Local Emeryville Artist’s Condom Wrapper Design helping fight AIDS
Emeryville resident and graphic designer Leila Singleton has teamed up with ONE Condoms in an online donation effort where enough online votes could mean up to ten thousand free condoms for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), one of the largest and oldest community-based AIDS service organizations in the United States. “Enough condoms for all the people in our little city of Emeryville!” Singleton joked.
The project, ONE Condoms All-Stars, features art by nine past winners of ONE’s annual condom wrapper design contest. Singleton — a 2006 Judge’s Pick winner, and the only Bay Area artist featured in the project — accepted the company’s invitation to create a new wrapper for All-Stars consideration in Summer 2015. Her design passed muster and went live on the ONE website on February 4.
While her participation guarantees a donation of 1,000 condoms from ONE to SFAF, she hopes to outdo that number tenfold with help from the public, who can nab two bonus rubbers for the organization each time they vote for her design on the just-launched All-Stars web page. Visitors to the page are allowed to vote once every day through April 1. Singleton’s lure to voters? A vibrant illustration that she’s affectionately dubbed “ONE for Every Hump,” featuring two camels sporting prophylactics on their lovely dromedary lumps. Singleton’s playful approach fits right in with the colorful and edgy wrappers for which ONE Condoms is known, and will ultimately be printed on product packaging.
“Humor takes the edge off just about anything,” Singleton says. “Safe sex is still an uncomfortable subject for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. If something as simple as an amusing illustration on a condom wrapper makes the subject easier to broach for even one person, that would be a great victory!”
Sadly, national statistics do indicate that people across a wide range of demographics struggle to consistently practice safe sex using condoms. UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, holds that, “Condoms are a critical component in a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections,” yet in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 60 percent of sexually active high school students use condoms. A 2014 CDC study found that only 16 percent of men who have sex with men reported consistent condom use during the study period. And in 2010, the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that more than 90 percent of men over 50 didn’t use a condom when they last had sex with someone they knew; 70 percent didn’t do so when they slept with a stranger. A majority of women over 50 also reported having sex without a condom.
In the face of such alarming statistics, Singleton is determined to get the word out about ONE Condoms’ generous 200 percent match per vote.
“I’m a child of the 80s, and when I was growing up, HIV/AIDS was a death sentence,” she says. “Fast forward to today — thanks to amazing advancements in medicine, the disease can now be chronic rather than fatal. People afflicted with HIV/AIDS have gained decades to share with loved ones. But maybe that gain has caused us to lose the urgency of the ‘no glove, no love’ message?”
That message is, evidently, as important as ever to SFAF — each year the Foundation distributes hundreds of thousands of condoms to our neighbors in San Francisco. That commitment to safe sex is what led Singleton to select SFAF as the recipient of her donation, and this year Singleton would like to add a little to that impressive stat.
“It may be a dream, but I’d love to be able to tell SFAF that they can expect a surplus of 10,000 condoms in 2016. I just hope enough online voters will help us do that.” As for Singleton, she is expecting the more modest sum of 365 condoms in return for her artwork.
Voting is underway for ONE All-Stars; visit onecondoms.com through April 1st. One vote can be cast per day.
Leila Singleton is an award-winning freelance graphic designer living in Emeryville. Her work has won numerous accolades, including her fourth American Graphic Design Award in 2015. Singleton’s work appears in more than a dozen books and magazines, and has been exhibited in such places as Times Square, New York City; and Kharkov, Ukraine.
Visit her online at leilasingleton.com