Localizing a 100-year old German Brand to China
Mar. 23, 2018
RWK China Visual Identity Localization
In 1923, brothers, Robert and Wilhelm Kuhlmann established the RWK high-end custom cabinet brand in Bielefeld, Germany. With nearly one hundred years of experience, the RWK brand entered the Chinese market in 2014 with the name 睿格 “Ruige.” Seeing continuous growth, they felt the urgency for brand localization and the establishment of a made for China sub-brand visual identity.
“Exquisite German craftsmanship, integrated with Chinese design elements. Listen first and then plan. Focus on the details of quality. Differentiate from others. Empower the business to expand in many directions.” These are the goals that Ruige came to us with, along with the overarching challenge of creating Ruige’s visual brand appeal to the targeted Chinese consumer. In the creation process, we created a unique brand vision using the driving concepts of “Original Chinese Fonts,” "Connection to the RWK bloodline,” “Infinite Possibilities,” “Symmetry,” “Precision,” and “Chinese Feng Shui” for guidance.
Original Chinese font, integrated with Chinese elements
Ruige's products feature superb craftsmanship and mindful integration of Chinese elements into their designs. When we designed their logo, we used original Chinese font design to simplify the Chinese “Ruige,” which is composed of complicated strokes, making it clean, elegant and recognizable.
Adhere to the RWK bloodline while creating infinite possibilities
The logo highlights the characters “Ruige,” partially enveloping the entire logo. The “RWK” draws ties to the RWK VI and English logo bloodline in the lower left, while the white space in the upper right expresses Ruige’s unlimited expansion potential in the high-end cabinet industry.
Represent the quality of a German-made brand
Both symbols and visual elements are highly symmetrical in order to highlight the precision of details reflective of Ruige's focus on details and quality.
Listen first then plan, focus on the client’s real needs
From the interlaced form of the Chinese words “Rui” and “Ge” and the symmetrical corners, the focus is on the “+” sign, which implies First: focus on the customer’s needs. Second: the ability and flexibility to present the range of Ruige sub-services. Third: The word "plus" and "home" have the same pronunciation in Chinese, further connecting the logo with the Ruige home custom cabinet work.
Embed the concept of Chinese feng shui: The sky is rounded and the land is square
A square house is the best house type in feng shui, which is in line with the concept of the ancients: The sky is rounded and the land is square. The house must be squared to achieve its stability. In the same way, a business also should have the same stability, solid. We integrated this Chinese concept in the overall design of the logo.
After the logo was created, we defined the color palette, icon set and how the logo should be used in the visual identity system for both offline and online use. The use of the main visual elements were inspired by the "+" and the different color schemes were characterized in order for Ruige to visually distinguish itself among high-end cabinet custom brands.
"Flow and Ruige China have this in common: At the beginning of design, we always listen carefully to the needs of our clients and aim to tap into the real needs behind our clients' requests. This is what makes us unique, and gives us the ability to successfully deliver and exceed client expectations."
-Ms. Petra, Marketing Director of RWK China in describing our collaboration