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

Examples

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:

Committed

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.

Simplifying

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.

Sustainable

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.

 

Sustainability

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)

Certification

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.

DGNB e.V.
https://www.dgnb-system.de/en/system/index.php

  • 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
https://www.breeam.com/

  • 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
http://leed.usgbc.org/leed.html

  • 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
https://sbi.dk/Assets/Guide-to-sustainable-building-certifications/Guide-to-sustainable-building-certifications-August-2018-e-bog.pdf
 

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 https://www.c2ccertified.org

Don’ts

Branding elements

Signage

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 objects we choose. 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. Such expressive furnishings should be used sparingly and selectively – significantly less compared to standard furnishings. Find basic guidelines in the Furnishings section below.

It’s also possible to integrate and adapt authentic logistics objects, such as air freight containers. Add more accent to spaces with logistics-related utility and decorative items.

Below you’ll find some examples of how to put all this into practice.

Sound-proof booths for making calls and minimizing distraction on a pallet base

Multifunctional element for office storage space that looks like a container

Table made of cardboard rolls and a tie-down strap

Metal packing table

Shelf on a pallet base

Cubic counter with a red horizontal groove in front of a brand wall

Air freight container converted into a lounge

Seating/meeting box made of wood with tie-down straps and rollers

Don’ts

Orientation

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.

Don’ts

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, galvanized sheet metal, 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, galvanized 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.

Materials

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

Don’ts

Furnishings

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.

As described above under “Branding elements”, use individual accents selectively to augment our brand personality. Also, always ensure furnishings are user-friendly, ergonomic, designed with a purpose, and as versatile as possible. Ideally, use office furniture from the same product family, for example.

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

Flooring

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

Beispiele

Walls

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

Ceilings

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.

Lighting

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.