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Hamburg Airport Signage

Photo(s) by Albert-Jan PoolImported from Flickr on Aug 27, 2013.
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by Pool Albert-Jan and tagged with “sabon”. License: All Rights Reserved.

Airport signage in Hamburg. Main locations such as check-in, terminals and gates are in the sans serif typeface Univers, secondary locations such as toilets, restaurants, cafés are in the serif typeface Sabon.

[Further quoting from Albert-Jan Pool’s comments:]

Serifs and signage can go together very well, it’s rather the thin strokes often being too thin (or too thick, in case of a Slab / Egyptian) or the spacing being too tight, the contrast between the luminance densities of type and background being too high (especially in back-lit signage) and the surface being too glossy.

Personally, I don’t care about ‘old’ that much. I think that for white-on-black signage, especially for the back-lit signs, the spacing should have been slightly wider and the thin strokes a bit thicker. Also the ‘o’ of the italic is far too wide, because Sabon was drawn for Linotype duplex-matrices. So in the end, maybe Sabon is just not ‘old’ enough :–) A revived Garamond, based on smaller sizes for letterpress could lead to a better result. From a stylistic point of view, I’d rather prefer a contemporary Garalde such as Swift as a secondary typeface for an airport.

Source: Photo by Albert-Jan Pool. License: All Rights Reserved.
Source: Photo by Albert-Jan Pool. License: All Rights Reserved.

1 Comment on “Hamburg Airport Signage”

  1. Aug 30th, 2013  9:54 pm

    Sabon was also used for signage on Berlin’s Museum Island, albeit more for information than for wayfinding.

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