Signs for eternity 

Engagement doesn't mean saturation. There's already far too much clutter in the world.

Two things that I find are increasingly pervading our environment are ill-conceived advertising and promotional signage and the urban guerrilla activity of taggers and graffiti artists.

I’m all up for creating modern, invigorating and engaging cities but we don’t need to saturate the environment with cheap promotional advertising in every spare nook and cranny. Car wraps, A-frame signs, stair and floor graphics; roadside billboards, taxi ads; the list goes on.

The mass of outdoor messages that display little restraint, no sensitivity or intelligent thought are an assault on the senses all in the name of building brand recognition. It would be good for local councils to put in place some better urban design principles to help protect the aesthetics of our streets from visual pollution.

Kelvin Taylor

Kelvin Taylor

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The urban guerrilla activity of taggers, graffiti and street art is also prolific, and often detracts from the urban landscape and defaces property. One thing in their favour however is this group of visual communicators at least have something a bit more meaningful, clever or humorous to say.

An old favourite of mine is the graffiti works of Arthur Stace. In Sydney over an approximate period of 35-years from 1932 to 1967 Stace walked the streets of Sydney at night writing the single word ‘Eternity’ in chalk on walls and footpaths in his unmistakable copperplate handwriting. It is said he wrote the word over 500,000 times for it to be washed away in the next rain.

After Stace’s death in the 1960’s the Eternity signature lived on. Artists Martin Sharp and Banksy have referenced the image. Most notably, as part of the fireworks on Sydney Harbour to mark New Year’s Day of the year 2000, the Eternity signature was immortalised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and symbolically recreated as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Now that’s what I call building a brand.

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