Airport Wayfinding

This book re­flects on the cen­te­nary of civil avi­a­tion from the per­spec­tive of pas­sen­ger in­for­ma­tion and air­port iden­tity. Air­ports and Air­lines have to in­te­grate new con­cepts and tech­nolo­gies to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the in­dus­try’s car­bon foot­print while si­mul­ta­ne­ously en­sur­ing traveler safety.


Moniteurs Communication Design

Practice Area


Niggli, Imprint of Braun Publishing AG


The Challenge

Why is the Frutiger typeface still in use at so many major airports today? How does the design of the signage system shape an airport? Global climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic are two of the most profound challenges currently facing commercial aviation, an industry which has been defined by perpetual fast-paced transformation throughout its eventful first century.

Project Vision

This book celebrates the centenary of aviation, providing a snapshot of what has been and what is yet to come. Especially in light of the challenges facing the transport sector due to climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, the team’s aim has been to draw on the lessons learned over the past 100 years to clearly point in an entirely new and innovative direction.

This book is the product of Moniteurs’ many years of intensive reflection, analysis and creative work in the wonderfully complex world of airport wayfinding.

Moniteurs/ Sophie Adamski

The authors and Moniteurs partners Heike Nehl and Sibylle Schlaich set out on a quest to decipher the unique identities in the wayfinding systems of over 100 international airports.

Moniteurs/ Sophie Adamski

Moniteurs/ Sophie Adamski

Frutiger, followed by Helvetica has become the global standard. Each airport could have selected a typeface rooted in the society and culture and reflect the individuality of the airport.

Moniteurs/ Sophie Adamski

Design + Execution

As the team worked on other airports, it became clearer and clearer where the commonalities lie in the planning, where the specifics lie, and how the requirements change over the years. The team did not want a manual on how to plan a wayfinding system, but wanted to show why and how things have developed in this profession.

Pictograms are indispensable elements in airport wayfinding. Good pictogram design can improve the quality of the airport experience and can also convey a unique style, value or atmosphere.

Moniteurs/ Sophie Adamski

Moniteurs/ Sophie Adamski

Moniteurs/ Sophie Adamski

Project Details
This book can be used for anyone to understand the care needed to make airports accessible for all passengers. The research conducted lets us understand nodes to wayfinding others may not think about when navigating through an airport.
Juror 1
This book provides excellent documentation of where we are now with wayfinding and design integration within airports worldwide. It explores all aspects of airport wayfinding from the macro and micro levels and is an invaluable stepping stone towards evolving how we look at wayfinding for the future.
Juror 2
Design Team

Heike Nehl and Sibylle Schlaich (authors and editors, concept and design)
Annette Wuesthoff, Anna Gaissmaier (layout and settings)
Marla Luther, Julie Hagedorn (translation and proofreading)


Bild1Druck GmbH Berlin (reproduction)

Photo Credits

Moniteurs / Sophie Adamski

Open Date

May 2021