Customer-focused brand design that is approachable and relatable, showing everyday experts in action, in everyday feats of engineering.



Project Scope
Art Direction
Brand Guidelines
Brand Strategy
Branding & Identity
Signage & Wayfinding

Worked with
MacInnis Marketing
Albert Comper

hrl: have a rich history, beginning with the provision of science and engineering firepower to start Australia’s brown coal power station industry in the 1950s.

Under the leadership of new owners in 2016, hrl: undertook a bold reinvention. Design by Bird was entrusted to create a brand that would usher these changes and attitudes of a company that aspired to be more agile, sustainable, and customer-focused than ever before.

We set out to create an overarching brand philosophy that would be more approachable and relatable, showing everyday experts in action, in everyday feats of engineering. The new company tagline ‘expertise in action’ comes directly from this thinking.

We discarded the complexity and barriers between engineering and the everyday, and the everyday end consumer. By demonstrating innovation and expertise in action, we show engineering in meaningful, real-world solutions (nothing posed or static), an important step in losing unwanted associated personas that cling to the engineering industry.

We paired this with a tone of voice that is admirably nerdy and down to earth, yet technically astute. A company that is keen to share their love of engineering in bold, humanising and quirky ways.

The new brand mark consists of a wordmark and colon, prompting the question, ‘what’s next?’, exactly what you want for a brand that is striving for constant improvement. The brand colours are bold, prominently utilising the trusted hrl: blue, a nod to the organisation’s strong heritage and the modern bright green signifies the next chapter of customer focus, value, innovation and sustainability.

The end goal of the effective brand application was kept in mind during the entire process and enables the brand to adapt and be rolled out across a diverse suite of applications. A thorough brand guidelines document was created to ensure that consistency is achieved across all current and future brand applications.

A core focus of updating the brand was to affect positive cultural and attitude changes within the company. This was achieved from the top-down, adding value and equity to an already well- established and credible organisation.