Queenstown Airport, one of Australasia’s fastest growing airports

Client: Queenstown Airport
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Industry: Transport
Status: In progress


Queenstown Airport is the gateway to southern New Zealand, and a vital component of the regional and national tourism industries. Having hosted more than 1.4 million visitors through the terminal last year, QAC strives to deliver an efficient and operationally sound airport with world-class facilities and an outstanding passenger experience that reflects the best the region has to offer. Queenstown Airport is voted the ‘World’s Most Scenic Airport Landing’ in an annual poll conducted by international private jet booking service PrivateFly.



The project had three complex challenges: the first and foremost challenge was to create a functional visual communication platform to facilitate the transit of passengers. It needed to be universally comprehensible to different audiences at all times; from marketing communications through to statutory signage. We know that with well conceived design we can guide people more efficiently, thereby making their journeys and experiences more enjoyable.

The second challenge was to generate an attractive visual identity using first reading level iconography, essentially moving away from the classic signage system and creating an innovative impact on the eye.

The third challenge was to future proof, catering for a constantly expanding airport. The new identity must have great flexibility and scalability to ensure it can adapt as required to space, cost, regulatory and implementation requirements.


We worked very closely with the management team to understand and respond to their goals.

The idea was to create a holistic system made up of elements designed to guide passengers and provide effective wayfinding and comfort on their journeys.

The concept is "Making the invisible visible". This idea comes from the fact that an airport is a place where you go from one point to another, creating invisible lines. These lines are inherently invisible but in Queenstown Airport we highlight them, making every detail clear and visible. This is one of the core values of the Brand, revolving essentially around the comfort of the passengers.

As a result we create a really graphic, symbolic and functional experience using a flexible and scalable system based on three intuitive and friendly lines.


Our work

Visual Identity
Concept Development
Icon Set
Signage System
Space Design
Wayfinding Design



By Aideen Tinney
Manager of Operational Planning

"makebardo are excellent collaborators. The team is extremely creative with a great visual and technical sensibility and were very patient in allowing the design process to unfold organically.  They responded brilliantly to the brief and listened to the teams requirements, producing work above and beyond everyone’s expectations. It was a pleasure to work alongside these gifted designers and skilled technologists, which is hard to find in one package, and I look forward to a continuing relationship with them as our needs change".