Signing off

ANOTHER giant digital advertising sign has been knocked back by Vincent council, with city planners saying it could lead to accidents on Graeme Farmer Freeway.

The council has long tried to keep the lid on the visual clutter of billboards, and a big 20×8 metre screen above the four-storey office block at 12 Newcastle Street was definitely a step too far, even though the owners tried to soften the bid with a rooftop terrace.

“The proposed signage would require motorists to look up, away from the road to view the sign when travelling westbound along Graham Farmer Freeway and southbound along Lord Street,” a planner’s report to the council noted.

“The size, scale, digital nature and visual prominence of the sign could be distracting to motorists and cause threat to public safety or health.”

• Vincent council has knocked back this giant billboard.

Perth council also got to have a crack at the sign, given its border starts just across the road, and it was likewise unimpressed by the size, while Main Roads said it failed its “turbulence zone” policy and was “above the critical crash threshold”.

After a less-than-enthusiastic response from the council’s design panel, which said its advice appeared to have been “misinterpreted”, applicant Adbrands Media appointed Mackay Urbandesign to help out.

“Digital signage is now a thing in Perth,” Mackay said in a presentation on its revamped design, while noting the council’s anti-sign policy was nearly 20 years old.

Mackay poured scorn on old-fashioned billboards as a bit tacky, saying digital signs deliver better streetscapes by moving them away from the pedestrian zone and integrating them with the building.

“A sign of the times – digital signage is a component of the world’s most popular and dynamic places,” it argued.

It wasn’t enough to sway councillors.

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