Here's the cleaned up digital versions of the sketched signifiers I had before. I've decided to move forward with my symbol for civil rights (the third symbol listed) with official and whimsical connotations. I think providing the opposite style within the two connotations of the same important issue will be interesting to compare and eventually speak to a broader audience.
Here's some brainstorming:
(overall aspects for official: black and white or use of patriotic colors (eventually), always organized in chronological order with each civil right as it's own little icon, no hierarchy, simple and to the point)
inspiration comes from government documents,etc.
Official Civil Rights #1
give each civil right a check box and arrange them into a list, the women's rights and racial right's boxes will be checked and the gay right's box will be left empty. (keeping them in chronological order)
Official Civil Rights #2
make the icons look as though they're apartment of an official seal
Official Civil Rights #3
have first two civil rights stamped in wax and gay rights visibly on a stamp but not stamped into wax yet
(overall whimsical: lots bright fun colors (eventually), organized in the way that's most ascetically pleasing, the civil rights can all come together as one idea instead of each little icon, things will vary in size and minimal design elements will added just to make it fun/ frilly)
looking at Allison Schulnik's work for inspiration
Whimsical Civil Rights #1
the women right's icon will be a female figure with her arm curled up referencing "yes we can!" idea with hair curled at the ends, all under a rainbow, butterflies, etc.
Whimsical Civil Rights #2
the icons will look as though they're stitched into a doily or maybe each one is it's own doily, maybe gay rights isn't finished
Whimsical Civil Rights #3
hot air balloons with civil rights on them, gay rights balloon isn't flying yet