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Wayfinding Signage: An Airport Starts from Square One


Wayfinding Signage: An Airport Starts from Square One


An airport starts from square one to find a better way

A recent wayfinding signage makeover for the Philadelphia International Airport might serve as a model for any business or organization seeking to bring greater clarity, cohesion and consistency to their facility.

The airport consisted of a large, complex and often confusing collection of buildings and spaces. Over the previous 20 years, multiple unrelated sign programs had been implemented. The result? Cluttered and inconsistent wayfinding signage for the 30 million passengers that used the terminal each year.

The solution started with comprehensive wayfinding review of the airport’s existing signage, seeking to analyze problem areas and offer strategies that addressed each issue. This was no small undertaking, as the facility encompassed five terminals as well as multiple baggage claims and various curbsides pick-up/drop-off lanes.

After formalizing a new wayfinding plan, the airport implemented a sign standards program. It’s hallmarks? A clean, consistent look along with a clear wayfinding logic to assist departing, arriving, and connecting passengers navigate the facility’s sometimes maze-like sequences from curb to gate and back.

Before the makeover, the wayfinding system’s colors, layouts, terminology, text size and ordering of information were variable from one sign to the next—severely reducing a visitor’s ability to read and understand the airport’s wayfinding directions.

With the new wayfinding system, airport management simplified the signs, maintained one color and added a layout grid to ensure a consistent look. The minimum text height on overhead signs was increased from three to four inches for a significant increase in readability. Wayfinding terminology was standardized for all destination areas and services. What’s more, the number of wayfinding signs was reduced to eliminate visual clutter.

Since the new signs went up, all agree the appearance of the facility has been improved. But more importantly, people now coming to Philadelphia International Airport now feel more confident about where they are, where they are going, and how to get there—all signs of a successful wayfinding program!

To get started in wayfinding signage or to upgrade an outdated system, rely on Signs Now for affordable and effective solutions.

Whether your needs are as simple as a single entrance sign or an entire signage system for a major project, we can help you find the best solutions for your requirements. For expert assistance, contact us today. (Note: Links to Contact Us.)

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