Spatial Design

Interior Spaces

The appearance of our Brand inside our facilities is just as important as our branding on the outside. That’s why we want to ensure our branding is highly prominent, professional and consistent. This guide explains the basics of interior signage along with all the available options.

Interior Spaces
  • Interior design, decoration and branding
  • DHL brand walls
  • DHL single signs
  • DHL brand plates
  • Secondary branding elements
  • Interior and directional signage
  • Brand colors in interior spaces

Interior design, decoration and branding

DHL facilities have a variety of interior spaces. We divide them into two categories:

  • Office space/administrative areas
  • Warehouse production space

These two categories can be broken down into smaller units, such as:

  • Reception areas
  • Conference rooms
  • Individual and open-plan offices
  • Hallways
  • Social spaces, cafeterias or kitchenettes
  • Restrooms and changing rooms
  • Warehouses and production halls

 

Scaled branding

When branding interior spaces, it is important to determine how relevant the DHL Brand is in each individual room and where it makes sense to use our logo. Use the following basic scale:

  • Area 1 – high relevance:
    Representative spaces such as those used for receiving customers or guests
  • Area 2 – medium relevance:
    Conference rooms (with customer area, internal)
  • Area 3 – medium to low relevance:
    Internal offices, hallways, other work areas  
  • Area 4 – low relevance:
    Cafeterias, kitchens, social spaces, and warehouses
  • Area 5 – no relevance:
    Technical rooms, storage rooms, basements, restrooms and changing rooms

We use our own branding elements to display our logo in interior spaces. The DHL brand wall is an example of a primary branding element.

Secondary branding elements include posters, billboards or images from the DHL Media Library, which are used for interior decoration.

To make sure that the overall look & feel is professional and sharp, we avoid using the DHL logo or other corporate design elements arbitrarily, redundantly or for purely decorative reasons.

DHL brand walls

Our most important interior branding element is the DHL brand wall. This yellow surface or wall includes the DHL logo and is often placed in reception areas, for example. Brand walls are preferably located behind counters.

Use the Corporate Design Services online tool to view and order different versions of the brand wall.

You can design the Postyellow area of a DHL brand wall in different ways. For example, you can paint a wall or install separate walls, panels or frames. The material and size you chose depends on what’s available locally and the space in question.

Because it is your most important branding element, the DHL brand wall must be produced professionally with the proper brand colors. You can find more information about materials and colors in our Colors and Materials Design Guides.

 

Postyellow area guidelines

A brand wall is more than the DHL logo on a yellow background. It is an independent interior brand element. To make sure it stands out as such, the following criteria are crucial for planning and implementation:

  • Brand walls are rectangular, homogeneous Postyellow surfaces without their own structure. The yellow area is void of visible grooves or seams.
  • The surface is smooth and matt to prevent the reflection of room furnishings in the yellow area.
  • The yellow surface may also cover only part of the wall it is on.
  • The size of the yellow area is not specified and can be customized. It is more important to integrate the wall into the architecture and the spatial environment sensibly and harmoniously than to make it as big as possible.
  • Minimum spacing applies between the edges of the yellow area and the side walls, corners, ceiling and floor. That margin should be at least 80 mm to ensure a clear visible separation from the surrounding walls.
  • Ideally, brand walls are located exactly in the middle of a counter.
  • Avoid using visible fastening elements such as stainless steel wall brackets. Do not use them within the yellow area.
  • Do not place any furniture directly in front and thereby covering part of the brand wall. For example, if a cabinet or console is located against the wall behind the counter, the brand wall should start above it, taking the minimum spacing requirement into account.
  • Fluorescent lighting produces a yellow light in interior spaces. Avoid these elements because they influence how all other colors in the room look and may cause glare.

 

Guidelines for placing the logo within the yellow area

  • Always place the logo horizontally in the middle of the yellow area.
  • The minimum spacing between the DHL logo and the edges of the yellow area is three base units.
  • To simplify the process, there are five standard logo sizes. The spacing requirement for each size produces the minimum width of the yellow area:

Size

Logo width
(mm / inch)

Base unit
(mm / inch)

Minimum width of yellow area
(mm / inch)

XS

1450 mm / 57.1"

69 mm / 2.7"

1870 mm / 73.6"

S

1813 mm / 71.4"

86 mm / 3.4"

2330 mm / 91.7"

M

2170 mm / 85.4"

103 mm / 4.0"

