The world of work
is changing...

and so are we
CIPD - Championing better work and working lives

We're the CIPD - the professional body for HR and people development. We've been helping people and organisations realise their potential for more than 100 years, and today we're the voice of a worldwide community of more than 140,000 members.

In 2013 we redefined our purpose as 'championing better work and working lives'. It's a broad and ambitious purpose given the dramatic changes taking place in the nature of what work is, how it gets done, by whom and where. Our role at the CIPD is to lead and inspire businesses to step up to the challenge this presents. This calls for a strong brand identity that encourages debate and dialogue amongst the communities we represent, so that we can bring together new insights that will shape the future of HR and L&D. Our brand identity hasn't changed substantially for more than 14 years, but the world of work has and so has our role within it.

Over the past two years, we've listened to our members and other customers, updated our body of knowledge, introduced new products and services, retired others, and updated those we know you can't do your jobs without. We've made changes internally too, so we're better equipped to serve your needs. All of this work has been guided by a set of clear strategic priorities and shared values - you can find out more in our annual review. 'Increasing our impact and voice' is at the top of the list and we've refreshed our brand identity to better reflect and reinforce this.

Finding our voice

Our new brand identity revolves around the concept of 'dialogue'. This comes through in our visual identity, the language we use and in what we do - and how we do it - every day.

Championing better work and working lives can mean different things to different people. Above all it's about having a voice, enabling conversations and leading the debate for HR and L&D - so that we make a lasting impact on the issues that matter in the world of work. As a membership body, we believe the concept of dialogue is the most tangible representation of our purpose, and one that unites us all - particularly in an increasingly digital world, where the role of conversations, through social and digital networks, is growing day by day.

Engaging in dialogue helps keep our insights, content and advice up to date, ensuring we always take the right approach and promote the right action. Our brand reflects these principles in its messaging, defined tone of voice and visual expression.

*

Our brand identity doesn't just encompass our visual expression but our written and spoken word too – and it's so much more than a new logo.

We've introduced a distinctive new look and feel. The new colours, photography style, graphic speech bubbles and wide use of typography all reinforce our purpose and the concept of 'dialogue', while helping us stand out from the crowd.

The new logo is simple, easy to read, and makes the right impact digitally. It comes in four different colours so we can adapt to our surroundings and you'll see it both with and without the words 'championing better work and working lives', depending on the situation. We focused on the letters that make up our name, because our research showed the acronym is well known and carries a great deal of kudos and brand equity. Have you spotted the hidden speech bubble?

Even in cases where the acronym might not be recognised, spelling it out in full isn't likely to help explain who we are and what we do, so instead we'll focus on what we stand for – championing better work and working lives – and where further clarification is needed, we'll describe ourselves as 'the professional body for HR and people development'.

The concept of dialogue is all about having the right conversations and delivering the right message. That's why we've updated our positioning statement – the standard words we use to describe who we are and what we do. It's why we've also reviewed the tone of voice we use in our communications and day-to-day interactions. We want to ensure our communications are effective for all our stakeholders. We also want to ensure the tone of the language we use with you reflects our organisational values and the behaviours you would expect of us. You can read more about our values here and you'll start to see this reflected in language that's:

  • assured, positive, forward-looking and focused on outcomes (Purposeful)
  • concise (Agile)
  • inclusive and conversational (Collaborative)
  • simple, clear and precise (Expert).
*

To ensure our brand identity is fit for purpose both now and for the future, we consulted with members, customers, our employees and independent brand experts.

We began by asking our members, staff and many other stakeholders what 'championing better work and working lives' means to them, and what motivates them to work with us.

A consultancy called Frank, Bright and Abel - brand experts with experience of developing brands for other successful organisations - helped us make informed and objective decisions that would help our brand work harder for us and stand the test of time. They facilitated an objective review of our communications and helped us analyse feedback from face-to-face workshops, online questionnaires and 'secret shopping' with our staff, volunteers and the centres who deliver our qualifications. Based on this in-depth research, they developed various creative concepts and helped us test them for relevance, impact, longevity and value for money.

Once we agreed on 'dialogue' as the key theme for our new brand identity, we began developing the messaging, tone of voice and design principles to support it. We then tested the concept in different situations, and began updating our content. We've also developed workshops, toolkits and guidelines to help all our staff and other brand ambassadors, including branch volunteers and those who deliver our training and qualifications, deliver on the new brand.

A lot of the work is now complete, but to keep costs at a minimum we're updating things gradually, so you're likely to see our new and old identity alongside one another for some time to come.

CIPD logos

We started life in 1913 as the Welfare Workers' Association (WWA). Since then the world of work has changed considerably and we've changed our name several times to reflect the evolving role of what we know today as the HR and L&D profession (see here for more on our history).

We first became known as the CIPD in 2000 when we were granted a Royal Charter. Along with the new name came a new logo and brand values: we aimed to be approachable, professional and authoritative. The logo was made up of three elements: the uniquely shaped panel; the specifically drawn CIPD initials; and the CIPD spark, which represented the professional standing of our membership and celebrated our chartership.

15 years later, our name and reputation remains strong but the world of work, and the role of HR and L&D professionals within it, has changed dramatically. The brand has served us well and the values still have strong merit, but the world has moved on and so have we. We need to ensure we maintain our saliency and differentiation, as an organisation and in our communications. We're confident that our new brand identity will help encourage dialogue amongst the diverse communities we represent, and that its simplicity, strength and flexibility will help it stand the test of time.

people

Need to contact us?

If you currently work with the CIPD and want advice on using the new brand or need to update logos or branding, you can contact us on branding@cipd.co.uk

For branches and approved training providers who deliver the CIPD qualifications, please email any questions to branding@cipd.co.uk