Thanks to the holidays, its taken me a little longer than it usually does to get myself into gear and go through the initial research for my project, so things are going somewhat slowly right now.

Anyway, after analysing what I’ve found I have realised a few key things about safe sex advertising and how they convey information…

1.  Humor Almost every advert, poster, website, etc. I’ve seen has used an element of humor within their design.  I find that this usually makes you remember what ever message the design is trying to tell you and you’re more likely to mention it you your friends purely because it’s funny.  Some ‘jokes’ however are slightly hidden, so the audience has to think before they ‘get it’.

2.  Shock tactics.  A lot of the designs I’ve come across have used shocking images in order to quickly get your attention and get their point across.

3.  Illustration.  While often not anatomically correct, a lot of safe sex campaigns rely on the presence of an illustrates mascot to ‘tell’ their message.  If taking this rout however, they need to be careful in ensuring that the illustration is both appropriate an not simply decoration.

4.  Semiotics.  Referencing existing meanings of cultural symbols.  For example, this lifesaver ad uses a condoms resemblance to a life ring to get their message across.  

5.  Instalation.  I have come across one example of installation being used to convey the message of safe sex.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to design anything on such a scale, but it’s defiantly something to think about.