SFO Environmental Signage


This airport signage was developed as an environmental design project for the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California. A cherrywood and metal-like finish was chosen to mimic renovation plans for terminals 1 and 2, which feature exposed architectural elements, cherrywood paneling, stainless steel and clean, modern lines.

To contrast with the architectural elements a dark blue was integrated with abstract, repeating shapes. Overlapping elements and cutouts allow the textures and colors to interact with each other and make for a cohesive and dynamic presentation.


After deciding on San Francisco International Airport (SFO) as the client for my signage project, I looked at photographs of proposed terminal renovations. On both the inside and the outside of the building, the intricate metal skeleton was left exposed, adding a visual texture that I found interesting.

The digital renderings of the new terminals have a warmer, modern feel than the existing terminals. Featured in the redesign was cherrywood, contemporary lines and brushed stainless steel. I felt that these contrasting elements worked well together, in addition to SFO’s dark blue from their brand palette.

The shape of the signage borrows from the shape of a jet airplane’s wing. The shape is repeated in scaled variations so that the signage system is tied together. Using cutouts and overlaying elements, I designed my signage to have the metal, cherrywood and blue mix interact with each other.

1/4 scale prototypes were made from balsa wood, foam core, poster board and silver paper. All prototypes meet ADA guidelines for accessibility.

View the entire process book here.

Overhead directional signage

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