was this original, outrageous idea? He wanted to wear a No On 8 TUXEDO! An entire Tux that would be custom built to be a political billboard.


As you may think, we knew this would be hard. And there was no time to do a lot of concepting. The approach I took was to essentially make a stylized, yet classy 8 with a slash through it. Give it a victorian, serif feel. Pop the iconic image off a dark suit with the painterly hand like a hot rod pinstriper.


That was the beginning. From there I created a couple of variations on a similar 'No On 8' pattern for the fabric. give the suit a pinstriped feel, or maybe closer to a coach bag. But tighter. Smaller patterns. Subtle. Give it a classy texture, and then on closer examination find the political message.





At this point, though, it became too much of a risk to have Gus unintentionally look like a clown on the red carpet. So we regrouped and finally decided on going simple.


The movie mainly focuses on the fight against Proposition 6, which was intended to remove homosexuals from the educational system of California. Gathering images of the original No On 6 buttons from the 70s (and the film), I simply designed No On 8 buttons in that same font and style. The only difference we decided on was to make half of them the original red, and the other half the deep blue that the current No On 8 campaign has taken as it's own.


It was fantastic to see the cast and crew walking down the red carpet and giving interviews proudly wearing their No On 8 buttons made for the event. The LGBT magazine, the Advocate, even made a kind mention of the buttons and the effort Danny put into getting them together and to the premier on time!