2790 mm / 109.8"

L

2719 mm / 107.0"

129 mm / 5.1"

3500 mm / 137.8"

XL

3399 mm / 133.8"

161 mm / 6.3"

4370 mm / 172.0"

  • If you are installing the logo with a width other than those specified, make sure the space between the edges of the yellow area and the logo is at least three base units.
  • Do not create a DHL logo with built-up letters and laser lines (3D) as this can create unwanted shadows on the Postyellow surface. In addition, 3D logos are difficult to read from the side.
  • The best way to display the red elements of the DHL logo is flat, i.e. not protruding from the surface at all. Simply print the logo in DHL Red on adhesive film and stick it on.
  • If you need to make the DHL logo out of a material other than a film, try to make its depth as thin as possible. Thicknesses of 3 to 5 mm should be sufficient. Do not exceed a maximum material thickness of 0.4% of the logo width.
  • If you want to paint the red letters on the yellow surface, use a professionally made template to ensure the logo is clean and accurate.

DHL single signs

If you do not have enough space for a DHL brand wall, use a DHL single sign as an alternative.

The logo width in brand fields is calculated using the same specifications as the red letters on brand walls.

Size

Width × height (mm)

Width × height (inch)

XS

1450 × 320 mm

57.1" × 12.6"

S

1813 × 400 mm

71.4" × 15.7"

M

2170 × 480 mm

85.5" × 18.9"

L

2719 × 600 mm

107.0" × 23.6"

XL

3399 × 750 mm

133.8" × 29.5"



When deciding what size to make your DHL single sign, take both the available space as well as the overall proportions into account. A smaller logo surrounded by a lot of free space has a much grander effect and appears more professional than a large logo crowded by surrounding elements.

Use the DHL brand wall guidelines to determine how to place a single sign on a wall or behind a counter. The lower edge of single signs should be at a height of 1.60 to 1.90 m.

When mounting a DHL single sign, try to avoid using visible elements such as stainless steel wall brackets. One method that has proven useful is a sandwich construction, in which a mounting plate is first screwed to the wall and the actual single sign is adhered to or hung on it.

DHL brand plates

DHL brand plates offer an alternative to brand walls and single signs. Please only install them as an exception, i.e. when it is not possible to install a brand wall or single sign. Brand plates are pylon-like stands that may be placed anywhere in the room. Their height and width should be proportional to the furnishings in the room or area where they will stand.

  • Brand plates consist of a neutral-colored base plate and a flat, vertically rising Postyellow body.
  • The DHL logo is applied to one or both sides of the Postyellow surface. The logo may be displayed in two ways: either running over the entire width of the yellow area, as with outdoor pylons, or smaller and spaced at least three base units from the edge.

 

On-screen logos

You may also display the DHL logo digitally on a screen. Monitors are considered secondary branding elements. Since screens are normally reserved for moving images or changeable information, don’t use them as a substitute for DHL brand walls or single signs. There are separate guidelines for displaying the DHL logo on screens and as part of a layout. Depending on the content, please refer to our Motion Graphics, User Interface or Layout Principle Guides.

 

Primary warehouse branding elements

Warehouses are work areas and therefore are categorized as low relevance on the branding scale. Nevertheless, it may make sense to brand the space in some cases, for example if only certain areas within a larger space belong to DHL and should be marked as such. For instance, you might install a suitably sized DHL single sign on a wall for this purpose. In this case, make sure that the branding element is produced and installed professionally. And take precautions to prevent the sign from getting dirty or damaged during normal business operations.

Secondary branding elements

Branding should be rather discreet in internal office spaces, hallways and meeting areas. In these areas, use secondary branding elements, such as posters and images. Our logo and brand colors should blend into the background. Use imagery from the DHL Media Library and/or text instead. Secondary branding elements are always subordinate to primary elements.

Here it is also important to avoid randomly picking the sizes and locations of secondary branding elements. We therefore recommend developing an overall concept for these locations and media.

Especially for large areas, it is helpful to use a grid to standardize the arrangement and sizes. Coordinate all concepts and any specially designed media with Group Brand Services in advance. You may only produce and use these elements upon approval.

Please consult the relevant design guides for posters or other large surfaces where the DHL logo and text will be placed. Imagery from the DHL Media Library may be used as stand-alone media without any additional layout elements, such as the logo, gradient or text.

