0% played
Play Button

Straight to the top: sky signs by Diadem

Taking a brand to the highest point of a skyline offers considerable opportunity – as well as considerable risk.

As a leading sky sign specialist and custodian of brands in the built environment, Diadem consistently rises to the challenge for clients with signage rights on towers in cities around the world.

Investing in a sky signage program is a significant undertaking; however, the benefits for brand exposure are equally substantial, with sky signs lighting up city towers at night, visible from vantage points around cities and highly populated areas and events, and often featured in the footage of news and sports events beamed worldwide. Having your brand in the background of the Australian Open is equivalent to a sizable advertising spend.

At Diadem, we bring our integrated approach across design, engineering, technology and our signature Viewing Distance Analysis to ensure that, when it comes to sky signs, the impact of our clients’ brands is maximised from every angle.


Travis Marshall - Group General Manager ANZ | Associate

A multi-faceted

When a client secures the rights for a sky sign at the top of a city tower, usually as the tower’s anchor tenant, we are often one of the first people to hear from them to validate the value of the opportunity. At Diadem, we are engaged in planning, designing and managing the installation of sky signs for new and existing towers in most capital cities. Look up in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Hong Kong… the list goes on… you are sure to see a sky sign by Diadem.

The process to get that brand in place is complex. While ensuring our client will receive maximum visibility, we also need to navigate city council regulations, work together with multiple stakeholders, and ensure the long-term viability of the sky sign through rigorous planning, meticulous testing and technical delivery.

As the specialists for BHP’s sky signs, we have brought this integrated approach to the brand’s towers in multiple locations from Melbourne’s CBD to the waterfront of Perth. On that tower, the sky sign is perched high on a “tiara”, above the 47th floor with an exceptionally high wind-load and a childcare centre located below increasing the safety risks considerably. Like so many others, this challenge was solved by our team working across design, engineering, manufacturing and installation.


Distance Analysis

How can our clients ensure their investment in a sky sign is maximised? Our signature VDA (Viewing Distance Analysis) during the planning phase delivers a thorough verification of locations and performance requirements that helps us decide on the exact position of the sky sign, its optimum size, and its colour to achieve this performance.

The key is to consider visibility. We’ll look at pedestrian volume areas, traffic volume, public transport routes, and the sightlines from future development that could obstruct views in the surrounding area’s residential, retail and commercial settings. One recent example saw Diadem optimise the site for NAB’s latest sky sign in Melbourne’s CBD, ensuring its familiar brand would enjoy maximum exposure.

NAB Sky Signs

Designed to
be seen

At Diadem, we apply brands to various signage and wayfinding touchpoints in the built environment. An understanding of context informs a sign’s design, whether within a busy shopping centre where brands compete for attention or an airport terminal where clarity of information is key. For sky signs, the design program offers other challenges.

There are several factors when designing a sky sign, but the foremost is aligning with the outcome of the VDA. We consider the sign’s relationship to the building and architecture, and we then review the brand and brand guidelines. We also consider the brand colours and contrast to the building for daytime viewing and illumination for nighttime viewing.

Once the design’s size, scale and positioning have been decided, we review the technical requirements to achieve this outcome. This involves considering the fixing methodology the access and installation, the materials to be used for construction to meet BCA compliance and which lighting methodology will achieve the correct illumination.

In Sydney, Diadem was engaged to plan, develop and deliver five high-level signs across the three towers of Barangaroo for PwC, HSBC, Westpac-owned BT and St George Bank.  As our project lead, Robert Fugle, noted at the time, “With such high-profile clients, we needed to ensure that all of the signs had the same equity in legibility, scale, positioning, intensity and brand recognition.”

Barangaroo Precinct

Built for

Being unbiased in particular manufacturing methods, material selection, or lighting solutions means we can independently recommend and design a solution for the best possible outcome. For this part of the process, we want to deliver a sky sign that not only impresses but has considered ongoing maintenance and flexibility.

One recent example is the sky signage for Amazon’s new headquarters in Melbourne, which allows its people to show support for various activities and causes beyond its brand. We developed a lighting system that allows for easy colour changes of the ‘smile’ element of the logo using an LED RGB lighting system.


Removing risk
from the design stage

Sky signs carry significant risks given the high-level location, access requirements, access restrictions and the size and scale of the required signage. Considering these risks and safety during the installation phase is critical in the planning and design phases. Experience in installation, especially in the centre of busy CBD locations, is vital.

Each sky sign project presents nuances that make its installation unique, taking into account the building architecture (including parapet details and heights), BMU capacity/details and roof access. Through our experience, we can evaluate these issues and design to mitigate and reduce these risks early in the process.

PwC Tower

A beacon
of sustainability

Every signage and wayfinding project at Diadem considers its impact on the environment, and sky signs are no exception. We are currently working on a sky sign for a client’s headquarters in Sydney which is driven by sustainability from every angle. They requested a sustainable sky sign solution. One of the ways we have delivered on that is by taking an open-faced rather than flex-faced approach to the sign, making a 40 to 48% saving of CO2e.

Diadem has previously implemented this technology successfully in Asia on previous projects. More recently, our UniSuper sky sign marked its first use in Australia. As well as delivering enhanced clarity against the night sky, this technology provides a more sustainable illumination method with lower ongoing maintenance costs.


On the
world stage

As cities grow, Diadem is a brand custodian for our clients with buildings in multiple locations, such as Citibank with multiple sky sign projects across Asia. Having this responsibility allows us to bring our understanding of the brand and our years of experience delivering sky signs.

Every new sky sign project presents not only challenges but also opportunities. These range from sustainable initiatives to giving clients a new way to show their support to the community through changing colours. For most clients, these projects offer their largest platform and the chance to be seen by their largest audience. The sky’s the limit.

At Diadem, we consider every angle.

Diadem is renowned for designing and executing sky signs for leading brands in prominent positions of our city skylines.

A successful sky sign demands a fine balance between branding and engineering, and that is what we deliver. Our sky signs are scaled to optimise viewing distance, legibility, brand integrity and a long lifespan.

Talk to us about your next project and how we can help guide it to success.


Get in touch to start
a conversation.

Multistep Form