Support The Moscow Times!

New Signage Rules to Take Effect Next Year

Advertising covering entire buildings will soon become a thing of the past. Vladimir Filonov

If a bright advertising sign outside your window does not let you sleep or you find the oversized letters on store signs you pass on the way to work are an eyesore, take heart because they are about to be scrapped.

Moscow's City Hall has approved new rules on how to format and display advertisements or other information platforms, the city's chief architect, Sergei Kuznetsov, said at a meeting on Tuesday.

Signs can't be placed higher than the second floor, over windows or canopies, columns or store windows. There are also limits set on the size of the signs, the number of signs that can be placed on one roof and what kind of signs can be placed on historic buildings.

The regulations will be even stricter on the city's central thoroughfares.

"It's become almost the norm to put up signs on rooftops, cover up windows and disturb residents with their brightness," Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at the meeting, Vedomosti reported.

Companies will have until May 1 to make their signs located within the Garden Ring fit the parameters of the new rules. That deadline is extended until Jan. 1, 2015 for signs inside the Third Transportation Ring, and until July 1, 2016 for those within the boundary of the Moscow Ring Road.

Though the new measures might be a welcome change for city residents, some companies are perturbed by the additional bureaucracy. Many of their advertisements — including the letters that display the store name — will have to be reduced in size, and some managers are worried that the smaller text will make the stores harder to find, thus reducing revenues.

On the plus side, companies previously had to get the approval of the city's department for press and advertising, but this step will be omitted once the new rules are in place.

Contact the author at

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.