 

Large-scale wall illustrations

In special cases, large motifs may be put on a suitable wall merely as an illustration. Wall illustrations include word collages or quotations where elements are relatively freely arranged on a background. They are often painted or adhered onto a wall like graffiti.

However, the motifs should not contradict certain DHL corporate design guidelines: All text should be formatted exclusively in our Delivery font. Coordinate all drafts with Group Brand Services in advance. You may only produce and use them upon approval.

 

Guidelines for placing large motifs

  • Don’t select a wall that already displays other elements.
  • It must be possible to view large motifs from an appropriate distance. The average viewing distance from the wall should be about twice the height of the room or motif. This is especially true if it is placed low to the ground.
  • The edges of all wall-sized posters or billboards must always maintain a minimum distance from the edges of the wall. We recommend a minimum of 80 mm on all four sides, as with brand walls. Any furniture standing in front of the wall should not obscure the motif.

Interior and directional signage

At locations with multiple tenants (e.g. internal building maps or directories), including the DHL logo on the sign is generally sufficient. In dedicated DHL areas, additional text is used for guidance, e.g. in floor/office directories or on door signs.

Example of a directional sign and a floor directory.

The exterior signage guidelines apply here. For example, don’t use the gradient for any of these elements – and always use our Delivery Bold font in black.

There are no general layout guidelines since both the sign dimensions and the amount of text can be customized for each individual sign or application. As with exterior signage, use the base unit to help you determine the appropriate sizes and spacing.

 

Frames and sign systems

The DPDHL system profiles in the Corporate Design Services online tool make it particularly easy for you to outfit new locations. Below you will find examples of the different sign formats and sizes along with their function and use.

The various elements include:

  • Door signs
  • Small display signs
  • Small informational signs (DIN A5, DIN A4, DIN A3)
  • Large informational signs and floor directories (DIN A2 and larger)

Overview of frame formats and sizes.

Corporate Design Services

The rules for signs or display stands is the same as with other furnishings: The systems used must have a neutral color. We prefer chrome or metal surfaces, silver or grey tones, as well as glass or acrylic. Don’t use Postyellow or DHL Red here.

Example of a door and a display sign with the respective inlay layout.

We recommend a comprehensive approach for directional signage. This helps you outfit your location and define consistent placement guidelines, such as mounting heights or distances. Be sure to include how secondary branding elements will be integrated and distributed in the space.

 

Signs with and without DHL logo

Not all signs have to include the DHL Logo. Include the logo on signs that are important for branding – where it is important for people to see that it belongs to DHL. Don’t use the DHL logo on directional signs leading to restrooms, “No Smoking” and other prohibition signs, or waste sorting signs (“paper” or “residual waste”).

However, you may place DHL on general information signs (e.g. health and safety information) as well as signs listing house or campus rules.

 

Brand-independent signage

Brand-independent signage primarily includes safety notices such as symbols for fire extinguishers, escape routes and rescue plans as well as occupational safety signs. These signs are for operational purposes only and do not communicate our DHL brand.

Warehouses have appropriate safety and warning signs that warn of dangers to employees in order to prevent accidents. Safety signage always takes priority over other interior signage. These signs must follow country-specific design guidelines and not DHL’s corporate design.

However, our Delivery font can be used for these signs as well without further approval. If you have a specific case in which DHL must be included on this type of sign, please coordinate with and seek approval from Group Brand Services.

 

Glass surfaces

Our interior design also includes satin finish films for use on glass walls or doors. These surfaces require special attention because they are often located in well-kept, customer-facing parts of offices and conference areas.

The primary purpose is to provide privacy. The film prevents passersby from looking into the room through the otherwise transparent glass.

In addition, you can decorate the surface, for example with large illustrations or colored films similar to large-format wall motifs. However, you must coordinate your designs with and seek approval from Group Brand Services in advance.

It is very important to keep the following aspects in mind:

  • Avoid using text because glass surfaces can be viewed from two sides and your text will therefore be backwards and illegible on one side.
  • You may not use the DHL logo or any other logo on satin finish films.
  • You may not use negative space to create the logo, i.e. cut it out of a satin finish film, or design a logo using satin finish film.
  • If you wish to position the DHL Logo in an environment with a lot of glass, it must be produced in brand colors.
  • Also avoid any shapes derived directly from the logo, which would thus indirectly represent the brand, such as the three laser lines. You may not simply extend them for awareness and safety (e.g. to prevent people from walking into the glass), or to decorate glass surfaces.
  • Always attach films on the inside of the room and not on the outside in the hallway.

