Duetto (2016-18)

Chicago-based startup Duetto has always focused on helping companies and employees combat burnout. As a brand-new organization in 2016, Duetto needed a logo and supporting materials to gain traction with potential investors and partners. In the years since, the company has grown and shifted - and the brand has grown as well. Today, Duetto helps companies retain their employees and increase productivity by minimizing individuals’ mental load as Duetto’s researchers take on the stressful and time-consuming questions that spring up throughout the workday.

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The initial direction

Duetto’s core mission is to help companies retain top millennial talent, thereby reducing costs related to retraining, recruiting, and client disruption. The organization originated as a startup offering groundbreaking childcare solutions that created freedom for working parents and improves childhood learning and socialization. Through a new approach to childcare, Duetto sought to alleviate the stress, anxiety, and guilt that parents feel when they return to work after maternity/paternity leave.

“It’s the 21st century. Why must we make a choice between family and career? Something has to change.”

Sapna Parmar, Founder & CEO

The Duetto brand needed a logo that appeared expensive and high end with an approachable and comforting human touch. Preliminary research and thumbnail exploration focused on the concept of partnership across all stakeholders: Duetto and firm, firm and employee, parent and child.

Leading directions were taken to focus groups with working parents as well as advisory board members, ultimately leading to the selection of a script-based logo.

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After the logo and brand identity were established, supporting materials were created. Expanding from a variety of investor pitch decks, these materials came to include business cards, take-home materials, booklets, folders, flyers, job applications, registration forms, digital newsletters, calendars, and even menus. Website assistance was also provided, in addition to the creation of social media icons. Primary materials were created in Microsoft Office to enable future editing after handoff.


The pivot

In 2017, Duetto shifted to a new business model and sought to update the logo. The new design needed to reflect the recent change in direction from childcare and education to a family concierge and coach.

“I want to give women the ability to be active participants in their children’s lives and stay at the top of the game in their careers - so that when we teach girls the world is their oyster, it’s actually true.”

Sapna Parmar, Founder & CEO

Prior logo explorations were leveraged, as this logo also needed to connect with firms while remaining approachable for families. However, as the new Duetto offering grew increasingly digital, new logo concepts stepped away from the script aesthetic to focus on a highly modern look. A grid texture was introduced, inspired by contractor and architect metaphors. In keeping with this theme, logo exploration focused on the relationship between the two t’s as a natural place to communicate partnership.

In the selected design, the bridge between the t’s becomes nearly anthropomorphic to convey the concept of support. The logo is rendered in a classic serif typeface that resonates with all stakeholders - corporations and individuals alike - while lowercase letters communicate friendliness.

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A graphic abstraction of the new Duetto logo, below, was leveraged to introduce a variety of blue hues into the Duetto identity. It has been used for business cards and notecards as well as social media assets.