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Human Resources and Organisational Development

Brand identity to unify two newly joined departments at the international financial institution, the EBRD. 

The new department of Human Resources and Organisational Development (shortened to HROD internally) needed a cohesive way of communicating, both to the staff within the Bank, as well as prospective employees and partners externally, in order to be clear about the key role that they play in enabling the Bank’s work.


It was important that the verbal brand linked to that of the EBRD, so we took direct inspiration from the organisation’s banking roots. The new language plays on banking terminology, framing topics in terms of assets and liabilities, risks and rewards – for example, talking about ‘investing’ in relationships with partners, describing staff as ‘our greatest asset’, or discussing ‘unlocking returns’ for employees. The verbal brand is summarised with the key phrase ‘Investing in EBRD’s people, investing in the Bank’s future’ which is also a nod to the EBRD’s strapline ‘We invest in changing lives.’

The visual brand is directly connected to the new language, inspired by structured mathematical quadrants to echo banking language. This is contrasted with a predominantly organic and semi-abstract brightly coloured imagery style, to differentiate HROD from human resources departments elsewhere.


The HROD quadrant sits at the heart of all the visual communications, each quarter representing one of the four banking terms of assets, liabilities, risk and return. Images, copy or both can sit in each quarter, and you can focus on the whole, or one section only to link specifically to teams within the department from Reward or Talent, to Operations and Analytics or Business Partnering.


The new brand was launched on the Bank’s reward day where employees received HROD goodies from mugs and USB cables to bags and badges, and the department is now working with a suite of consistent design elements including PowerPoint and Word templates, intranet and internet graphics, email signatures and posters to communicate across the Bank and beyond in a unified manner.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Julia Woollams
Verbal narrative
Julia Woollams, Valeria Della Rosa
Additional copywriting
Nick Carson
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