New direction
for a regional gateway

Hamilton Airport is a gateway for New Zealand’s central North Island. Diadem’s signage and wayfinding ensure the region’s visitors enjoy a smooth arrival and departure experience.

Diadem designed and executed the internal signage and wayfinding system for the airport, as well as designing the external Hamilton Airport signage and the carpark signage.


Hamilton Airport


Wayfinding Principles

Concept Design

Design Development


Execution (Internal Signage)

From flying paddock
to commercial airport

Hamilton Airport has come a long way since the 1930s when it was known as a “flying paddock”. Today it boasts the fourth-longest commercial runway in the country, providing a warm welcome to the central North Island’s millions of tourists and business travellers.

A major development and rebrand necessitated a new direction for the signage and wayfinding. Given Diadem’s extensive airport experience and New Zealand resources, our team was engaged in the project. This began by defining user journeys, functional requirements and strategic principles.

In travellers’

As with any airport wayfinding, breaking down the pathways of the traveller is the first step for Diadem. Understanding their needs at each stage of the journey to or from the plane ensures information is delivered intuitively.

Communicating key destinations and amenities at key transition points allows pedestrians to make informed journey choices.

For Hamilton Airport, this included directing pedestrians to taxis and car rental areas, drop-off zones, check-in counters, baggage claim and amenities.

architectural language

The architecture for the airport terminal was conceived as a gateway, (a waharoa) or threshold. This concept spoke to a place bringing people together, welcoming or saying farewell.

As the airport’s new interior design uses a rich palette of materials, finishes and colours, our signage palette was designed in black and white to avoid any visual competition in the busy terminals.

In addition to incorporating cultural narratives, the brand’s “notch” was also applied to design elements across the signage. Graphic relationships between the notch, arrows, pictograms, English and Te Reo Māori were all carefully considered for each touchpoint.

develop, document

After developing the overarching wayfinding principles and design direction, Diadem designed the complete Hamilton Airport signage suite.

Following this, careful documentation was created to enable local contractors to provide costs for manufacture and installation.

We engaged Diadem to design, manufacture, and install signage throughout the airport, in alignment with our brand guidelines. They listened to our requirements, developed an understanding of our airport layout and passenger flow, and designed well considered, custom signage solutions that integrate seamlessly with our brand and architecture, and provide clear, intuitive wayfinding for passengers.

The quality of Diadem’s signage and wayfinding solution is excellent, and cohesive with our airport’s aesthetic. It was delivered on time and within budget.

Overall, we are very happy with the outcome of our collaboration with Diadem and would not hesitate to work with them again.

  • Angela Beardsmore – Group Customer Experience Manager, Hamilton Airport


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