Established in 1846, Rückl is a family-owned glassmaker in Nižbor in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, producing both classic-cut crystal (like this) and more contemporary products (like this). Having survived two world wars, the company didn’t fare too well after the rise of Communism in the 1940s — losing the ability to use the company’s name and abiding to production by state rules — followed by the Soviet occupation but another Rückl family member began its reconstruction in the late 1980s and after new investment last year, the company is thriving again. Last year, Rückl introduced a new identity designed by Prague, Czech Republic-based Studio Najbrt.
The redesign of the logo was primarily lead by the effort to preserve the spirit and story of the original 1901 logo with the bottle-opening stork, while at the same time satisfying the current demands for maximum readability even in small sizes, such as on screens, or when etching or engraving into glass. The original shape of the shield has been replaced by a more pleasant and simple oval, which coincides with the new collection of Rückl’s new artistic director Rony Plesl. While the linear bird retained elegant silhouette and the plug in its beak, the bottle of pharma glass disappeared from the logo together with its position of the company’s main product. The black and white reproduces the color of the stork’s wings and is supplemented by light apricot.
The company employed two separate logos previously: the stork logo in a shield shape and a script-ish logo. Neither shined for their execution. The old stork logo had a very odd crest shape and was surrounded by some heavy typography and confined to a rectangle. The type-based logo was a whack combination of a funky script-italic thing and a terrible slab serif. Neither one of the logos hinted at the quality or delicateness of the product, something the new logo is able to capture beautifully in a minimal, crisp redrawing of the stork, using a thin-line approach that echoes the thickness of a glass rim.
The stork loses some of its original meaning with the removal of the apothecary bottle and makes it rather unclear what it is holding in its beak. At first I thought it was some kind of giant nail before I had paid close attention to the old logo, then I thought it was a dagger, and eventually I realized it was the cap of the bottle. To old customers this might not be an issue but I can’t imagine that Rückl has a ton of repeat customers since fancy glass is not something you buy on a recurring schedule. To new customers it might not even be an issue either since they are there for the glass but to designers on a logo blog, it does raise questions about how easy or hard it is to interpret. Nonetheless, the execution is quite nice. The oval holding shape makes it feel contemporary, along with the sans serif wordmark that I kinda wish was a hair lighter to match the thickness of the oval and the stork.
The applications are very straightforward, basically placing the logo front, top, and center everywhere possible but it all works elegantly and appropriately. The peach color used throughout livens things up in the packaging and materials while the use of black in the retail spaces gives it an elegance that helps justify the prices of the products — at $50 to a $100 per glass, these ain’t no red Solo cups. Overall, a beautiful, contemporary evolution that pays homage to the company’s beginnings.