Maynard 4 Auckland Airport Wayfinding Guidelines

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Guy Hohmann
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Simone Speet
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Eden Short, Emme Jacob, Noor Alshawa, Franziska Steinkohl, Spencer Buchanan, Jordan Henderson, Heather Ho, Sophie Harkness
  • Client
    Auckland International Airport Ltd.

In order to create a standard-setting and uniquely New Zealand customer experience, Auckland International Airport Ltd. has committed to a complete customer-centric redesign of its passenger wayfinding system to be implemented in new and existing terminal environments. The new wayfinding system was conceived to suit the dramatic change in scale and spatial complexity expected as Auckland Airport embarks on a significant programme of expansion to ready itself for predicted passenger growth. As such, the previous wayfinding system was no longer fit-for-purpose for the anticipated scale of the future precinct, and most critically, it did not reflect Aotearoa’s two official spoken languages, lacking te reo Māori on signage.

By working closely with customer experience, retail and wayfinding stakeholders, we reimagined the existing, dated signage and develop a robust trilingual airport wayfinding system incorporating te reo Māori, English, and simplified Chinese.

Graphic and product assets have been carefully crafted to respond to the unique geography of Tāmaki Makaurau, while ensuring a high degree of functionality underpinned by global transport customer experience. The form language of the Auckland Airport sign family is underpinned by the geology and flora of Tāmaki Makaurau. A bespoke suite of icons have been developed to reflect Tāmaki Makaurau’s sharp and fluid coastal landscape, and provide Auckland Airport a unique graphic language that is simple and effective in communicating to multi-language customers. Curved signage framing harmonises with the geometry of the graphic system, and includes tapered and robust skirt sections that reference the tapered trunks of tree ferns such as Ponga and Mamaku.

Consistent delivery of this formal language is critical to the sign system contributing to a sense of place within the airport and precinct. Wayfinding guideline documentation is key to ensuring internal and external parties can implement clear information strategy for customer needs. The documentation ensures that environment planning, customer journeys, information strategy, graphic application and product manufacture can be a fluid and future-proof process, with ownable assets for Auckland Airport.

Since the guidelines were launched, the airport has begun interim and future works, implemented by a wide range of contractors. By utilising the two guideline documents ‘Principles’ & ‘Technical’ for project outcomes, wayfinding implementation is a collective and considered effort contributing to the future precinct and positive customer experience of Auckland Airport.