Opinion

Branding Vintage Condoms: Remember Your Rubbers!

A selection of vintage condoms (images from ep.tc/condom-envelopes/)

You’ve seen it before with heroin bags, but now check out a typology of a different, (potentially) less dangerous sort. Here’s a collection of vintage condoms, from wrappers and “envelopes” to actual tins, which look really cool. The branding is the funniest part– would you buy a condom called “Sedatex”? How about the subtle “Pousse L’Amour”?

“Fulton” brand condoms are for the patriotic, with their wavy blue and red lines on white paper. “Devilskin” is guaranteed for three whole years! “Perma-Tex” are sold “for the prevention of disease only,” following a hygienic current in the condoms’ sloganeering. “Bufalo” shows a slightly phallic rampaging buffalo, symbolism for what will happen on its use? I happen to really like the oriental architecture silhouettes of “Odalisca”. The cheery simplicity of “The Best” is definitely the best, even though it could pass for a political pin.

A selection of vintage condoms (images from ep.tc/condom-envelopes/)

These condom wrappers, made of printed paper, are so graphically interesting and fun that it really makes me wonder what we’re doing with our contemporary condom design. Trojan is ridiculously boring. Those NYC-brand condoms were kind of a flop (pun, lol). All we’re left with is one-off vanity or comic condoms like oh… a Barack Obama rubber. Hot. With the added advantage of nostalgia, these vintage condoms manage to be both classy and funny. May I offer you another “mimosa”?

You could spice up your prophylactic life, though, by purchasing a vintage condom tin and storing your contemporary condoms in it. Check out eBay for a surprisingly large amount of condom paraphernalia. This Trojans tin is nice, but I definitely prefer the Golden Pheasant. There’s even a book of vintage condom design, the appropriately titled Remember Your Rubbers!

Also, couldn’t contemporary artists take on the condom as a medium? I really think this a new genre waiting to happen, just need to get Damien Hirst on it… he can prevent us from making our own mini Jackson Pollocks.

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