Buildings and Interior

Spatial Branding

DHL buildings and spaces are used for a wide variety of purposes – from offices and service points to warehouses and innovation centers. The general principles defined in this guide will help you bring our brand personality to life in all DHL spaces. They combine our high standards for functionality, occupational safety, sustainability, and diversity with an unmistakable design. By adhering to these principles, we improve the employee and customer experience and inspire enthusiasm for our Brand.

Spatial Branding
  • Translating our Brand into our spaces
  • Examples
  • Sustainability
  • Branding elements
  • Orientation
  • Design language
  • Colors and materials
  • Furnishings
  • Flooring
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Lighting

PLEASE NOTE: This guide is intended to provide some basic direction and inspiration. It is the responsibility of the planners to ensure that rooms, buildings, and furniture meet the given structural requirements. The examples in this guide are presented intentionally because they are versatile and adaptable.

Translating our Brand into our spaces

We focus on the essentials. Our interior design is clear, bright, timeless, and functional – and supplemented by strong accents for branding and orientation. We use our brand colors, Postyellow and DHL Red, sparingly and selectively for the necessary highlights and accents. We translate our brand values into physical spaces based on these four basic themes:


Our spaces use brand-shaping elements and meaningful connections to logistics to communicate our Brand in a positive light. Each space creates a bond between our Brand and anyone who enters it. Everyone feels welcome and in good hands.


Our spaces feel equally eclectic and distinct. Orientation is easy. The design is clearly for a specific purpose or use, such as work, sales, or meeting with customers.


Sustainability is the foundation of designing all spatial touchpoints. We use durable and recyclable materials and conserve resources, both during construction and maintenance.

Globally Local

Around the world, many different cultures encounter the DHL Brand every day. That’s why it has clear, recognizable, and unchanging elements. However, we consciously and creatively incorporate regional cultures and needs into our designs. We also comply with national requirements and regulations and prioritize the use of local products.



At DHL, we take our commitment to sustainability very seriously. An essential part of our mission is to be the employer, provider, and investment of choice. That's why we design our spaces and buildings with our environmental, social, and economic responsibility in mind. Sustainability is our top priority and the foundation of all planning, not just a desired side effect. We take the following steps to realize this commitment:

  • Conserving resources (e.g., recycled materials and high energy efficiency)
  • Thoughtful workplace design
  • Conscious health management
  • Good acoustics
  • Greenery
  • Choosing digital media with changeable content over print media
  • Certification via internationally renowned certificates
  • Selecting materials and developing products in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way (e.g., cradle-to-cradle principle)


Where possible, we verify the sustainability of our spaces and buildings through renowned certification systems and make these certificates public. Evaluations cover three areas: environment, economy, and social. The most recognized and therefore recommended internationally applicable certification systems are DGNB, LEED, and BREEAM.


  • The DGNB certificate is based on the three central sustainability areas of ecology, economy, and sociocultural issues. It involves the evaluation of about 40 criteria. Certificates are available in gold, silver, and bronze.
  • Main criteria: Ecological quality, economic quality, socio-cultural/functional quality, technical quality, process quality (e.g., planning/construction), and site quality.
  • Origin: Germany
  • Validity: International

BREEAM – Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method

  • BREEAM primarily evaluates the ecological and social sustainability of buildings. BREEAM’s ratings include Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent, and Outstanding. 
  • Main criteria: Management, health and well-being, energy, transport/accessibility, water supply, materials, waste production, land use, pollution, innovation
  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Validity: International

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

  • LEED is an international green building rating system. LEED offers the following four rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
  • Main criteria: Integrative process, location and transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation, regional priority
  • Origin: USA
  • Validity: International

Find a list of these and other recognized certification systems at

Cradle to Cradle

Use materials, products, and furnishings that follow the cradle-to-cradle principle: Once used, they can be recycled in a biological cycle or a technical cycle and are free of any harmful waste products.

Find more information at


Branding elements


Our Brand needs to be easily recognizable from both near and far. Outdoors, we use different signs, such as single signs and band signs, to ensure this. Indoors, Postyellow brand walls or single signs ensure the DHL Logo is the center of attention. Review the related guides to learn about construction and size.

