Small, It's Rubber and It Aims to Save Lives - The Perkin Has Landed
June 3, 1999
Strictly embargoed: Thursday June 3 1999.
Don't be surprised if over the next few weeks people start asking "What's
The small but perfectly formed rubber symbol whose role is to help raise
awareness of the increasing incidence of male cancers can be found in
WH Smith and House of Fraser stores across the country.
The everyman perkin is very different from traditional devices such as
ribbons and flowers used by other charities to raise awareness of their
causes. Created by London design agency sans+baum, it is inspired by the
'x' and 'y' chromosome structure which is unique to men, and is launched
at the start of The Institute of Cancer Research's (ICR) second annual
everyman male cancer awareness month this June.
"Both prostate and testicular cancer are on the increase in the UK and
we face considerable challenges not only in medical research but in the
fact that men are notoriously bad at paying attention to health matters,"
said Professor Colin Cooper of the ICR's everyman campaign.
"Our new MORI poll shows that the majority of men are ignorant of the
facts surrounding male cancers and think there is too little information
available about them. The everyman perkin is just one element of our work,
but if it helps to inform people, gets them talking and raises money for
male cancers it will have done an important job," he added.
John Heyd, Marketing Manager of the everyman campaign commented: "The
MORI results also show that, apart from their GPs, men are more likely
to talk about their health to women - either mothers or partners, so the
perkin is designed to appeal to them too. Although it is based on the
male 'x' and 'y' chromosomes, its appearance is neither masculine nor
feminine. It should also appeal across all age ranges since testicular
cancer affects young men, and prostate cancer the older age range."
As for the name perkin: "When the 'xy' design was being developed, everyone
was calling it different things such as symbol, icon, emblem, badge etc.
Perkin seemed a better option to me - I made up the name and it has stuck.
I believe it adds to the symbol's identity and also reflects its quirkiness
and individuality. Don't bother looking 'perkin' up in the dictionary
- its not in there, yet!"
For further information please contact The Institute of Cancer Research
press office on 0171 970 6030.
Notes to editors:
Professor Colin Cooper, development director of the ICR's Male Urological
Cancer Centre, is available for comment or interview. Requests should
be made to Katy Bell or Sadie East on 0171 970 6030.
The ICR everyman campaign was launched in September 1997 to
increase awareness of testicular and prostate cancer and to raise
funds for the UK's first dedicated research facility into male cancers.
The ICR promotes a simple self-examination for testicular cancer
in a special leaflet that is available by telephoning 0171 352
For further information please contact:-
The Press Office Tel: 0171 970 6030 email: