Book Review: Airport Wayfinding

Airports are busy places and can be hard to navigate. Wayfinding is needed to reduce stress and get people on the right flight.

Book Review: Airport Wayfinding

Over the years airports have been increasingly becoming larger spaces. Often also integrated with rail, metro and other means of transportation. In general(before COVID) people tend to take flights as a fast means on transportation from place to place.

The layout and structure of airports are different from city to city, therefore wayfinding is needed to navigate quickly and safely. Although wayfinding should be clear in airport, often the navigational information has interference with increasingly more advertising.

Airports have become multi-functional environments processes are internationally standardized and maximally efficient, with a strong emphasis on entertainment and consumption.

The book “Aiport Wayfinding” by Heike Nehl and Sibylle Schlaich is a complete overview what it takes to develop a wayfinding scheme for airports.

In some cases the wayfinding becomes part of the identity of an airport. Good example cases is for instance at Schiphol. The yellow signs stand out in the environment making it easy to navigate around. In the case of Schiphol, yellow has become the identity driver, recognizable and to stand out of advertising.

The book in a extensive overview on airport wayfinding, and explores the following;

  • Evolving, a constant state of evolution
  • Identity, architecture, flow and integrated design
  • Design, color, typography and pictograms
  • Digital, pre-journey experience, at the airport and onward travel
  • Beyond, how airports connect, mobility and the city

Airport wayfinding

As there a many ‘standards’ in wayfinding, airport wayfinding tends to differ and creating a unique identity to the airport. Usually the background color of the signs are part of the identity. For example; Schiphol Yellow, Frankfurt Blue, Switserland Black, Heathtrow yellow, Berlin Red/Brown, etc.

Airport Wayfinding Strategy

Apart from color, typography and pictograms the wayfinding systems are also vary from letters to numbers.

The book explains the passengers flow land side and air side. A complete overview of the customer journey throughout an airport. Included examples for spatial layout and visions on how to improve passengers flow in airports.

From interviews, explanations and examples, the book analyzes wayfinding systems of approximately 70 airports by aligning their identities and functions.


The book “Airport Wayfinding” is a must read for urban planners, wayfinding information designers and working in the field of (air) transportation and mobility.

The countless examples, comparisons, standards and interviews makes this book on of our favorites in airport wayfinding.

If you want to learn about the authors, visit their website Moniteurs.


  • Publisher: Niggli Verlag
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-3721210149
  • Hardcover, 240 pages

Airport Wayfinding

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