Other visual brand communications

Beyond our eye-catching signage, we use other visual design elements to subtly augment our brand personality. These elements should be “globally local” – consistent with our global Brand but locally sourced and produced. They should be appropriate for and serve the purpose of the building or facility. Overall, these elements should reflect the world of logistics. All design elements should use our typeface “Delivery”, brand colors, and on-brand pictures/illustrations.

DPDHL Group’s tailor-made typeface “Delivery”

Graphic elements from the world of logistics

Imagery and video content from the Media Library for posters, large prints, or screens

High-quality DHL illustration style and DHL icons

Furnishings and other brand-related objects

We can also express our brand personality selectively through the furnishings and other logistics-related objects we choose. Such expressive furnishings should be seen mostly as decorative and used sparingly and selectively – significantly less than our standard furnishings.

The examples below are intended to provide some direction and can be adapted to your needs. That means you can design them in many different ways as long as the association with logistics is clear. General requirements for our standard furniture and matching examples can be found in the “Furnishings” section below.

The items and materials used in logistics, such as containers, pallets, plywood, and cardboard, can be integrated into our furnishing, with practical and versatile details such as handles, rollers, and tie-down straps. Horizontal grooves reflect the design of our dynamic logo. It’s also possible to integrate and adapt authentic logistics objects, such as air freight containers. You can use acoustical materials, such as micro-perforated trapezoidal sheet metal, to construct these objects, depending on your needs.

Sound-proof booths for making calls and minimizing distraction on a pallet base (flexibly adaptable example)

Multifunctional element for office storage space that looks like a container (flexibly adaptable example)

Table made of cardboard rolls and a tie-down strap (flexibly adaptable example)

Robust, metal packing table (flexibly adaptable example)

Shelf on a pallet base (flexibly adaptable example)

Cubic counter with a red horizontal groove in front of a brand wall (flexibly adaptable example)

Air freight container converted into a lounge (flexibly adaptable example)

Seating/meeting box made of wood with tie-down straps and rollers (flexibly adaptable example)



Make orientation as easy as possible at each DHL touchpoint. Outdoors, we use pylons to direct people where to go. Indoors, we use customized directional signs. You can find out more in the related guides on signage and directional signage.

Design language

Our brand promise is “Excellence. Simply delivered.” In our spaces, we use simplicity and clarity to communicate our excellence in the logistics business. We express our design language as follows:

  • Cubic, linear, simple and elegant
  • Purist and clear
  • Functional
  • Orthogonal
  • Small radii
  • Conserving resources by using fewer materials
  • Elements that reflect our brand
    (e.g., using horizontal grooves that connect to the DHL logo)
  • Complementary, logistics-related elements (e.g., handles, container walls, and rolls)

Our furnishings are cubic, linear, simple and elegant, so they fit together well.


Colors and materials

Beyond communicating our Brand, our spaces aim to give people an excellent experience. In general, all materials must meet our sustainability principles (see “Sustainability” section above). We prefer robust and authentic materials associated with logistics, such as light wood, plywood, sheet metal, metal grid, and cardboard. We achieve this by doing the following:

  • Applying our brand colors purposefully and as an accent for signage, orientation, and brand communication
  • Extensive use of a subtle and natural secondary color palette for floors, walls, ceilings, and furnishings
  • Bright, subtle blue and green accent colors
  • Sustainable, preferably certified materials
  • Logistics-related materials, such as light wood, sheet metal, and cardboard

Our palette is predominantly bright and subtle to allow our brand colors to be powerful accents.

Using our brand colors

Our clearly defined brand colors, Postyellow and DHL Red, are used purposefully and as an accent for signage, orientation, and visual brand communication. Overall, use these two powerful colors sparingly to avoid dominating the space and to ensure a high-quality spatial experience. In a highly competitive environment, such as a trade fair, you can use the colors more boldly to increase recognition and make our Brand stand out.

Do not use other shades of yellow or red to present our Brand. For this reason, do not use yellow or red furniture because it distorts our overall brand image. An exception can be made for certain equipment or furnishings, which may be Postyellow if their function dictates it (e.g., self-service terminals or sales displays). Exceptions can also be made for trade show booths. Never use red or yellow flooring, partitions, tables, chairs, armchairs, or sofas. These furnishings are explicitly not branding elements.

In interior spaces, DHL Red may only be used in the logo or for individual accents. As a result, interior spaces may not include separate red areas or completely red furniture. You may not have DHL Red walls or red accessories such as lampshades or wastepaper baskets. The dominant brand color should always be Postyellow.

