The Changing Face of the ERA Foundation

To mark its centennial year the ERA has rebranded. To celebrate we are looking back at 100 years of the foundation's branding.

To mark its centennial year the ERA has refreshed its’ branding. Alongside a new, modernised logo, we have relaunched our website. Making it easier to find out about the work the foundation does and dive into a 100-year history that has put the foundation at the forefront of promoting and supporting British Engineering.

To celebrate we have dug into our archives to look at how the face of the ERA has changed since it was founded in 1920.

The British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association

The first known logo of the ERA dates back to the associations’ formation in 1920.

This logo marks the initial period of the foundation’s history where it was known as the “The British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association”.

Below – the logo can be seen on the front of the Associations Perivale, Middlesex Auxiliary laboratory. As the association grew it required more space for its work.

This laboratory was built in 1936 and was opened by the Duke of York. Its purpose was to supplement the research services that the Electrical Research Association provided from its headquarters with government support in the interests of the electrical industry and the community.

However, while the Association was often referred to as the “The Electrical Research Association” (ERA) from the mid 1920s onwards. No record of its name being formally changed exists until 1940. The updated logo below reflects this change.

The logo above was used by the association throughout the 1940s until at least 1969.

The ERA in the modern era.

At this point, a new lowercase logo employed a clean modernist sans-serif and was designed to provide a neutral tone of voice for the association as it hurtled into the modern era.

Alongside the ‘era’ logo-type, the association also employed a logo-mark.

The abstract shape below signified the inclusive nature of the organisation while hinting at the curves of the ‘d’ and ‘a’, a rotated uppercase ‘A’ and a rotated ‘r’ shape.

In 1979 our name officially changed to ERA Technology Ltd and as the association moved into the early 2000’s it was split into two parts.

The ERA’s commercial operation was transferred to a new trading company while the original company, limited by guarantee, was renamed The ERA Foundation.

The earliest foundation logo employed a semi-circular design to emphasise the ‘e’ of the ‘era’.

The brand now sported the bold blue and purple. A colour scheme we have revived in our new branding (though we have left the lens flare where it belongs in 2005).

In 2010 the ERA moved away from this logo design to a more simple logo which used Times New Roman type (a nod to its well established history) bookended by two thick lines

This logo was used between 2010 and 2020 and has become familiar to those who have received awards, fellowships or sponsorship over the last decade.

The ERA in 2020.

Our new logo builds on this history. Referencing the geometric logo of the 1970s and while modernising the blue-and-purple colour scheme of the early 00’s.

The logotype is built on a simple sans-serif typeface. The geometric asymmetrical type gives it a fluid contemporary feel.

The relative size ‘foundation’ is now larger and more prominent reinforcing that the ERA Foundation stands apart from its now-defunct commercial sister entity.

Our new colour scheme combines the deep blue of the last decade with the purple of the previous one while a subtle gradient gives it a modern feel.

We hope that the versatility of this new logo and branding will allow the foundation to carry the brand across the next decade.