If you wish to use satin finish film to cover exterior windows for privacy, don’t use decorative motifs. The primary reason for this is safety. These kinds of films are large and do not have gaps or cracks.

If you wish to put the DHL logo glass surfaces, please review the window hinge guidelines in the DHL ServicePoints Guide.

 

Other brands or partner logos

In principle, you should plan for any interior co-branding when designing DHL branding and signage. You must coordinate with and seek approval for any co-branding from Group Brand Services in advance because certain rules apply, particularly with regard to how the logos are depicted proportionally to each other. Co-branding may not be permitted in some cases.

If you will display partner brands or logos temporarily, you must make sure the purpose is immediately recognizable and indicated accordingly (e.g. with text descriptor). DHL’s brand image may not be adversely affected in any way.

Brand colors in interior spaces

The DHL brand colors are our clearly defined Postyellow and DHL Red. Do not use other shades of yellow or red to present our Brand. For this reason, we do not allow yellow or red furniture because it noticeably distorts our intended brand image when put next to our CD-compliant branding elements. Use the brand colors exclusively for elements that serve to identify our Brand (e.g. brand walls) and for brand communications (e.g. posters), signage and directional signs.

An exception can be made for certain equipment or furnishings, which may be Postyellow if their function dictates it, for example self-service terminals or sales displays. Exceptions can also be made for trade show booths. However, don’t use red or yellow tables, chairs, armchairs, sofas or partitions. These furnishings are explicitly not branding elements.

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

Do not use the logo and other branding elements in places where they may become dirty or damaged. These include:

  • Surfaces exposed to mechanical stress and therefore scratchable
  • Doors and elevator doors
  • Walls in warehouses, e.g. along vehicle routes
  • Edge or impact protection devices
  • Floors markings
  • Doormats at building entrances

Safety markings in signal colors, e.g. floor markings in warehouses, use the standard signal yellow (e.g. RAL 1003) and not Postyellow. The same applies to warning and traffic signs, where red (e.g. RAL 3020) is used and not DHL Red.

 

Other colors and materials

Furnish your interior spaces based on their function as well as the applicable local workplace laws and regulations. When building new or renovating old spaces, be sure to create a bright and friendly atmosphere. For example, use light colors on walls and furniture.

Our brand image does not conflict with modern or innovative interiors. However, you can only use the logo in the proven manner defined here.

In addition to wood, glass, stone and metal, you may use a wide variety of furniture and upholstery surfaces and colors. This diversity provides many options for innovative interior design. Green plants or green walls can play a special role. Such designs are a good match with our Brand’s sustainability goals, which are communicated through our GoGreen program.

In areas that call for branding elements, design the overall color scheme of the space so that the other colors do not overlap with the brand colors. In this case, it’s best to opt for fewer or less intense colors. Postyellow and DHL Red go nearly perfectly with light, neutral-colored wood, metal or glass. Grey or silver tones also fit well.

You can find further inspiration for possible color shades in the Illustrations Guide. The guide shows you the colors that match well with our brand colors, which can help you to give your interior spaces a balanced yet diversified design.

 

Furnishing and decoration

Successful interior design is all about combining functional and appropriate furnishings with professional, high-quality branding. In recent years, interior design has focused more and more on creating comfortable and homey spaces. The working environment has changed. Workplaces are becoming mobile, with meetings held in lounges furnished with sofas and armchairs. New room concepts have been created, such as think tanks or telephone booths for private mobile phone use. Flexible usage and furnishing have also become a priority for conference and meeting rooms.

And there may be other ideas, requests or requirements for additional interior decorations. These include temporary décor items, such as Christmas trees or other festive holiday ornamentation.

Depending on your location, however, you may also wish to have permanent themed decorations. Because these may have an impact on our Brand image, you must coordinate with and seek approval of all ideas and concepts from Group Brand Services in advance.

This includes installing flags indoors, which some may want to do to showcase DHL’s international character. However, national flags are an official emblem of nation states. Therefore, out of respect for their proper function, you should avoid putting up many different national flags for purely decorative reasons. The same applies to flags with other emblems, such as those of sports clubs or political parties.

Please also consider carefully whether it is indeed appropriate to install DHL branded flags indoors. If your purpose is primarily decorative in nature, you should abandon the idea. The lightweight fabric that enables flags to wave in the wind is not well suited as a permanent indoor branding element.