From the Series
Created by Maryland Institute College of Art graduate and graphic designer Erica Benamy, Pill Talk is a multi-part creative campaign that centres on the de-stigmatisation of birth control. Part of her final year thesis, it includes a zine, various custom designed items like stickers and calendars, and the concept and design for a contraceptive-tracking app.
Despite widespread use across the world, birth control pills – while easily prescribed – have long been a source of confusion. Most first-time users have no idea how their bodies will respond and the stigma around the issue means they’re unlikely to ask the right questions. “Whenever I hear the conversation around contraceptives – specifically the Pill – in media, it’s a really negative dialogue,” Benamy told Bustle. “So, I thought it was important to continue the conversation and make it a little more approachable for people.”
Her zine, Let’s Talk About Birth Control provides women between the ages of twelve and thirty with accurate and reliable information on various birth control options, detailing the pros and cons that accompany them as well as their possible health benefits when used for non-contraceptive purposes. Featuring light-hearted doodles and a more colloquial approach to language, it's less alienating than traditional medical pamphlets.
Designed to be approachable and cute but still informative, the zine is intended to provoke a sense of ease and comfort amongst its readers making them more likely to pass it along to a friend or family member. The campaign's accompanying elements of stickers, sketchbooks and cushion covers are intended to continue the playful dialogue with handmade cheeky patterns and sassy motifs.
Benamy also designed a tracking app for birth control pill users that includes a timer and calendar to ensure regular consumption, as well as information that provides a greater understanding of what exactly users are putting in their bodies every time they take their dosage. Though still only conceptual, it caught the attention of women’s publication Bustle who honoured Benamy at their 2016 Upstart Awards, an annual celebration of emerging female leaders. The zine is still something Benamy hopes to fully develop.
Created to be inclusive of all gender identities, ages and sexual orientations, every aspect of the campaign is designed to make the concept more approachable and to eliminate the idea that birth control is solely a woman’s problem. “People don’t feel comfortable having these dialogues,” Benamy points out. “So the things I was making potentially continued the conversation.”
This is the preview of the Pill Talk app she is currently prototyping: