Boarding Pass Redesign


A graphic artist redesigned airline boarding passes. He sketched the rough idea on his Moleskine.

“So I took out my Moleskine and started sketching. I tried to remember my previous trip through John F. Kennedy Airport and when and why I needed to reference my boarding pass. It seemed like I first needed to know which flight I was on. I put the gate right next to this, but made the flight number first because gates tend to change quite often. Next came my seat which I always look at a few times while boarding the plane. After that I put the zone, which is how they board the airplane initially and always seemed like the biggest cluster-**** of people not knowing what zone they were in or how to find it on their pass. I also did something with the time I think might help, when it was a P.M. time, it was white text on a black box and when it was A.M. it was black text on a white box. Below is what I initially came up with….”

Read the full story.

(Thanks Jenny Ortuoste)

5 thoughts on “Boarding Pass Redesign

  1. Fascinating project: redesign an industrial artifact to suit its real world application! The eclectic contributions to the project from other designers illustrate how wildly differently we can attack the same challenge. The comments reflected how weirdly closed-minded even artists can be.
    Practical industrial design is often deliberate and tightly focused. Artifacts like boarding passes result from a compromise of necessary content, regulations, and hardware specifications. The best industrial design concentrates on the needs of the user first and all those other things are production realities.

  2. “After that I put the zone, which is how they board the airplane initially and always seemed like the biggest cluster-fuck of people not knowing what zone they were in…”

    This was hilarious to read!!! As I have to (unfortunately) travel often, I am consistently amazed at how people seem to behave like children in the airport and when boarding the plane. How long does it really take to match the letters and numbers on your boarding pass, with the letters and numbers on the seat?

    And as far as zones, I think people just disregard their boarding zone, just to be able to get on the plane first. That has always been a novelty to me, because the seats are assigned! No matter if you are the first or last person to board, your seat will be waiting for you!

  3. i fly every week, at least 4 flights, and i cannot believe that this has not been done before. it’s so obvious and yet so simple to fix. beautiful.

    by the way, the reason why people fight to get on the plane first is to make sure that they can get a spot for their luggage. zone 1 is critical for me if i want to be able to travel efficiently.

  4. Just came back from flying back and forth from LAX to Chicago and Baltimore where I was looking at the art schools. (Any thoughts on SAIC and MICA?) This article is an inspiration for designers-to-be like me, and a reminder why I always got my Moleskine in my back pocket.

  5. At the library they give me a receipt when I check out a book. The receipt has one very big date on it – the date I checked the book out… very small, buried in the text, is the due date.

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