Defining a core brand
NPL Group is a major force in brownfield regeneration and development in the UK. They typically work with former industrial and commercial sites, repurposing them for new, useful and environment-friendly futures.
Over its twenty-year history, the Group has grown by acquiring and uniting lots of disparate companies. By the time they came to us, they were burdened with a confusing collection of different legacy brands. Our job was to look at all aspects of the business, define a core brand proposition, and then apply it to a complex hierarchy of sub-brands and companies
Finding a focus
NPL’s various divisions are involved in everything from building offices and generating energy to recycling waste. We needed to find a core proposition that would unite the Group under one banner. After running a series of workshops with the client team we settled on ‘we transform land’ - a simple statement that immediately conveys the nature of the business.
Stakes in the ground
We evolved the group identity based on existing assets, developing a design language that would apply equally to all parts of the business. The ‘three stakes’ symbol was central to our plan, with the three core services of the Group - development, energy and environmental work - each getting their own stake.
This symbol is now used across the NPL Group, with a colour change across each service and a unified look and feel in all applications, from marketing and publications to vehicle livery.
Developing the hierarchy
We created a ‘family tree’ for the three core services, with up to 13 different businesses within each service. It was also important to identify specific activities within the group’s world, so we designed a suite of icons around simple line-drawn images, such as factory chimneys and chemical containers.
Applying the brand
The new brand has been applied to signage, both at the business’s own premises and on development sites. It’s been used on brochures, vehicle livery and, naturally, on the company website.
We’ve also prepared an extensive and definitive brand bible detailing colours, fonts, graphic patterns and general design principles. This allows NPL’s internal teams - and any other agencies they may work with - to follow guidelines and maintain a fully unified brand identity.