The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators. They decided to address the lack of a comprehensive guidebook for airport operators that illustrated best practices for wayfinding and signing airport terminals and landsides. Where those guidelines did exist, they were in the private domain of consultants or individual airport operators.


Airport Cooperative Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board


Washington, District of Columbia

Project Type




The ACRP selected Gresham Smith to develop a reference manual that provides airport operators across the country with comprehensive wayfinding and signage guidelines. Gresham Smith's skilled environmental graphics and transportation professionals led a multi-discipline team, including the Texas Transportation Institute, the Society for Environmental Graphic Design and the Airport Sign Managers Network as well as others.

The purpose of the comprehensive guide is to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of passengers, both within airports and from one airport to another. The new guidelines serve as a vital tool for airport operators wanting to ensure consistency and ease of movement for passengers. In addition, the guidelines discuss developing a wayfinding strategy; the use of technology and visual displays; and color, fonts and sizes. The guidelines focus on the complete passenger wayfinding experience from roadway to parking and curbside to terminal and gate and have been well-received throughout the industry.

View/Purchase Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside at TRB's website.


Project Contact

Our team designs with genuine care for ingenious solutions.

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Jim Harding, SEGD
Jim Harding, SEGD
Director of Environmental Graphics