JFK’s Terminal Rebranding Waves Goodbye to Ugly Airport Travel

And says hello to travelers with a warm redesign

Spending time in an airport can be a stressful, frustrating ordeal, especially if the airport is dirty or poorly designed. John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 4 is adding a much-needed breath of fresh air to the airport experience by launching a rebranding and redesign project with branding firm Base Design.

JFKIAT, which manages Terminal 4, started the project two years ago to develop a more iconic and functional visual identity that's designed to appeal to execs from the 32 airlines that fly into Terminal 4, air travelers and airport employees. The goal is to persuade more travelers and airlines to choose JFK.

"We wanted to create a brand that separated us from other terminals at JFK, and other airports, by providing passengers with a memorable experience, while at the same time creating a sense of belonging for people working in the facility," said Gert-Jan de Graaff, president and CEO of JFK Terminal 4. "It strengthens our position in the marketplace."

Terminal 4 and Base developed a custom typeface for terminal signage, as well as a logo and new color palette to make the terminal more fun, approachable and eye-catching. Over the course of the year, new gate graphics and signage in digital directories and the terminal's arrival hall and retail corridors will roll out. Signage includes trivia and quotes about New York, like one from Truman Capote: "New York is the only real city-city."

"We want to make travelers more comfortable, and the buy-in from the airline companies and the staff has been incredibly positive so far," de Graaff said. "Passengers like it because it's cheerful and different, and they like the cheekiness of what we're doing."