JFK’s International Air Terminal (Now known as JFK’s T4) plays host to the largest collection of airlines at JFK, with over 30 carriers under the one roof which has been standing since the 2001 $1.4bn redevelopment.


After 15 years a brand refresh has brought a contemporary spin to the airport’s only non-airline owned terminal. Designed by Base, an agency with a studio in New York, the new brand “reflects the terminal’s large physical space with an open and light visual system that was simple, but with a distinguished personality.”


The playful type treatment, neon colours and fresh, clean whitespace-led design sits at odds with the premium airlines that fly from the airport, but the brand will only be found in moderation, meaning that passengers will receive a much more paired-back aesthetic than is presented here.

Creating the iconic logo than will act as the foundation to the brand image, the number “4” graphic can be extended to personify the terminal experience being “4 all” – for all people and aspects of travel.


Base also partnered with illustrator Tomi Um on the thematic illustrations, which will be visible throughout the terminal.


We do like the bold approach to creating a unique visual identity to an airport experience, However, as we have seen in the rebranding of London Luton Airport at the start of this year, this young and contemporary look runs the risk of ageing quickly, and lacks a sense of permanence that more considered timeless brands effortlessly convey. There also seems to be little connection with an airport or travel experience and appreciation that many users of the airport won’t be English speakers, and way finding will be harder than usual with a less legible typeface.

While the initial concepts and illustrations here only show a sense of how the brand will be presented, it is the attention to detail and execution that will herald this as a success, or a brand that could possibly quickly be forgotten.

What do you think? Get involved, let us know below!


Posted by:Jonny Clark

4 replies on “JFK T4 Rebrands With New Look

  1. Anyone who has arrived at T4 from overseas, walked for half a mile, then stood for ages in slowly shuffling Immigration lines while being brayed-at by uniformed employees, only to then find themselves in line behind a hundred people waiting outside for a taxi (in the blazing heat, or the freezing cold, or the pouring rain…) will care very little about this miserable terminal’s “brand refresh”.

  2. My point, Kevin, is that some of the money lavished on T4’s endless number of revenue-producing designer shops and eateries could have instead been used to provide sheltered space for arriving passengers needing a taxi. The fact that none of the other JFK terminal’s provide this amenity doesn’t mean T4 couldn’t have.

  3. Well Kenneth, I use JFK all the time, as I live in NYC, and I can handle the Taxi lines. New Yorkers aren’t shrinking violets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s