Integrating Narita International Airport

Brand Identity

The challenge was to build a design that encompasses the Tokyo airport's brand values, engages in cultural history, and creates cohesiveness, in order to improve and unify the consumer experience. With the rebranding, the airport aims to meet the world’s highest standards by making endless challenges for safety, efficiency, service quality, and operating stability.

The Process

Mind mapping was used as a highly effective way of generating creative and logical keywords. An initially large list of airport-related words were carefully narrowed down to find the best fitting keywords: efficient - memorable - comfortable - serenity - centric.

After creating a variety of geometric, organic, literal, and textured symbol variations,

the strongest directions were chosen to proceed onto further development. The directions to explore were organic or three-dimensional, representational of multiple roadways, a pattern of calligraphic lines, and a geometric origami-like form. The geometric figure seemed to best represented the airport, its culture, and the surrounding area. After several variations and refinements, the final symbol was formed.

The Solution

The symbol derives from an abstract, geometric representation of the letters of the airport code, NRT. Each letter is constructed into its own unique triangle, and the corners are rounded to give a friendlier feel. The the three figures as a whole are inspired by the aerial view of the rural area surrounding the airport, which passengers can appreciate when departing and landing.


The brand colors represent the atmosphere of the airport's location. The green hue is inspired by the vibrant farmland of the Chiba prefecture, in which the airport resides, and the hint of blue derives from the country’s being surrounded by water, thus acknowledging the airport’s proximity to the coast.

This typeface, Montserrat, was chosen due to its friendly curvature and clear letter forms, making it legible for foreign consumers around the world.

The Application

Wayfinding is particularly important in environments built with complexity, such as airports. As architectural environments become more complicated, people need visual cues such as maps, directions, and symbols to help guide them to their destinations. In these often high-stress environments, effective wayfinding systems contribute to a sense of well-being, safety, and security. Narita Airport's redesigned wayfinding system uses color and simplicity to ease consumers' travel experiences.