The People's Sign of Blackall
If you travel north-west along Landsborough Highway towards the town of Blackall you will be met by 7.5 m tall signs that tell you exactly where you are. The People’s Sign of Blackall is the perfect example of taking a vision and breathing life into it. Created for the Better in Blackall Festival, the People’s Sign of Blackall features separate signs for each letter which is placed against a background of collaged photos relating to the town.
The vision was given physical form by Artcraft, who worked with the township to realise their ideas and bring them to fruition. The initial meeting with the Better in Blackall Festival committee served as a way to show the committee what our company was capable of and the types of services we could bring to their vision. Their ambitions were set high with their initial plans aiming for 10m tall, three-dimensional letters to be built. They wanted to go for a “Hollywood sign” feel.
Three months of back and forth amongst the committee members, liaising via email and phone calls followed before one of our representatives attended the Longreach Council conference. It was there that the project began to start rolling in the right direction. We worked with a German-based graphic artist that the committee had already been in contact with for the artwork.
The final proofs, manufacturing and delivery of the signs were all handled within two weeks. The end of that time period was dubbed the official opening, so the pressure was on. We managed to complete everything to schedule. At the last minute, however, the committee had realised they’d forgotten the funding dedication sign. We worked with them to proof, manufacture and deliver it with two days left to the opening. This sign proudly displays our signature on the front of the sign – as opposed to placing a sticker on the back.
We used 4 x 100 NB galvanised steel posts for each sign. This ensured a durable support structure against the elements. It’s already proven its strength and resilience first-hand against a recent storm where 84 mm of rain fell in under 24-hours. The town’s medical centre was compromised by the severe weather, but the signs were left intact.
One of the defining aspects of this project was the unique finishing for the sign faces. Our printers produced completely reflective faces to really make them stand out even more. Because black does not reflect light at all, this means that each sign will still be distinctly visible at night with impressive clarity – acting like a beacon for the town. The sharp colours also mean it’s a wonder to gaze at during the day.
The top of each letter actually runs off the top of the sign giving it a different perspective and unique profile compared to a lot of other road signs. The collaged photos that make up the sign’s background were collected by two local women from other townsfolk as well as tourists who’ve used the tag #betterinblackall. The final dimensions came to 7.5m high and 4.5m wide. The entire span of the word runs for around 250m along the Landsborough Highway. As an act of goodwill, Artcraft decided to sponsor the first “A” sign to show support for the Better in Blackall Festival.