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Interpretation Panels

The scrolling banner, above, gives examples of recently produced interpretation panel projects undertaken by Shelley Signs.  We can produce Interpretation Panels from your own artwork or we can create designs for you in-house.  We produce high quality printed graphics in robust and easy to clean materials and offer a wide range of framing options. Please complete the Enquiry Form above or call Tel. 01743 460996  for more details. More details read below

Interpretation panels are found in nature reserves, parks and public open spaces.  They help educate and inform visitors about the environment around them and can cover both natural history and archaeological themes.  A well designed interpretation panel will be visually attractive with illustrations and brief text – they should be seen as an introduction to the subject not the entire answer.

Here are some important consideratiopns when beginning an Interpretation Project

Interpretation Panel at Broads Authority

Graphic Design for Interpretation

Shelley can work from your final, electronic artwork OR we can work with you to design your interpretive panel.  Our graphic design input will depend on your in-house skills.

We provide the following services: doing the design from all its component parts, supplying illustrations, creating artwork for maps, and editing or researching your interpretation content. 

For more details, explore the detailed Design Section of this website.  To discuss your requirements further, phone Rob Shelley on Tel. 01743 460996


Framing Options for Interpretation

Your choice of frame has a massive impact on your interpretive panel.  For example, a great graphic design but an inappropriate frame can totally undermine a message.  You may wisInterpretation panel in aluminium frame, Severn Gorge Trusth to match the existing street furniture, or, depending on the site and style, to create a feature that blends into or stands out from the environment.

Commonly chosen materials are oak, pressure-treated softwood, or steel (either galvanised and powder-coated or stainless steel).  Lectern frames, with the display set at an angle, tend to be popular for interpretation panels.  In contrast, interpretive signs at entrances tend to be vertically mounted.

Content for Interpretation

The content oInterpretation Panel with a detailed map for Wem Town Councilf an interpretive sign is critical to its success and usage.  Here are our essential, but simple rules:

  • Word length – For a typical A1-sized panel we suggest a maximum of 200 words.  Nobody will read more.
  • Illustrations – Allocate a budget large enough to give you attractive illustrations, so that they can help tell your story.
  • Maps – Keep them really simple.  Nobody will remember more detail.
  • Key Messages – For each panel, look for one or two messages that will make readers think, ‘I didn’t know that’ … and tell their friends about back home.
  • QR codes and Tags – A useful way to encourage visits to your website, so worth including.

Interpretation Material Options

Lots of different materials can be used for printing and finishing interpretive panels.  All of them are geared towards producing attractive, high-quality print, in a vandal-resistant finish, with excellent colour fastness (stable over time).

Shelley Signs recommends encapsulated Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP).  This is a tough and robust finish for outdoor graphics that doesn’t detract from the quality of the print.  It has proven itself over many years to be a tried and trusted solution.  Shelley also work with a wide variety of other materials, including polycarbonate, acrylic, foamex and various timbers.


Shelley Signs are specialist suppliers of interpretive signs and panels.  We can get involved at whatever stage of the project suits you.  And we can supply design, printed graphics, frames and other support structures .  And finally, … all our work, except steel fabrication, is undertaken in-house at our Shropshire factory – which you are welcome to visit to assess our capabilities.