Bespoke graphics

Bespoke graphics

Create or commission your own artworks

Bespoke graphics are stand-alone works of art that enliven streetscapes and engage the public. They’re an opportunity to create an intriguing and beautiful piece of street art for your community, as opposed to advertising artwork and other content for your business. 

Bespoke graphics must feature the work of living Australian artists. Innovative design features such as 3D elements, green walls or cut-outs are encouraged, subject to site-specific suitability, including the availability of sufficient footpath width.

‘How to’ guide

We’re happy to walk you through the following process. The benefit of keeping to these guidelines, and realising the spirit of creating interesting ‘street art’, is your hoarding application will be approved much faster!

  • Engage an Australian* artist to create a piece of bespoke street art for your hoarding canvas. 
  • Brief your artist to be bold with your creative concepts – to bring colour, inspiration, reflection and a sense of play to the people who pass by your construction site. 
  • Cover at least 75% of all surfaces (site fences, fascias and access gates wider than 2m) in bespoke graphics. The remaining area must be painted in a flat black or other approved colour that works in harmony with the artwork.
  • Feature the name of the artist/s, the artist’s website address, and a short statement about the work on 1 dedicated panel (let’s call this the ‘artist panel’), using the copy guide featured below. Note: this panel must be located at street level and the content must be easy to access and understand by passers-by. For example, text must run horizontally and be within eye level. The ‘artist panel’ must also include the specified City of Sydney logo. You may also include your business logo here if it is featured side by side with the City logo and at equal scale.

Artist panel copy guide

Responding to community demand to see more art on the streets of Sydney, (insert your company name) is proud to be a participant in the City of Sydney’s creative hoardings program. Featured here is the work of (insert artist name). (Include statement about the work from the artist or a sentence or two on their style.)

To see more of (insert artist name) work, visit (insert website address).

For a type B hoarding that does not have a site fence, your business logo, along with the artist’s name, artist’s website address and the specified City logo must be displayed on each end panel of the fascia. Ensure the artist’s details are readable by people on the footpath.

  • Limit branding and project information (the story about what you are developing at the site and any other community information) to one panel at street level (let’s call this the ‘project panel’) at either end of the hoarding (it can be located next to the builder’s required signage). Feature your branding and project information content in a style that works in harmony with the art. Note: Branding and project information can only appear once on any street frontage and cannot exceed 5% of the overall design, or 5sq m, whichever is the lesser. Designs which primarily use the corporate colours or reinterpret elements of your branding, logo or identity will be considered advertising and will not be approved.
  • Place site signage (such as builder’s and safety signage) at the ends of the hoarding fence and fascia panels, providing for the largest possible, uninterrupted area for the creative display. Site signage such as safety signage must not be placed over creative graphics.

What to avoid

  • Material which discriminates or vilifies a person or section of the community on account of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexuality, religion, disability, mental illness or political belief.
  • Sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading of any individual or group of people – the artwork should treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience.
  • Presenting or portraying violence unless it’s justifiable in the context.
  • Language which is inappropriate in the circumstances.
  • Phone numbers, website addresses, marketing campaign messaging and any other company information must not be included within the ‘art’ panels.

Due to the varying nature of hoarding sizes and shapes, you are free to size individual elements, such as logos, artist information and project information as best suits the overall design. Remember, the spirit of ‘bespoke graphics’ and our creative hoardings program is to enliven streetscapes. If you keep that at the forefront of your mind when designing your hoarding graphics, they will be approved much faster at less cost through less re-designs.

Note: You will need to provide an example of your bespoke graphics with your application for assessment and approval. Further details are available in clause 3.4 of the guidelines for hoardings and scaffolding.

*There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you can demonstrate a long, established relationship with an artist. Or you are featuring works being exhibited in a program such as the Biennale or Head On Photo Festival

Got questions?

If you’d like advice on how best to create your hoarding artwork, we’d love to help you. We can help you find, engage, and brief artists. We can also introduce you to cultural organisations you could partner with to create something fantastic.


Jenn Blake
Cultural Projects Coordinator – Sector Initiatives
02 9265 9978

Last updated: Monday, 2 September 2019