What makes a condom stand out from the crowd?
There are many innovative ways to make condom usage more appealing. Exotic flavors, ultra-thin latex, and textured condoms “ribbed for pleasure” all make condoms more exciting.
However, their rate of usage remains inconsistent.
Launching the Condom Design Contest
Faced with this challenge, Say It With A Condom partnered with Frannie Peabody Center to help make condoms more fun.
Frannie Peabody Center, a nonprofit in Portland, Maine, invited a class of students at the Maine College of Art to design condom packaging that raises awareness of testing and prevention on World AIDS Day.
Donna Galluzzo, the Executive Director of Frannie Peabody Center, sees World AIDS Day as an occasion to honor those lost during the AIDS crisis while raising awareness for modern prevention methods.
Creating the Condom Designs
For the graphic design class, this was an opportunity to gain real-world design experience. “This class treated us, Frannie Peabody Center, as their client,” says Galluzzo, “It’s a very real-world experience for them. We all meet together, they interview us, and they talk about what we are looking for.”
The more visually interesting a condom package, the more likely someone will pick it up to find out what it is. Frannie Peabody Center understood this, so they instructed the design students to combine positive messaging with unique patterns and colors.
After giving the class direction at the beginning of the fall semester, they had a mid-semester meeting to present their drafts and receive constructive feedback. This feedback culminated in the students’ final designs.
“We wanted the designs to be attractive and colorful, but they also had to spread the right message, respect our clients, and appeal to a large variety of groups,” Galluzzo notes, “That was a very fine line to walk, but I think the folks at Say It With A Condom really understood that. The class really got it as well, the designs all had something unique about them but they were all very respectful.”
Rocking the Vote
Once the entries were submitted, Say It With A Condom developed an online voting platform that allowed the community to vote on their favorite design. Not only did Frannie Peabody Center send people to vote online, they also went to events throughout Portland to conduct in-person voting sessions.
“It was really fun to engage the public,” says Galluzzo, “people of course were picking up the condoms and reading the messages. We got to hear what their thoughts were in real time. Some thought it was all about the style, while others thought it was more about the positive messaging. We even got to see parents explaining condoms to their kids right in the moment, so it was definitely quite the engagement!”
In total, over 850 votes were cast. The competition was close, but Hayden Jones’s “Every Connection Counts” design won!
Who Was Frannie Peabody?
Frannie Peabody, the namesake of her eponymous nonprofit, began her work as an activist at the age of eighty following her grandson’s AIDS diagnosis. “I wish that I had met Frannie,” says Galluzzo, “every time I talk to someone who did know her, she becomes a larger than life figure.”
Following the death of her grandson, she became involved in visiting support groups to meet with others who lost friends and loved ones during during the AIDS crisis. “She became an incredibly staunch advocate for people living with HIV and AIDS in the state of Maine,” Galluzzo says, “she went on a longstanding community campaign to raise awareness, to engage her personal community, to give, and to help.”
Asked what Frannie Peabody would have thought of the contest, Galluzzo says that “I’m sure she would have loved it.”
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