A Sign of the Times

Coke's Kings Cross Sign Through the Decades


It may not be obvious today but in the mid-sixties Sydney’s famous William Street was lined with a blinding array of neon signs. Glittering logos featuring Phillips, Penfolds, Dunlop Tyres and Coke all perched on soon-to-be demolished buildings.

The arrival of a striking new Coca‑Cola sign in 1974 signalled big things for Sydney and the Kings Cross area. The Sydney Opera House was only a year old, and the Kings Cross tunnel was almost complete.

The new Coca‑Cola sign created an unmistakable landmark, one that defined the area that quickly became known as ‘The Gateway to the Cross’. 

The cars, the hair and the fashion may have changed, but the Kings Cross Coke sign has remained familiar and loved. It also stands as a physical symbol of the long-term, working relationship between two companies ― Coca‑Cola and signage company Claude Neon. For more than 40 years, Claude Neon have fabricated, repaired and tended to the sign.

Fast Forward: Time for a Refresh

Claude’s most recent project is to support the refurbishment of the iconic sign to let it shine on into the future. “It’s a ‘like for like’ replacement with a new sign that will be familiar to all. Over 10 tonnes of old sign has been removed and recycled,” said Thomas Lang, Senior Project Manager for Claude Neon.

In the meantime a protective cover was pulled over the Kings Cross worksite last week, to remain in place until the big reveal in 2016. Watch this space!

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