HR Wallingford

Helping world leading experts regain their place at the forefront of their sector.

From their beginnings in 1947 as the government’s hydraulics research arm, to their privatisation in 1982, for a long time HR Wallingford were the only people able to do what they do. But without true competition it’s easy to lose your focus and your edge, to lose sight of your role in the world. With technology making it easier for new players to enter their market, and the needs of the world shifting, the company appointed rbl to help them answer some fundamental questions. Why do we do what we do, and why do we do it best?

Working with all levels of the company, customers and partners, we found an organisation of experts doing incredibly complex and significant work with benefits for communities across the globe.

But this complexity often became the focus of the narrative, drowning out their impact.

Water is the world’s key conduit for transferring, dissipating and surviving heat. As the world heats, understanding and managing water becomes ever more critical.

To reach out into the market, and win the projects that need their unique expertise, the brand needed to move perceptions of the organisation from purely science based to delivering innovative consultation, from abstract thought leaders to practical accelerators of the shift to sustainability.

When what you do is unique it is that much harder to describe yourself through traditional, outdated language. HR Wallingford are more than researchers, scientists and engineers. They combine all these functions to be true ‘experts in how water moves, behaves and influences communities and industries.’

With a renewed understanding of who they are we moved to create a stronger sense of what they do, bringing together multiple functions into a simple but more powerful purpose – ‘helping people live and work sustainably with water.’

We wanted to be able to show HR Wallingford’s innovative approach to working with water right from the start. So we embedded these same principles – using an understanding of water, knowing where and when to intervene to get results – into their identity.

The upright stroke of the identity cuts through a wave symbol at just the right place to read as ‘hrw’, creating a graphical signature as bold and unique as the organisation it represents.

An expanded graphic language inspired by data displays, environmental modelling and mapping provides a set of tools to help set the context of their work. All supported by a dramatic photography style capable of capturing the scale and scope of the organisation’s impact and ready to tell the stories of success this revitalised organisation will deliver as they help to build a climate resilient world.

"rbl instantly got to grips with the complexity of our business, our stakeholders and the unique skillset we have. They worked alongside us all the way through in a truly collaborative process that built trust with our people at all levels. That approach provided the buy-in at the outset and helped us make this truly transformative for the business and has given us a brand that will take the business forward."

Jackie Harrop
Marketing Manager, HR Wallingford

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