How to Pull off Projection on Buildings That Leave an Impact

Projection mapping comes in many different formats. One of the most popular is projections on buildings because of their high impact and ability to engage large numbers of people.


Here’s everything you need to know about projection mapping on buildings and how you can implement it into your own strategy.


  1. The legalities of projection mapping on buildings
  2. The space you’ll need for projection mapping on buildings
  3. The best types of surfaces for projection mapping on buildings
  4. Great examples of projection mapping on buildings

The Legalities of Projection Mapping on Buildings

Before you can nail a building projection mapping project, you need to be aware of all the associated legalities. These include elements such as  permission by building owners, local government permits and public safety.

Permission by Building Owners

The first step involves gaining permission from the owner of the building or structure that you want your projection to feature on. 

There may also be a need to get permission from neighbouring properties if a third-party owns them.

Whether you’re given permission to advertise on the building or not usually depends on the content of the projection and whether building owners deem it suitable. 

Once the building owner is happy, you’ll then need to send an application to the local government to gain their permission as well.

Local Government Permits

Your building projection will be featuring in a public space. This means the local government will need to give it the nod of approval before the project can go ahead.

Projection mapping is still a relatively new way to display media in public spaces, so there’s a good chance that local council members may not be familiar with your proposal.

It’s always a good idea to meet with the council directly and in advance so you can explain your project and what you hope to achieve from it. This will avoid confusion further down the line and reduce the chance of meeting roadblocks. 

There are cases where you won’t require permission from the local authority to advertise on a building. You can find out more about these here.


Similarly to any type of advertising, you need to be aware of any possible copyright issues with a building or structure which you plan to project your content on.

Creating a projection without the relevant licenses to use your chosen imagery could result in copyright infringement and other legal repercussions. Here’s more information about the laws on copywriting in advertising

Public Safety 

All advertising needs to be ethical and created with the safety of the public in mind. This involves considering things such as distracting people using transport, impairing eyesight and also the nature of the content being used.

We’ve created our very own Guide to Ethical Advertising. You can download your very own free version here.

The Space You’ll Need For Projection Mapping On Buildings

Once the relevant parties have approved your project, the next step involves making sure your projection mapping accommodates the shape and contours of your projection surface.

The last thing you want to do is create an amazing projection and then find out it doesn’t fit your building or looks different to how you planned.

To avoid this happening, you (and your print partner) will need to laser scan the building to ensure that everything looks correct. This is usually done a month or so before the campaign begins.

There are some features you should always look for in a print partner. Finding one who will offer a laser scanning service as part of their offering is one of the most important. 

Not only will this save you time. It’ll also remove any chance of your project going wrong as you’ll be in the capable hands of specialists who know the laser scanning process inside and out.

The Best Types of Surfaces for Projection Mapping On Buildings

You obviously want your projection to feature in a prominent place where lots of people are going to see it. However, some surfaces work better for projection mapping than others.

As a general rule of thumb, brighter surfaces are better to work with when it comes to projection mapping. They reflect more light and really bring out the colour from the projector.

This means you should avoid darker areas as you won’t get the most out of your campaign. It’s a waste of resources if lots of people see your advert is but it doesn’t look very good.

Great Examples of Projection Mapping on Buildings

There are lots of innovative examples where brands have used projections on buildings to create impact and stand out in a crowded market. Here are three of our favourite examples:

Norwich Castle Projection Show

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Sydney Opera House Projection Show

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Festival of Lights – Berlin 

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As you can see, projection mapping can be an extremely powerful medium if it’s done correctly. That’s the reason some of the largest brands have started using it themselves.

Begin Your Journey With Projection Mapping Today

To help you gain a better understanding of projection mapping and whether it’s the right fit for your business, we’ve put together an all-in-one resource.

The resource covers everything, from the different types of projection mapping to setting up your own projection mapping project. Access your free copy below.