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Guide to Council Signage Regulations 

There are two categories of licensed signs: those that involve an in-depth review and others that can be fast-tracked through a streamlined approval process. To understand when a detailed or expedited assessment is necessary, and to learn more about the council’s pre-application meetings for complex signage {location} applications, consult the City Council’s regulations materials. Signs requiring a thorough evaluation include those located within heritage areas, near historic landmarks, inside historically significant commercial buildings, or intended for installation in popular shopping centers like Fortitude Valley Mall, Queen Street Mall, or Chinatown Mall.

If your request for a quick evaluation is approved, you can expect a reply within five days. Express assessment applies to the following types of signs:

  • Canopies attached to buildings
  • Freestanding signs on the ground
  • Signs protruding from a wall
  • Roof-mounted signs under 5 square meters in size
  • Hand-painted signs on roofs
  • Tall, self-supporting banners
  • Signs mounted on walls

Before submitting your signage application, take advantage of a pre-submission review to guarantee compliance with regulations. Simply complete the digital request form for advertising signage approvals and settle the associated cost using a major credit card, such as Mastercard or Visa.

This blog provides general information, but it is important to understand that it should not be used as a replacement for official advice. Before purchasing or putting up any signs, we highly recommend that you get in touch with City Council to get a detailed overview of the applicable rules and requirements. The details shared here are correct as of the publication date.

An awning fascia sign can be affixed to or directly painted onto the exterior facing board of a canopy or veranda, serving as an eye-catching promotional tool. 

Regulations governing awning fascia signage include: 

The awning fascia signs {location} should be within the fascia outline and no taller than 600mm. If the signs have illumination or electronic displays, they must meet the technical standards for advertising devices. The electronic display components should have low impact and be 4m2 or smaller.

Blind or canopy sign {location}

A blind or canopy sign is an advertising device painted on or otherwise affixed to solid or flexible material suspended from the edge of an awning, verandah or wall.

To be self-assessable, a blind or canopy sign must:

  • be compatible with the blind/canopy and building on which it is installed, erected or displayed on
  • have a minimum clearance of 2.4m between any rigid part of the blind and a footway surface
  • have a minimum 2.1m clearance between any flexible part of the blind and a footway surface.

Under awning sign {location}

An under awning sign is an advertising device suspended under an awning or verandah.

To be self-assessable, an under awning sign must:

  • be oriented at right angles to the building frontage
  • be no greater than 2.5m long, 0.5m high and 0.3m deep
  • not exceed 75% of the width of the awning or verandah to which it is attached 
  • not project beyond the outer edge of the awning or verandah
  • have a minimum clearance of 2.4m between its lowest part and the footway surface
  • be centrally located along the frontage of the shop or tenancy it advertises. 

In the case of a shopping arcade, one additional such sign may be exhibited at the arcade entrance.

  • not be closer than 3m to another under awning sign, nor closer than 1.5m to a side boundary of a property or tenancy.
  • under awning signs with illumination and/or electronic display components must also comply with the advertising devices technical standards.

Window sign {location}

A window sign is an advertising device displayed on the glass of a display window or through a display window.

To be self-assessable, a window sign must not exceed 25% of the area of the glass panel or panels on which it is exhibited and be no larger than 2m2.

Window signs with illumination and/or electronic display components must also comply with the advertising devices technical standards.

Footway sign {location}

A footway sign (known also as an A-frame sign, T-frame sign or sandwich board sign) is a portable, freestanding advertising device, normally supported by an ‘A’ or inverted ‘T’ frame and typically displayed on a footway.

To be self-assessable, a footway sign must:

  • be for a property located in a business environment or city environment; do a property enquiry to check this
  • have a maximum height of 1m, a maximum width of 0.6m and a maximum depth of 0.6m 
  • be positioned on the kerb side of the footpath, at least 450mm from the kerb, and so that there is a pedestrian corridor of a minimum unobstructed width of 2m between the property boundary and the sign
  • be positioned no greater than 4m from the allotment boundary of the premises that are responsible for the sign
  • not obstruct, clutter or detract from street landscaping, furniture or artwork.

A maximum of two footway signs are permitted per shop.

Commercial flag {location}

A commercial flag is a cloth or similar non-rigid fabric hung from a pole to advertise or identify a commercial establishment. To be self-assessable, a commercial flag must:

  • have an area not greater than 5m2 
  • not be installed, erected or displayed so that it is more than 6.5m above the ground.

Business promotion sign {location}

A business promotion sign is a temporary advertising device advertising an auction, retail sale, business promotion or similar.

To be self-assessable, a business promotion sign must:

  • have a maximum area of 4m2
  • be installed, erected or displayed only on the premises on which the advertised activity is taking place
  • not use electronic display components
  • only be installed, erected or displayed for a maximum of 14 calendar days within any 90-day period.

Only one business promotion sign may be installed, erected or displayed per street frontage of a property.

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