As frazzled procrastinators scurry around New York City to grab the last Valentine’s Day-themed Whitman’s Sampler, teams of city employees are fanning out to distribute special holiday treats gift-wrapped by designer Yves Behar. Inside those bold new packages? Official NYC condoms, which will debut along with the new Behar-designed dispenser in 200 NYC venues in coming weeks.
The New York City Health Department introduced the NYC Condom last year on Valentine’s Day (in a more pedestrian package) and has since distributed more than 36 million free condoms, which is about seven times the number given out annually just a few years ago.
“At the core, I really believe that design can make a difference,” Behar told us. “The design of the dispenser and condom wrapper removes a stigma, a shame, and allows people to start a conversation about condom use, safe sex, etc…but it should never be a bore.” So in designing (pro bono) the integrated system of the condom’s packaging and its dispenser, he aimed to make them friendly and fun.
Behar and his fuseproject team used hydroforming to achieve the dispenser’s smooth, clean design while keeping crisp details around the branding. “The shape [of the dispenser] is reminiscent of a condom creating a relief in a surface (like a condom in a wallet) referencing the item inside, but without being too literal,” he said. And what sans serif typeface was selected to convey the friendly, youthful tone Behar was after for the wrapper’s logo? Gotham, of course.