Interpretation panel Artwork & Design Services


This section introduces the interpretation panel artwork & design services offered by Shelley Signs.

Supplying your own electronic artwork? The Technical Section of this site gives you our requirements and a link for uploading your finished design.

Requiring help with the graphics? The rest of this page gives details of the Shelley design services or download our comprehensive Shelley design brochure.

We have an in-house design team that specialises in working on wayfinding, interpretive projects and interpretation panel artwork & design services. We also have working relationships with a range of freelance designers and specialist consultants to increase project flexibility and provide additional resources when needed.

Design is an integral part of any project, and many clients like to be actively involved in the process. We can get involved at various different stages of a project and frequently design panels from ‘component parts’ that are supplied by the client. These often involve some or all of the following:


You might want to write your own text, in which case here are a few tips. 

  • Word length – For a typical A1-sized panel we strongly recommend a maximum of 200 words – and preferably less.  Remember  ‘less is more’ or the saying by Oscar Wilde, ‘I’m sorry to write a long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one’. 
  • Writing style – Your text should be concisely written, contain 1–2 themes, and tell a clear story. Give them a ‘killer’ fact – something they will take home and tell others.
  • Audience – Our advice is to imagine you are writing for a family with small children – i.e. you are writing an introduction to the subject, not everything you know about it! 


Spend some time on planning and selecting these as illustrations are an important part of interpretation artwork & design. From our experience they can be key to the success of your panel. Bold, colourful illustrations, for example, will often convey a message better than words. Here are a few notes on different illustration types, and what we can offer:

  • Wildlife – Our library has a wide selection of watercolour illustrations for you to use. We also have access to lots of good photographic images. Be careful of opting for collage style and scenic illustrations, however, which may need to be commissioned and can therefore be expensive.
  • Site-Specific images – If you want these on your panel, we would normally expect you to provide the illustrations or photographs.
  • Historical Images – People really like old, archive, black-and-white images, which give a panel a very evocative feel. So, they are worth using if you can. Shelley’s printers can reproduce them for you to high standards, or our team of illustrators can create you a historical illustration.


Most people can only retain a very limited amount of mapping information in their heads, so anything on your sign should be as simple as possible. We suggest that text such as ‘Follow the yellow route – it is a half-hour walk’ is the level of detail most visitors will remember. Less important than whether you select a flat-style map or a birds-eye view, is the need to have clear and concise messages. Shelley has a very experienced team of map designers who can work with you to create a suitable style/artwork. 

NOTE: If appropriate, clients normally arrange their own OS licences.

Full Shelley Design

While we often undertake part of the design process we have the skills and team to organise the entire project – including all research, community liaison, scripting. To discuss your requirements further please contact Rob Shelley on Tel. 01743 460996

Map Styles

Follow the link to download examples of flat computer generated maps and 3d, birds eye view style.

Shelley Design Brochure

Download this pdf for full details of the Shelley Dsign services including layout & design, illustrations, maps & text writing.