Interpretive Planning

Welcome to Shelley Signs. We are a leading supplier of external signs and panels with particular expertise in Interpretive Planning. For a chat about the options phone Robert Shelley on 01743 460996 or to request more details complete this Enquiry Form

Shelley Signs offer a full service for Interpretive Planning – please follow these links for more information about our in-house design,  submitting your own artworkFraming Optionsmaterials and general guidance about Interpretive Boards.   Guidance on maps and popular styles can be found at the Maps link.

Also known as Interpretive, Interpretative signs, panels, boards

Overview of Product

Interpretation is the method and means by which you can communicate and influence the behaviour and quality of experience of your visitors. Interpretation is therefore a key technique in making your site accessible to visitors, to make the site relevant and understood.
To ensure that this interpretation process is a success it is essential that is carefully planned. Most long and medium-term ‘forward’ plans will include reference to interpretation but they should also be subject to their own plan. Commonly this is referred to as interpretive planning. 

Technical Spec

An interpretation plan may focus on a particular part of the site or collection or will include a review of the entire site or area. To ensure a logical and methodical approach to the interpretative planning process we would strongly recommend starting by planning interpretation for the whole site. Below that may be interpretive plans for a single exhibition or area, a guide to an area wider-interpretation of the displays or an analysis of how one site fits into a regional interpretive plan.

An interpretive plan will help focus attention on what you are trying to achieve with the detailed interpretation, why interpretation is needed and who the potential audience is.

An Interpretative strategy will sit above the plan in an interpretation hierarchy. The interpretive strategy looks at the big picture and sets overall long term goals and objectives.  An interpretive strategy might look at how museums or country parks within a county or region will address interpretation to ensure a consistent interpretative message and style.


A good interpretive plan will provide direction and structure to both one-off interpretive schemes as well as longer-term projects and will help ensure limited budgets are used efficiently.

A plan for interpretation will help ensure that the interpretative objectives are agreed at an early stage. Having a record of these objectives helps ensure all staff remains focused and not distracted by detail.

A well written interpretive plan will help to ensure that the end interpretation panel, sign or other medium is suitable for the audience – it must be attractive, appealing and relevant.

Most interpretation projects require external funding and an interpretive plan to support any application is a good indicator of the serious intent of the organisation.

Many clients only become involved in countryside interpretation on an occasional basis. An interpretative plan should speed their learning curve and help identify other officers within an organisation who have experience in completing interpretation projects, panels and signs.