If you’ve seen the movie Pride then you will have seen his work. If you’ve been anywhere near a member of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (past or present) you’re likely to have seen his work. And if you watch the upcoming comedy series written by Little Britain’s Matt Lucas you’ll probably see his work too.
Yet, despite the increasing visibility of the iconic ‘Pits and Perverts’ design, very few people actually know who created it. So, let me change that now by telling you that it was Kevin Franklin (pictured below).
The image was originally created for a poster to promote LGSM’s ‘Pits and Perverts’ fund-raiser in December 1984. Kevin was asked to come up with a design by his friend Bernard Padden, the writer and comedian, who was involved with LGSM at that time.
“On the Tuesday [the day after LGSM’s meeting] he turned up where I worked and told me what he wanted. It was very straightforward. The thing with LGSM then, which still marks them out today, is that they were very practical and knew exactly what they wanted to do and could make very quick decisions and just get on with it.
So the copy was already fixed and I can still remember hearing Bernard read out the words, ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners…Pits and Perverts’.”
Interestingly, Kevin wasn’t immediately enthused with the wording:
“I had a moment like in the movie, when one character says ‘It’s not exactly catchy is it?'”
But the upside was that LGSM were very clear that that was what they wanted. From a designer’s point of view that is always good – especially when time is limited (Bernard wanted it done in time for the following week’s meeting).