Forterra is one of the largest manufacturers of building products in the UK. The company employs around 1,800 people across its network of manufacturing sites, producing construction materials including bricks, blocks and paving. It has built a portfolio of well-known brands include Thermalite, London Brick, Ecostock, Cradley, Formpave and Jetfloor.

The company had a strong external brand and wanted to extend this to its internal audience, bringing all its brands together under a single identity. The process started with a review of the company’s purpose, values and strategic drivers, and Forterra briefed the design team to bring these to life using a new brand style. Adding a grey and a blue to the standard black and orange Forterra colour palette allowed us to represent the corporate brand more extensively.

The grey dartboard device was created to represent Forterra’s purpose, reminding staff about what is important to the company. Values including safety, trust and customer focus were represented using a heart-shaped device against an orange ground with individual icons for each value. The arrow device on a blue background helped to showcase the strategic drivers highlighting the overall direction of Forterra’s business.

The strapline ‘Together we are Forterra’ was used as a direct appeal to staff and acted as a call to action challenging everybody to work together towards a common goal. Original photography made use of an honest and open style, depicting real members of the team in their places of work, looking directly at the camera. A new, friendlier font was introduced to make key corporate messages more accessible.

A full set of brand guidelines was produced enabling the team to roll out the concept across all its internal communications from presentations to office walls. This was extended to induction packs for new staff that included a range of branded merchandise designed to make new starters feel welcome.
The new materials reminded staff about the important messages within the strategic plan. They also helped to foster synergy between the diverse Forterra brands. The importance of internal marketing should never be under-estimated, and this concept helped Forterra to re-ignite enthusiasm for the company’s ethos and mission through impactful design.

the results

“Our external brand has always been strong, and we are proud of our heritage. The company has grown over successive years with the acquisition of a range of brands. We needed a design route that would serve to bring all those brands together in a close-knit family and help us to communicate the most important elements of our strategy to our people. Agencypds greatly enhanced our ability to communicate our ambitions with their clean colour palette and icon-based designs.”

Marketing and Communications Manager, Forterra

the project team

Shaun Drage (Senior Designer), David Nelson (Lead Creative), Lynda Doggett (Studio Administrator), Olivia Ray (Client Services Director) and Sam Sturman (Account Executive).

our creative toolkit

If you are thinking about starting a new project we have created a few simple items that might help you. Our creative’s guide to getting the best out of your agency is full of helpful advice and our top tips to writing a creative brief is a perfect prompt when completing one of our project briefing sheets. All three are available to download below.

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