Additional colors

The subtle spatial secondary color palette creates a pleasant and bright atmosphere. It contains mainly light, neutral white, grey, and natural tones. For this purpose, you may use very bright, desaturated color tones from the blue and green spectrum as accents.


We prefer light, matt woods with a soap finish and low red and yellow tones. Use wood that you can easily source locally. In Europe, for example, that would be oak.

Textiles are suitable for the building/purpose and meet relevant fire protection requirements, with a subtle coloration and without patterns. Wherever possible, use recycled materials that follow the cradle-to-cradle principle.

Range of materials for DHL Service Points

Range of materials for DHL office spaces

Range of materials for DHL office spaces



Order ready-made or customized furnishings that comply with our sustainability principles and, if possible, are certified. All furniture should conform to our clear and simple cubic design language and have a subtle color scheme. Ideally, use office furniture from the same product family Also, always ensure furnishings are user-friendly, ergonomic, designed with a purpose, and as versatile as possible. Choose the furniture color scheme based on the degree of use. For example, do not design high traffic surfaces in pure white.

Example: Office furniture from one product family

  • Modularity creates flexibility
  • Enables user-oriented workplace design 
  • Simple, light design
  • Cubic design language and harmonious overall appearance

Example: Office chair

  • Ergonomic
  • Dark upholstery; avoid bright, intense colors or patterns
  • Breathable, robust
  • Vertically adjustable
  • Vertically adjustable armrests
  • 5-star legs on rollers
  • Certified products where possible

Example: Office desk

  • Vertically adjustable
  • Non-reflective surface
  • Light grey
  • Certified products where possible

Example: Office storage space

  • Modular system(3-6 file heights)
  • Sliding doors
  • Quiet doors

Example: Office conference table

  • No cold surfaces/table tops
  • Avoid chrome frames/legs where possible
  • Desk connection panel
  • Certified products where possible

Example: Office conference room chair

  • Ergonomic
  • Dark upholstery; avoid bright, intense colors or patterns
  • Breathable, robust
  • Armrests
  • Rotatable
  • No rollers
  • Certified products where possible

Example: Office conference room sideboard

  • Higher quality
  • Customizable
  • 2-3 file heights

Example: Flexible office partition

  • Fast and easy setup
  • Flexible use
  • Low material, maintenance, and personnel costs
  • Many design options
  • Good acoustic properties
  • Whiteboard
  • Screen

Example: DHL Service Point packing table

  • Packing and unpacking packages
  • Completing address labels
  • Sit and stand positions
  • Space for labels, pens, etc.

Example: DHL Service Point shelf

  • Showcase different parcel sizes
  • Self-service by the customer
  • Uncluttered and organized look
  • Showcase different parcel sizes
  • Self-service by the customer
  • Uncluttered and organized look


Design flooring in DHL spaces that meet all requirements and are sufficiently robust. Use conservative colors.



Design walls based on the individual local conditions. Cleverly chosen interior wall materials, such as clay and lime plaster, offer many advantages:

  • Creates a pleasant indoor climate
  • Regulates humidity
  • Absorbs pollutants
  • Reduces noise
  • Antibacterial and breathable
  • Disinfects


A thoughtful, intelligent ceiling design can have a positive influence on lighting and acoustics in a space. Bright colors are preferred. Design grid ceilings to be removable. Open ceilings that expose building ductwork and plumbing are a good match for a logistics business and can add an exciting design element in customer-facing rooms. If you opt for an open ceiling, make sure they are not too difficult to maintain and that the acoustics fit the overall purpose of the space.


Using appropriate planning software to design a professional lighting system ensures your lighting will better meet your requirements. In offices and production facilities, lighting that conforms to standards creates optimum working conditions and adds value.

  • Sustainable lighting design accounts for the lighting system’s entire life cycle – from product selection to disposal.
  • High-quality lighting combines good visual conditions (visual quality), a pleasant lighting atmosphere (emotional quality), and a positive effect on body and health. 
  • LEDs save a lot of energy and combine high light quality with long service life.
    Outdoors, LEDs reduce light emissions and protect nocturnal insects.
  • LED technology has a remarkable environmental footprint over its life cycle. For example, over 90% of the total carbon emitted during an LED lamp’s life cycle happens during operation, while only 2% results from production.
  • Smaller sizes and recyclable materials such as aluminum and glass save valuable resources.