After a nine-year delay, the new major Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) opened on 31 October. Anyone who moves within an airport, especially a new one, wants to get to their destination quickly and does not want to spend a lot of time searching. To provide passengers and visitors with problem-free orientation in the massive building complex once regular operations start, the agency Moniteurs Kommunikationsdesign developed a signage system for BER. It now connects terminals 1, 2 and 5 (the old Schönefeld terminal) after originally being planned for just one terminal. From the railway station to the gate, outside and on the access roads, from pedestrian and cyclist signage to a parking guidance system, basic uniform elements ensure the necessary clarity.
A dark red colour serves as a basic design element for the signage system consisting of boards, signs and screens, and this colour makes for a pleasing harmony with the wood, sandstone and glass of the terminal’s architecture. Some of the information panels have also been integrated into the architecture. The white typeface – the “BER Signage” font developed especially for the new airport – distinctly stands out from the background. Hierarchies are marked out through hatching that Moniteurs used to reflect the architecture’s linear structures (a short film demonstrates it). They in turn were inspired by Berlin buildings such as the Altes Museum and Mies van der Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie as well as Brandenburg’s coniferous forests.
Inside the terminals the letters marking the individual zones are backgrounded through hatching, while the numbers for the gates stand out with a white colour. Pictographs with a colour backdrop guide passengers to services, car parking bays and toilets. A decision was deliberately made to not use vibrant colours, so the corporate design and signage have a highly homogeneous presentation and come across as dignified. Thanks in particular to the use of digital and interactive media for touchpoints, in addition to static visual elements, social distancing rules can also be displayed and adjusted in real time to reflect the latest developments during the Covid-19 pandemic era.