NYC's Top Five Clever Condom Wrappers For 2010
Where was I in late February this year when the winner of New York City's first condom wrapper contest was announced? Nevertheless... I think it's notable enough to share the winner's package, as well as the finalist concepts with you. Their symbolism is not as obvious as some condom wrappers, but the designs are not just pretty images either.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sponsored the contest, which began in mid-December, 2009 and closed in late January, 2010. The contestants were asked to design condom packaging that would "capture the city's distinctive culture while promoting safer sex."
Six judges representing design, advertising, health care, teen prevention, and AIDS programs sorted through 600 designs, submitted by NYC city residents and others from all over the U.S. and abroad; one design came from Perm, Russia.
1. The Turn-On Condom Wrapper
The winning NYC Condom wrapper was by Luis Acosta from Queens, with 23 percent of the vote. Acosta's design, representing a 'turned on' power button of a computer, stood to do well with the voters who, as luck had it, voted from their computers. The design is interesting from a variety of perspectives, and while the figurative aspect of the design may be lost on some, a literal interpretation is quite possible.
2. Hats On, New York! Condom Wrapper
The runner-up condom package, Hats On New York, with 21 percent of the vote, was a black top-hat, a gentlemanly 1920's - 30's style chapeau, reminiscent of a time when men were more 'gentlemanly.' The designer, Russell Greenberg, founder of RUX Design, says "Safe sex and good manners go hand in hand." I couldn't agree more.
3. Protect NYC Condom Wrapper
Third place was designed by Yujin Lee of the lower East side of NYC. Her work is a flowery, balloony image of colorful condoms, but not one to be dismissed. It suggests in its vanishing sky style that New York is being protected by those closest to it - the insiders, the smart ones who are beautiful and proud in their support. And, of course, the center caption says whatever cannot be inferred: Protect NYC.
4. The Manhole Condom Wrapper
The 'manhole' condom wrapper is smart. And I agree with the designer, Virgil Alderson of NYC that his design represents "strength and protection," although he also used the word "hygiene." Maybe sewers have been critical in promoting public health... but the word "hygiene" doesn't always pop into your head when you think of sewers.
Anyway, this design is definitely for the man's man, and there's always one or two of them working in a manhole every third block in NYC, so it's definitely an image a New Yorker can relate to.
5. Tunnel Protection Condom Wrapper
The train just won't leave the station in Gene Lambert's version of the NYC Condom wrapper - at least it won't go into the tunnel without a condom. Okay, okay. But I like the fact that Brooklynite Lambert represented a train, in fact a subway train, which is so much part of the lifestyle of New Yorkers.... The graphics are cool too!
These are all pretty cool designs and I hope that they can be used in the future, perhaps as part of a few ad campaigns. It's a shame to waste such good concepts.
NYC condoms all have Luis Acosta's Turn-On packaging now and they are given out for free at hundreds of city bars, restaurants... heck, just about everywhere. If you want to find out where to get them, just check out NYC Condom, and you find out everything about the free condoms, even how to use them! Oh, there are female condoms available free too!