Manchester World Freight Terminal

Manchester World Freight Terminal

The Site

The World Freight Terminal at Manchester Airport is a purpose built site offering a combination of advantages to service providers in the air cargo and logistics supply chain, with 60,000 square metres of warehouse and office space. Currently Manchester WFT handle around 100,000 tonnes of import and export freight and mail a year, carried in both passenger aircraft and freight only aircraft.

We were contacted by the managing agents for Manchester World Freight Terminal in 2010, they were looking to replace the existing signage that was used to number each of the warehouses on site, but they also required a whole new signage system to help the transport vehicle drivers easily navigate their way around the terminal, day or night.

New signage was required for the roadside and roundabout approaching the World Freight Terminal, and the warehouses and the offices within the terminal.

The Solution

We visited the terminal a number of times, to attend meetings and to complete comprehensive site surveys. We then came back to the client with a proposal and designs for approval.

We designed a signage system that was both functional, cost effective and design led. Our in-house design team took inspiration from an aircraft taking-off to create the bespoke monolith shape. The aluminium monoliths were specially manufactured and cut to have the curve on the top and also curved both front and back, they were then stove enamelled in a grey colour that complimented the aviation theme. The larger monoliths included digitally printed maps of the terminal to assist the drivers.

This design was then continued throughout the project, with smaller monoliths of the same design positioned around the terminal directing traffic to offices and warehouses, and also located in front of office buildings to list the office venders. The office internal signs &  floor directories and door name plates were manufactured with a curved face in the same grey colour as the external signage.

Specialised black reflective vinyl was used on the external monoliths; this was a state of the art method at the time. Most reflective road signs use a white reflective background and a black image, the white reflects as your headlights hit the surface so that you see the white background reflect and the impression of the non-reflective black image. However, as we needed to use a contrasting colour to the grey background of the monoliths, white reflective vinyl was not an option. The text needed to be seen both in the day and night time, the black reflective vinyl was ideal as it meant the text was black in the day and then reflective at night, highly visible around the clock.

The large warehouse numbers were manufactured from flat fret cut acrylic using the same font as used for the other external signage, these were installed using stand-off locators.

Our in-house installation team used specialised equipment to install each of the various signage components, the monoliths are completed with granite setts surrounding the base of the sign. This protects the sign against any damage, when the surrounding lawn is being cut.

The Result

This was a sign package that we were involved in from the initial stages throughout the full project , from site survey, design, manufacture and installation. The Manchester World Freight terminal now has an effective and attractive sign system that enables those visiting the site to navigate their way around with ease.


Monolith Signs

Individual & Built Up Letters

Wayfinding Signs

Bespoke Signs

Manchester World Freight Terminal

Bespoke Monolith.