NY condom design contest heads to climax

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The Independent Online

A top hat, a suggestive train tunnel and even a sewer manhole cover feature in the finals of New York's condom wrapper design contest.

The city has received some 600 entries since the competition opened December 15 for a wrapper that would "capture the city's distinctive culture while promoting safer sex."

The five design finalists include the symbol for computer "on" buttons, a circle of multi-colored bubbles reading "Together, we can protect NYC," and a picture of a train disappearing into a tunnel.

There's also a white wrapper featuring a black top hat. "Safe sex and good manners go hand in hand," the designer, Russell Greenberg, says, "and nothing symbolizes chivalry quite like a top hat."

Less romantic, but certainly functional, is Virgil Alderson's submission - a picture of a city manhole cover.

The design "reflects strength, protection and hygiene," according to a city press release. Lovers would also benefit from being reminded "of the critical role sewers have played in promoting public health in the city."

Designs came in from all over the city and as far away as Perm, Russia, the city said.

The finalists are shown on NYC Condom's Facebook page and on the website http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/condoms/condoms.shtml.

Polling started Thursday and continues to the end of Sunday, February 28.

The winner will see the design adorning millions of NYC Condom packages distributed free in city bars, clinics, gyms and other locations. The current design - which will remain in circulation - reads "NYC condom" and is modeled on a city Subway map theme.

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