Novotel Christchurch Airport - IU Signage


Christchurch Airport

After a successful refurbishment on the signage for their Cathedral Square hotel, Novotel came to us to help with a new and exciting build.

The signage designed by the architect was aesthetically beautiful and carried the brand flawlessly throughout the building, but there was no technical solution or plan for achieving the desired effect.

The design for the room signage was a stunning concept that featured floating letters, illuminated from within to create a silhouette effect. In order to meet the desired aesthetic, we interpreted the architect’s vision to design framework and lighting systems that were functional.


To create the room signage, we created four prototypes. Essentially, our design was a metal box which had the room numbers protruding from the top, and LEDs casting light from within. We added an opal acrylic strip across the top to diffuse the light evenly and also to protect from the build-up of dust and dirt. The difficulty with a design like this, is that heat is what will inevitably lead to the failure of LEDs and our metal box would become a heat trap. Our solution to this challenge was to add small holes to the bottom of the box to help cool it down, but we positioned them as far away from the wall as possible so the light wouldn’t shine down onto the wall and ruin the desired effect of the illumination.

As well as the beautiful room signage, we created a series of signs for the Food Exchange restaurant in the hotel with copper letters, which were designed to have an aged look with “copper patination”. Patina is a thin layer that forms on copper, and will happen gradually as the metal ages, but for a design like this, it can also be helped along by using natural chemical reactions. In order to get the right level of patina, we applied the solution and then once it reached the desired stage we cleaned and sealed the letters so they don’t age any further.

Across the building, from the first glance at the illuminated signage when arriving at the hotel, to the signage as a guest enters their room, to the restaurant signage, at every touchpoint the brand experience is harmonious and integrated. We are proud of the work that we have created with Novotel, and of the challenges that we have overcome.