Interpretation Panels

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.

Most Interpretation Panel projects start with us providing a quote. You can contact us via email, the enquiry form or give us a call – we are always happy to chat through your requirements.
Some clients know exactly what they want and provide a detailed brief. Other clients are looking for guidance and to explore options – we are happy to work with you to define your project.

Interpretation panel in aluminium lectern frame
Ref : Broads
Interpretation panel on single leg lectern

At Shelley Signs we specialise in the production of signs and panels for nature reserves, public open spaces and visitor attractions.  Our range of interpretation panel, also known as ‘interpretation boards’ or information boards offer high quality print together with a 10 year warranty against fading and great durability.   We offer a wide range of framing options in aluminium and timber.

We work with a wide variety of clients ranging from Local Authorities to Parish Councils as well as Friends Groups, Trusts, designers and contractors.

To start the process please complete the enquiry form or call 01743 460996 for more details.

Graphic Design for Interpretation panels

Shelley can work from your final, electronic artwork OR we can work with you to design your interpretation panels. 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 panels

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 wish 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

Careful thought & planning about Interpretation Panels content 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 interpretation 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 for making interpretation signs, including polycarbonate, acrylic, foamex and various timbers.


Shelley Signs are specialist suppliers of interpretation 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.

Download the About Interpretation leaflet which covers most of the issues to consider when planning a new project. Some further Interpretive Signs examples can be found at the link.

Digital Interpretation

Shelley signs is launching a new range of ‘digital signs’ for delivering useful information and heritage interpretation at outdoor sites by using the visitor’s smartphone.

Framing Options

Shelley Signs design and supply a wide range of lectern frames, post and bespoke structures in timber and steel for outdoor, external interpretive signs and interpretation panels.

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