Andy Ward
March 2011
In the spring of 2010 I was invited by Goodby Silverstein & Partners to participate in a charity campaign for the French charity AIDES. An international group of illustrators, comic book artists, and animators were selected to produce a series of comic strips, panels etc. for a campaign to raise awareness of HIV & AIDS and promote safe sex. The brief for this assignment was delivered via UPS from the agencies offices in San Francisco in the form of a 12 inch personalised condom packet. Inside a flat rubber disc was an illustrated super hero comic book brief, a call to arms and lowdown on the work of AIDES. Already, working with Goodby Silverstein was pretty special. Agencies out there if you want to fire up an artist for pro bono work take a leaf out of Goodby Silverstein’s book.
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

Working with the team at Goodby Silverstein was a lot of fun - a big thanks to you all for selection, direction and having contributed to the projection of correction in erection perfection.
Contributing to this series for AIDES was without doubt the worthiest route my arwork has travelled.  AIDES are doing great work, If you enjoy the artwork please forward on and help spread the message.
list of credits
AD:  Adrien Bindi
CW:  Nat Lawlor
CD:  Erik Verveogen
Art Buyer/Producer:  Britt Gardner
Illustrator:  Andy Ward
Operations:  Natalie Kassab/Renee Fisher
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