Airport Signage - Directional Signs

If you’ve been to an airport just even once in your life, then you will have seen these directional signs and the pictograms being used on them. Some of the symbols that you see on these signs, you also see elsewhere, like in malls or office buildings. The others, you only see in places that are similar to airports, like train stations and bus depots.

What do these pictograms mean and why are these used on these signs seen by many in such locales? These pictograms that you see on the many directional signs that are found in bus depots, airports, and train stations, are part of a collection of symbols known as the AIGA symbol signs. These symbols are free to use, and can be seen being used in many places, not just airports. These are often chosen for signs that are seen by people from different walks of life, but don’t necessarily share the same language.

The main reason why these symbols are employed is because of the fact that not everyone talks the same language. Using a symbol that everyone can easily understand, combined with arrows, these signs can easily tell anyone from any country and any language where they can find what they need. Whether it be their baggage claim area, money changers, taxi stands, and even stairs, these symbols can easily point these out to people without needing words.

Some of the most commonly used AIGA symbols are those that you see almost everywhere. These include the symbols used for restrooms, elevators, stairs, and telephone. There are actually 50 of these symbols being used by establishments everywhere, but mostly by airports and train stations. What you can find in these places include currency exchange, cashier, coffee shop, bar, and taxi stand, to name a few. Baggage check, information, car rental and departing flights, are also commonly used symbols at airports. Even the arrows used are part of this list of symbols.

To help you further understand what these symbols tell people, or what each one means, here is a list of some of these symbols and what these mean:

AIGA Pictograms Source:

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