6 Min Lesezeit

New corporate design and more: Finnish glass manufacturer Iittala has completely revamped its brand identity. A new logo and the colour “fire-yellow” are intended to give the brand a fresher look, while underlining its tradition as an experimental design brand. New creative director focuses on finding a balance between craftsmanship, design and art.

By Thomas Wagner

Iittala Finnish glass manufacturer, 1881
Iittala, Finnish glass manufacturer since 1881

The image of a well-known and established brand cannot remain static. On the one hand, a brand’s corporate identity should honour the legacy that is familiar to its most loyal customers. On the other hand, it must remain relevant and fashionable. Anyone with an interest in design and tableware knows their brand: Iittala, the Finnish glass manufacturer. Founded in 1881 in the small community of Iittala (located in the Hämeenlinna district between Helsinki and Tampere), Iittala became part of the Fiskars Group in 2007, which serves as a record of the company’s long, somewhat turbulent history in its early years. In the beginning, the glass manufacturer mainly produced various kinds of glass bottles for pharmacy products and glass oil lamps, but later added household goods and tableware to its repertoire. Iittala’s success story as a renowned design brand began in the 1930s with legendary designers such as Alvar Aalto, Aino Aalto and Kaj Franck, who surprised with products that were as beautiful as they were functional. To this day, the brand’s reputation is based on the combination of perfect craftsmanship and innovative design, sometimes paired with a touch of mysticism.

Janni Vepsäläinen, Iittala Creative Director, 2023


Branding involves more than just creating a graphic identity. Specially for a company with long tradition, it should nonor its cultural and historical roots and product philosophy. It should preserve the essence of the company. With new creative director Janni Vepsäläinen, Iittala is now “ready to redefine its approach in the world of design”. Iittala, says Vepsäläinen, has a unique history: “I see Iittala as a creative universe that shapes culture and invites its audience to experience and engage with the world through every touch. I see Iittala as a creative universe that shapes culture and invites people to experience and engage with the world at every touch”. This will be achieved through exciting partnerships with other artists and brands, events and exhibitions, retail and branded content across multiple channels, and of course on a daily basis with our products. Iittala wants to go beyond “what our audience has known from Iittala” and offer “new and unexpected customer experiences”. In other words: “We are reinforcing Iittala’s founding identity as a ground-breaking, bold and experimental design brand. Our commitment to craftsmanship, innovation and artistic collaboration will define the next chapter of Iittala. We look forward to inviting our community to join our creative universe”.

New Logo, new Era

The new brand identity is the beginning of a new era for Iittala. Craftsmanship, design and art will merge into a new culture of global creativity. It remains to be seen whether the characteristics of Iittala’s distinctive Scandinavian design will come to the forefront in this new “creative universe”, or whether they will be overshadowed by the zeitgeist and ephemeral gimmicks.

First evidence of change: The colour red has disappeared completely from the brand’s image, and not just from the logo. In its place is an intense “fire yellow”, which, Vepsäläinen explains, symbolises the molten glass when it comes out of the oven freshly formed into a new shape. “The colour represents joy, energy and creativity. What other colour could be more appropriate for such an energetic brand as Iittala? The new Iittala logo was designed by Aleksi Tammi and typographer Göran Söderström, who developed a complete typeface under Tammi’s direction. Tammi has worked with brands like Nike and Adidas and artists like The Weeknd, Troye Sivan and Grimes. Söderström has designed his own typefaces for companies like Acne Studios, Gucci and Fjällräven.

Logo  Iittala Design Glasmanufaktur
New Logo Iittala, 2023

In Capital Letters

The brand previous logo had a red circle behind the letter ‘i’ as an eye-catcher, representing a glassblower’s tube with some molten glass at the top. Designed by Timo Sarpaneva in 1956, the red logo has been used since 2001. Iittala’s new logo’s main feature is the redesign of the typography on a “fire yellow” background. Their new wordmark consists entirely of uppercase letters rather than lowercase letters as before. The letters are slightly flared, with up and down strokes at the corners, similar to a classic serif typeface, giving it a classic look. The letters “TT” are made as a compound letter, as are the two “II” so that the double T ligature doesn’t look too far apart, and the last syllable “ALA” is wide and symbolic.

Their new typeface is called “Aino”. It is a tribute to Aino Aalto, one of the pioneers of Finnish design and Iittala’s longest-running series of glassware, originally called “Bölgeblick”, which was launched in 1932. Aino typeface was designed to embody “elegance, versatility and uniqueness without compromising legibility”. Iittala’s new logo is also inspired by historical versions, in particular the 1892 Iittala logo. The ligature of the two Ts also has historical roots in the company’s past. The mention of the founding year 1881 below the lettering is a tribute to the brand’s rich history and glassmaking tradition.

Iittala logo – before and after, image source: Iittala, image montage by: dt

Room for Playground

The boundaries between design and art, beyond functional standards, have been shifting in the field of glass and ceramics for some time. At Iitalla, this is now becoming more apparent. Whether the experimentation recently described in a “manifesto” harmonises with the more classic-looking wordmark is debatable. According to Vepsäläinen, Iittala’s playground is the home, designing a way to tell stories about the ever-changing world, stories about living together: “We want to appeal to the curious, the cultured, the intelligent – with a sense of humour”.

The first collection created under the new creative direction is appropriately called “Iittala PLAY”. Our products (glassware, ceramic tableware, textiles and candles) are colourful and playful and are designed to meet the needs of urban households. “The PLAY home accessories and objects are multifunctional items made to be shared and loved,” says Vepsäläinen. In keeping with the spirit of the times, Iittala wants to become a cultural player and offers collaborations to artists from various fields. The first was London-based sound artist, composer and performer Damsel Elysium. Together with Iittala she has created a series of glass objects that can be played like percussion instruments, singing bowls or bells. Others amplify sound like a funnel.

More on ndion

Other related articles around Brand and Product Design.

Social Media:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email