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Press Release

Press Release # 005-10
Thursday, February 11, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT: (212) 788-5290
Jessica Scaperotti/Celina De Leon:

Health Department Unveils Five Finalists in NYC Condom Package Design Contest

New Yorkers can now pick the design for a special-edition condom wrapper by casting votes online

February 11, 2010 –After assessing hundreds of possible package designs for a special limited-edition NYC Condom, a panel of judges has selected five finalists. The Health Department has received nearly 600 entries since December 15, when it invited New Yorkers to design a wrapper that would “capture the city’s distinctive culture while promoting safer sex.” Designs have flooded in from all five boroughs, and as far away as Perm, Russia. The judges’ top picks are now posted on the NYC Condom’s Facebook page and on the Health Department’s website, where New Yorkers can vote for their favorites. The polling starts today and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, February 28.

“We want to thank all of the creative New Yorkers who participated in the package design contest,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “We still face an epidemic of HIV/AIDS and high rates of other sexually transmitted diseases.  When used correctly and consistently, condoms can prevent these infections as well as unintended pregnancies. Involving New Yorkers in this issue is one way we are reminding those who are sexually active to use condoms whenever they have sex.”

The NYC Condom is a lubricated Lifestyles male condom – the same one sold in stores – but has its own distinctive wrapper, and it’s free. Any NYC-based organization, public or private, can order them at Individual New Yorkers can find them in bars, clubs, restaurants, gyms and coffee houses, as well as clinics and community centers. The original 2007 design, based on a New York City subway motif, got a 2008 makeover at the hand of designer Yves Behar, who also created a sleek dispenser. The winning design from this contest won’t replace Behar’s, but it will appear on several million NYC Condom packages, beginning next fall, and may be featured in future condom promotions.

The panel that chose the five finalists includes local artists and advertising professionals, as well as public health and social-marketing experts. The judges were:

  • Kenneth Cole, Founder/President of Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.
  • Cynthia Dantzic, Professor of Art at Long Island University
  • Brian Davis, Senior Peer Educator of the Child Center of New York’s Teen Impact Prevention Program (TIPP)
  • Christine Murphy, Public Sector Manager of Ansell Healthcare Products, LLC.
  • Paul Orefice, Managing Partner at the creative advertising and design firm the watsons
  • Stephen Stafford, Director of Communications at Adolescent AIDS Program at Montefiore Medical Center

And now…the finalists. All five are shown here, accompanied by brief sketches of the artists who created them (they’re listed alphabetically.) High-resolution images are available separately. Cast your vote at the Health Department’s website.

1. By Luis Acosta 1.  By Luis Acosta
A graphic designer from Kew Gardens in Queens, Acosta, 29, heard about the contest through a mass email at work. He believes his design should win because it symbolizes the power to take control and will look great in a NYC Condom fish bowl. 
2. By Virgil Alderson 2.  By Virgil Alderson
In addition to its play on words, Alderson, a 39-year-old from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, thinks his design reflects strength, protection, and hygiene, while also reminding New Yorkers of the critical role sewers have played in promoting public health in the city.
3. By Russell Greenberg 3. By Russell Greenberg
Greenberg, 29, thinks his design will remind men to be gentlemen. “Safe sex and good manners go hand in hand,” he says, “and nothing symbolizes chivalry quite like a top hat.” A resident of the Financial District, Greenberg says his design was inspired by old photographs of New York City streets filled with men in top hats and women in evening gowns.
4. By Gene Lambert 4. By Gene Lambert
Lambert, 24, lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He believes his design is appealing enough to get the product into New Yorkers’ hands. “Once it’s in your hand,” he says, “might as well keep it and use it, right?”
5. By Yujin Lee 5. By Yujin Lee
After designing 10 different condom wrappers, Lee decided to go with her gut and submit her first creation. She likes that it’s simple and made up of diverse, celebratory colors that will spark positive feelings about safer sex. “Together, we can protect each other,” says the 27-year-old East Village resident. “Together, we can protect NYC.”