QBE Insurance Sky Signage

A new jewel adorns the crown of the QBE Centre in Auckland’s CBD.

Often referred to as sky signage, large-scale and well-illuminated logos are paramount in creating brand presence in a busy cityscape. QBE Insurance stands proudly above Queen Street with two clean, conspicuous, radiant logos.

Producing signage to this scale and of such a precarious nature is no small feat. From research and testing to permits and regulations, this was a huge collaborative effort. Teaming up with our expertise in signwriting and electrical work, BIG engaged fabricators/engineers Rodier and height access experts TPS Phase 1.

Read more below about the extensive process in bringing this project to life.


Behind the scenes, before the build began, a massive amount of work was put into structural engineer reports and wind load testing.

The wind loading results dictated the type of fixing to be used. Testing was done at ground level, with an inventive method involving a custom-made bath with an aluminium frame and welded mesh, and water used to mimic the behaviour of wind. Simulating wind pressure informed the strength of the wire mesh, therefore giving the information needed for installation.


A wire mesh formation was built upon an existing frame at the 27th storey of the tower. This was to carry two-metre tall aluminium channelled letters with acrylic faces and GE LEDs.

The two logos were formed by BIG’s fabrication partner Rodier, and installed by the height access team at TBS Phase 1. The white lettering was powder coated, and the blue link icon was painted in a water-based PPG finish. The back of the logos were also painted as they can be seen from many angles, and the wire mesh was painted black to disappear into the background.


Constructed in kitset form, the two logos were transported up the goods elevator to be assembled at the top of the building – bolted into place by cranes and winches that were specially adapted to fit to the framework.

Unsurprisingly, due to the dizzying heights and public location, the health and safety rating for this installation was considered EXTREME. For public safety, all work was carried out at restrictive times during low activity. Every tool and piece of equipment had to be tethered.

The end result was some fantastic new signage on the Auckland city skyline, that was in-place on time for QBE’s official new office opening at QBE Centre.