Providence Flags: The Traditional vs. The New


    To design four flags that could be mounted at the below location as a set.

  • Audience

    (roughly in order of physical distance to/relationship with the flags)
    Skateboarders, bikers 
    RISD GD, Illustration students
    Waterfire→ dark
    Providence residents passing by → day/night
    Cars driving by (across the canal) → in motion
    People in boats, 
    College Students→ domestic, international
    Potential students/parents 

    Surrounding Area

  • Background
    that the flags would be seen against in reality
  • Distortion

  • Formation
  • Other Thoughts

    How information gets lost when a flag folds on itself 
    How the flags look upside down ← reflection
    How the colors look in the dark, in warm lighting condition (during WaterFire Providence)
    How the flags look from up close vs. from a distance

  • Concept

    Traditions vs. The New

    Change, evolution, growth
    Providence is a place where "the traditional" and "the new" are merged. 
    In 2009, the city rebranded itself from the "Beehive of Industry" to "Creative Capitol".


  • • 1 • 

  • The forms come from the decorative cut-outs on the railings along the canel.  The flag should inspire people to be mindful of the beautiful details around the city. This flag focuses on the idea of Providence being the “creative capitol”, with its educational resourses and art community.The blue circle in the middle symbolize the rich history that Providence has. The blue dots and orange lines symbolize the how it is a place where knowledge and creative ideas are spread.

  • • 2 • 

  • This flag is partly dedicated to the skaters and bikers who practice around the four flags poles and have the closest relationship with the flags. It is also inspired by how they keep striving for better when practicing tricks.

    The formal elements are derived from skate ramps. It symbolizes the growth, evolution and the idea that traditions and legacies guide the formation of new creations.The circle that forms because of the Closure Principle of the Gestalt Principles symbolizes the unity of  the “old” and the “new”.

  • • 3 • 

  • The formal elements come from WaterFire Providence, the occasion when the most people are going see the four flags. 
    The weaving aspect of it also make reference to Providence’s history with textiles. At the same time, the angled strokes in orange represent the newer ideas that might seem “harsh” at first. The smoother, blue strokes represent the way things were going, the traditions. The flag represents how these two aspects of Providence live together in harmony.

  • • 4 • 

  • The formal aspect of the flags come from the imagery of a box in the English language (as seen in “think outside of the box”). The form represent the expanded view of a box, with the orange dots residing ouside of it. The formal elements also allude to the idea of a map. In Providence, traditional buildings are preserved, some are renewed to served new purposes. They become living, working, learning environments for people today. The stair shape also symbolize growth and evolution. 

  • Sequence