Design in the wild- DHL

Eugene Yang


I’d like to think that the logo of DHL is one of the most iconic logos in the present. Before I started to write this blog, I googled ‘most famous logo designs’, ‘iconic logo designs’, and more, to get an inspiration. Then I found a lot of Nike, Google, Apple and so on- and of course, it goes without saying that these logos are very much iconic. However, DHL- was nowhere to be found. In this blog, I will be explaining about how the DHL logo was made, and why this DHL logo deserves much better.

DHL logo (2002-present), developed by Nitsch Design
DHL logo (2002-present), developed by Nitsch Design

Personally, I just love all the design elements from this logo. The mustard-ish yellow background and bright red colour from the typography goes well together, the colour scheme just draws my eyes to it. I like how there’s a line going across the typography so it does not look plain or boring, and three red lines on both sides give me a sense of speed, which I believe is suitable for express mail service company.

This design was created by Helge Rieder, who is a former creative director for Nitsch Design from 1995 to 2003. From his own article ‘An “ugly” T-shirt for  £185? Nuts’ Rieder states,

“From the beginning we developed a strong, concise and remarkable colour concept as the main anchor for the Deutsche Post identity. At that time DHL was already an established brand in the US and we decided to make only slight changes to the logo itself (adjusting the angle of the letters and the spacing between them, opening the counterforms and adjusting proportions and the shade of red) to bring it into line with the Deutsche Post brand family.”




DHL logo (1969-1983)
DHL logo (1969-1983)
DHL logo (1983-2002)
DHL logo (1983-2002)
DHL logo (2002-present)
DHL logo (2002-present)

Considering what Rieder said from the quote above and by the glance of these past logos, it is noticeable that not a lot has changed from the first DHL logo to the logo they have now. They all have the similar bold italic typefaces and they all give a sense of speed using lines and shapes. A big noticeable change is the change of colour scheme, from red and white to yellow and red colour palette.

In the same article, Rieder explains about DHL’s new colour concept:

The colour concept (replacing the white with the Deutsche Post yellow) was important for brand recognition. Still, establishing a global brand on a long-term basis requires market penetration and patience. Today DHL is a brand leader and almost everyone recognises its yellow vans.


The new colour scheme was applied to not only the logo itself but also other parts on Deutsche Post and DHL, such as  icons, brochures, uniforms, screen designs, packaging, and more, according to the post ‘Deutsche Post AG- Brand Identity on Behance’ by Helge Rieder.

I believe that having their own symbols/emblems, or a unique colour scheme, or a special typography recognized by most people are some of the important traits for brand logos to have. Such as Nike, Starbucks, Adidas, Mercedes-Benz and so many other big name brand logos have one or more of those things. And I’d say that DHL also has one of those traits, which made me believe that the logo of DHL is one of the most iconic logos in the world along with the brands I mentioned above.




(this looks more than 500 words but without citation it’s not)

works cited

“DHL Logo.” 1000 Logos The Famous Brands and Company Logos in the World,

Rieder, Helge. “An ‘Ugly’ T-Shirt for £185? Nuts.’” Financial Times, 30 Mar. 2016,

“History.” DPDHL,

Rieder, Helge. “Deutsche Post AG – Brand Identity.” Behance, 28 June 2014,

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