Their ECD is now Erik Vervroegen and I was aware of his work through a 2008 poster campaign again for AIDES illustrated by the incedible James Jean. Vervroegen’s continous work with AIDES has raised it’s profile from a little known French organisation to the largest HIV prevention organisation in Europe, acheived via unpaid collaboration between agencies, photographers, illustrators etc. Guided by Vervroegen, AIDES now have an enormous presence in advertising as a result of these provocative award winning campaigns. Even if you’re familiar with the work of Erik Vervroegen and his teams it’s worth a google hit refresh for those razor sharp visual communication skills once in a while.
For this campaign the agency turned to Comics, graphic novels, and animation to push their message. To help difuse the clumsy, awkward subject of condom use humour was employed to uplift this message. The piece i worked on was a take on the Golden books style of children’s stories from the 50s and 60s featuring Charlie the trouser snake and friends. A good week was spent sketching out and exploring the possibilities and limits of the characters in order to find the right look. Balancing the syle of kids book characters with metaphorical genitalia took a little while to get right.
Today Betsy the bearded clam will not be having her fancy tickled
The magic hat is revealed to Charlie
As the sketches moved to colour, a looser sketchier style was decided on and a hand painted wash feel for the backgrounds sitting on a textured vintage paper.
Early colour sketches of Charlie
Some of the early character designs were just plain wrong. On so many levels.
An earlier layout sketch with echoes of a Golden Books binding strip border