Vision Plus 2014: transforming information
Airport pictograms

The lec­ture given by Sibylle Schlaich and Heike Nehl at the Vi­sion Plus Con­fer­ence of the IIID (In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for In­for­ma­tion De­sign) in Vi­enna is about de­sign­ing pic­tograms within an in­ter­na­tional and his­tor­i­cal con­text. Pic­tograms are an im­por­tant part of com­mu­ni­ca­tion at an air­port in that they help to over­come lan­guage bar­ri­ers. They in­flu­ence the vi­sual iden­tity, be­cause they com­mu­ni­cate in a lan­guage which fits to each par­tic­u­lar air­port and coun­try. It is in­ter­est­ing how their mo­tifs, aside from the de­sign and char­ac­ter­is­tics, al­ways change to match the needs and cir­cum­stances. Stan­dards, DIN-Norm and test pro­ce­dures help to check and to stan­dard­ize com­pre­hen­si­bil­ity and rec­og­niz­abil­ity.

Air­port pic­tograms

Lec­ture on the Vi­sion Plus 2014 Con­fer­ence

Wien 2014


IIID – In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute for In­for­ma­tion De­sign

A comparison of the pictograms of big international airports shows that the same motif can have an entirely different character.

The history of airport pictograms goes back to the 1960’s, when aviation was booming and the demand for international, understandable pictograms increased.

The pictogram for the sanitary areas at airports is unified. The heads are mostly circular.

For the pictogram family for the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Moniteurs designed the head in an "O"-shape to lean it on the type.