Staying safe in New York City just got even sexier. The Health Department unveiled a brand new look for the NYC Condom and launched a cutting-edge media campaign to encourage New Yorkers to "get some." Street teams met commuters at busy crossroads around the city - including Union Square in Manhattan, the Atlantic Avenue transit station in Brooklyn, and 149th Street and Grand Concourse in the Bronx - to hand out the new NYC Condom for Valentine's Day.
The NYC Condom's new look includes a fresh package design and an elegant new dispenser, which will debut in 200 New York City venues in coming weeks. Both were gifts to New York City from designer Yves Behar, founder of the San Francisco-based design agency fuseproject. Behar's clients include One Laptop per Child, Johnson and Johnson, Jawbone and Herman Miller. "Good design can help bring condoms out of the closet," he says. "The brand's friendly design and the dispenser's approachable shape convey openness and acceptance. They say condoms are nothing to be embarrassed about."
The new ads, set to hip hop, jazz and Latin beats, feature images of New Yorkers set against boldly colored cityscapes. They will air in English and Spanish on cable and broadcast TV as well as radio. Display ads are also appearing in more than 1,000 subway cars citywide, as well as on phone kiosks and in check cashing outlets. The ads are available online at www.nyc.gov/condoms.
"The NYC Condom has shown us what a sexy brand can do for safer sex," said Dr. Monica Sweeney, the Health Department's Assistant Commissioner for HIV Prevention and Control. "We gave out more than 36 million of them last year. I hope the fresh look will help even more New Yorkers protect themselves from infection and unplanned pregnancy in 2008."
The New York City Condom and Dispenser is an initiative of the NYC department of Health: the free distribution of condoms is an effective measure against HIV infections and unwanted pregnancies.
Fuseproject was engaged to design an integrated system of the condom's packaging and it's dispenser. By creating a visually iconic relation between the NYC Condom and Dispenser, fuseproject helped the city of New York achieve 2 main goals: raising awareness and adoption of the condoms by it's citizens, and driving adoption of the dispensers by private businesses and public organizations. The well-designed program has helped make the initiative very popular amongst New Yorkers: the Health Department tripled the original goal of 10 million condoms to 30 million condoms in the first 10 months of the program.
Reminiscent of a condom shape warped into the surface of one's leather wallet, the NYC Condom's approachable shape and friendly brand helps create an air of openness and acceptance, thus removing the stigma of the condom as something to be ashamed off.
The dispenser is the primary distribution system for the New York City free condom program, it's simplicity and visual iconography makes it a recognizable signage for the initiative. To achieve this smooth and clean design, as well as keeping crisp details around the branding, the parts were produced through a process know as Hydro forming.
Sheets of steel are pushed into a mold with tons of backpressure produced by high-pressure hydraulic pistons that inject a fluid behind the sheet of steel, which causes it to expand until it matches the mold. Designing the surface out of a singular stamped metal part makes the dispenser both very durable and low-cost to produce. This was followed by powder coating a durable surface on the shells in either a black or silver color, with the condom text painted on top of that. When mounted to the wall, it dispenses the branded condoms out of a rubber-edged gravity fed interface.
The design of the Condom wrapper and dispenser were created in a simultaneous effort. This provided the design team the ability to intertwine the visual relationship of the already familiar and relatable dispenser shape with the confident colors in the packaging logo. The Sans Serif Typeface used, Gotham and Gotham Rounded, was utilized to convey a friendly, youthful tone, synonymous with the brand. The Gotham font is derived from the classic all-American style of signage depicted on New York buildings since the 1930's. The font has distinctive New York roots and easily recognizable lettering, playing into the iconic nature of the NYC Condom project.