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The New Brisbane Sign is Here

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by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published November 13th 2015
A brand new, all metal, Brisbane sign is back in South Bank
On a rainy Saturday in November the new Brisbane sign was finally unveiled to a small audience. Brisbane fell in love with the old temporary Brisbane sign during the G20 summit, they have eagerly anticipated its permanent return.

The new Brisbane sign is here
The new Brisbane sign is here


The original Brisbane sign was simply a way to help put Brisbane on the map. Given that most media broadcasts from South Bank lack any dramatic or iconic feature as a background, putting the name of the city where made it easy for broadcasts to use it as the background. Brisbanites and visitors quickly fell in love with the colourful sign sitting on the lawns at South Bank. Unfortunately the sign had been made out of wood and was never meant to be permanent and had to be removed.

Because Brisbane had such a love affair with the G20 sign, the Brisbane City Council vowed to build a permanent replacement. The new sign is not simply a replica in metal, instead it has been designed from scratch.

The back of the new Brisbane sign
The back of the new Brisbane sign


There of course is the problem. Now the sign has been put together by committee and while the old had an eclectic and whimsical nature, the new one has all the whimsy that a government committee and community consultation process can muster (which is as little as you would expect).

The sign has each letter designed by a different group and reflects different aspects of Brisbane's history and culture. However the result is a little bland and safe. The sign itself is set in that soft rubbery material that they put around playgrounds so as to protect any kids who might fall off the sign. Though the sign is not really designed to be easily climbed or crawled through.

Looking through the centre of the A in the Brisbane sign
Looking through the centre of the A in the Brisbane sign


The real test of the sign though is not my opinion but how people interact with it. Like the old sign, any tourists or visitors to South Bank are once again drawn to take their photos in front of it. Unfortunately while the every changing colours of the lighting are pretty, they are not really bright enough for photographs of your friends.

The Brisbane sign's lights are constantly changing colour
The Brisbane sign's lights are constantly changing colour


I am sure that this sign will be as popular for visitors and for photographs as the old one and will become an iconic feature of South Bank as much as the Wheel or Streets Beach.
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Where: Cultural Forecourt, South Bank
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