The story of a German brewer based in Connecticut.

When we met Gary Naegel, he was brewing (absolutely delicious) beer in his basement. His dream was to one day have his own line of beer and his own brewery. But like most people, Gary needed someone to help bring his vision to life.

Gary’s German heritage had always been very important to him, and he had kept as many pieces from his family’s past as he could find. From several generations prior was one of his most treasured items – an embroidered heraldic achievement (commonly known as a coat of arms or a family crest). Gary knew he wanted this to be a staple of his beer packaging, but up until that point, no one had been able to illustrate it digitally while maintaining the ornateness of it. He also had no logo for his beer.

Now, watch our team work.

The logo reveal

Breathing new life into a family’s history

Enter Matchlight. First, we began by creating a logo for Gary using the first letter of his family name. In order to keep a gothic German feel, we adapted the font Xenippa which was made in that style to evoke medieval times. From there, we placed the “Z” on a coat of arms (the shield that is below the crest and helm on a heraldic achievement) and added illustrated ribbons akin to those surrounding his family coat of arms.

Other versions of the logo include the “Z” on its own or the entire “Zinkernagel” name in the adapted, gothic German font.

Then it was time for the heavy lifting. Gary had a poorly illustrated version of his family’s heraldic achievement that he shared with Matchlight, but it was unusable. Moving forward with only the embroidered version to work from, we began the job of illustrating from scratch. After hours of dedicated work, our creative director emerged from the fire with something Gary could not wait to place on his beer labels.

The main color palette 

Alternative logos 

Inspiration for brand imagery

Drawing from medieval art

The main brand colors of Zinkernagel are pulled from the heraldic crest –⁠ the red of the carnations and ribbons as well as the silver and black of the helm. The inspiration for the yellow is pulled from medieval paintings and is used as a background to evoke the idea of very old parchment. The green is inspired by the patina that arises on oxidized copper and bronze that is often seen on medieval coins.

Beer labels, imagery, and fonts

Each beer label is inspired by medieval imagery or Connecticut history –⁠ where Gary has lived for decades. The ribbons are similar to those surrounding the coat of arms, the blue is reminiscent of the coloring in medieval paintings, the tree is illustrative of the one from which Gary pulled maple syrup for his maple milk stout, and the Deacon John Grave House porter is an illustrated version of the historic house by the same name just a few short miles from Gary’s home.

Other brand imagery is always related to a German Bierhaus or Biergarten, and the font is the adapted gothic German Xenippa.

Heritage meets premier packaging

From his basement to a fully-equipped line of microbrews, Zinkernagel Brewing Company is now ready for as much delicious growth as they can handle.

It is always delightful when you meet true professionals for services and guidance that you cannot do yourself. Such is the case with Andrew and his expert team who get the job done!

Gary Naegel

Owner & Brewmaster, Zinkernagel Brewing Co.

Will your audience trust you?

Your identity is defined by the way the world experiences your brand and company – no matter where that experience occurs. Companies today have to make sure their brand is aligned on all their “storefronts” – from their brick-and-mortar presence, to their website, to their social media .

Businesses often get pitched on the idea that their logo is a brandThat is simply not the case. A logo is just the very tip of the iceberg. At Matchlight Creative we specialize in brand empowerment—not just logo creation. If you just want a logo, not a problem! We’d be delighted to help, and we have a package just for that.

But, if you want a team that can help you empower your company on a cover-to-cover initiative that ignites your entire team and builds trust with potential customers, we’re equipped and ready to make that happen.

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