How to create or commission your own site-specific artwork for construction site hoardings
Bespoke graphics are an opportunity to create an intriguing and beautiful piece of street art.
Project Status: When you need to do this
What you need to do
Engage an Australian artist
An Australian artist must be commissioned to create the piece of bespoke street art for your hoarding canvas.
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 of Sydney or Head On Photo Festival.
Brief your artist to be bold with your creative concepts
The artwork should 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 in bespoke graphics
This includes site fences, fascias and access gates wider than 2m.
The remaining area must be painted in a flat black or other approved colour that works in harmony with the artwork.
Give credit to the artist and the work
Feature the name of the artist, their website address, and a short statement about the work on 1 dedicated artist panel, using the copy guide below.
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 a 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).
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 our logo and at an equal scale.
If you’re creating artwork for a type B hoarding
Type B hoardings are a more substantial structure that spans a footpath or roadway and affords overhead protection to the public.
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 our 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 should be limited to one project panel at street level at either end of the hoarding. It can be located next to the builder’s required sign.
Feature your branding and project information content in a style that works in harmony with the art.
Branding and project information can only appear once on any street frontage and cannot exceed 5% of the overall design, or 5m², 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.
Placement of site signsPlace site signs such as builder’s and safety notifications at the ends of the hoarding fence and fascia panels, providing for the largest possible, uninterrupted area for the creative display. Site signs must not be placed over creative graphics.
Before you start
Learn about the creative hoardings program
The creative hoardings program aims to transform the visual impact of construction sites. It also provides opportunities for artists to showcase their work on a large scale in very visible locations.
Find a printing firm
There are a number of large format printing firms in the Sydney region that can print and install graphics on hoardings.
Some commercial suppliers of hoardings can also arrange to print and install the graphics as a packaged service.
Ask for help
We’re happy to walk you through this 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.
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’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.
Remember you will need an example for your application
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.
Using creative graphics
We require the use of creative graphics on temporary structures in high traffic areas.
There are currently 3 options for installing artwork on eligible hoardings.
- Bespoke. You may create or commission your own site-specific artwork. Designs will require our approval and an image of your proposed design must be lodged with your application.
- Historic images. Temporary structures surrounding heritage-listed sites or in areas of heritage significance are required to display historic images of the locality. To help you meet this requirement, we have developed a design template and can supply photographs.
- Site Works. We called for artists and designers from across the nation to propose artworks for display on hoardings. We selected and licensed 10 artworks. These are available to use on eligible hoardings free of charge. In some cases we may require these artworks to be used.
Where hoardings and/or scaffolding are erected on public land including roads and footpaths, we reserve the right to display community information about major projects, festivals and special events. You'll be advised during the application process if we intend to exercise this right.
Which graphic is right for your site?
|Site type||4–8 weeks||9–26 weeks||26+ weeks|
|Heritage-listed building, city centre||Historic images||Historic images||Historic images|
|Heritage-listed building, non-city centre||Graphics are not required||Historic images*||Historic images|
|Heritage conservation area, non-city centre||Graphics are not required||Historic images*||Historic images|
|City centre, high visibility (high traffic or pedestrian area)||Site Works||Site Works||Site Works|
|City centre, low visibility (low traffic and pedestrian movement or laneways)||Site Works||Site Works||Site Works|
|Non-city centre, high visibility (high traffic major transport corridor or pedestrian area)||Graphics are not required||Site Works||Site Works|
|Non-city centre, low visibility (minor local street with low traffic and pedestrian movement)||Graphics are not required||Historic images*||Site Works|
*In these cases, graphics are only required if the hoarding is installed for more than 12 weeks. Please refer to table 1 in the guidelines for hoardings and scaffolding.
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.