Duo Condoms Leverage Emoticons for Universal Condom Design

In a world of many languages, there is a constant struggle for brands to communicate their offering in a simple way that is easily understood in many places.  Many brands rely on visuals to overcome language barriers, featuring delicious fresh fruit on fruit juice products, or featuring bold and appetizing images of ingredients to ensure clarity on a crisp/chip offering.

Condom brands often rely on sensual images to do this heavy lifting, as they often don’t have the resources – or desire – to localize their product communication efforts for each country in which they sell.

Duo, a condom brand originating from Greece, aims to overcome language barriers with a slightly different approach by leveraging emoticons – the universal language of online meta-communication.



Above: Duo’s brief to their design firm: “DUO brand identity needs to be revised in order to update its worldwide look for new target audiences, better codify relevant communication and refresh its market presence.”

They have recently undergone a redesign to ensure their look quickly and simply communicates their product offering, irrespective of the user’s native tongue. While the products require more than simply glance to interpret what’s inside, they are design-centric and aspirational products that overcome the dated, over-sexed packaging we often see on condoms in more nascent markets.


Above: Duo’s campaign reflects the simplicity of their packaging, featuring instantaneously recognizable visuals to communicate their functionality.

Below: Unique packaging focused on the basic circle communicates functionality as well.

image 4

image 2

image 3

While the approach does a great job at overcoming language barriers, cultural barriers, religious or sociopolitical sensitivities, its symbolic abstractness may be a stretch for a developing market. Either way, it’s a different approach that attempts to reach users in a non-traditional way and condom brands interested in operating in various cultural and political arena’s should take heed of Duo’s ground breaking design work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s