Interpretive Signs

Tips for Developing Effective Interpretive Signs



Recommendations for Developing Interpretive Signs, interpretive signs serve a variety of functions for communities, such as:

1. Interpretive signs illuminate the power of place. Clear educational messages and content inform the public of each site's historic significance.

2. Interpretive panels do more than provide just dates and facts. They also inspire a feeling of stewardship in site visitors, strengthening awareness of cultural and natural resources.

3. Thoughtful and well-designed signage programs demonstrate community pride in local heritage.

4. Interpretive signage is self-sufficient: it provides a high-quality interpretive experience without the requirements of staff or facilities to maintain.

5. They are a consistent message available to many visitors at one time, can be viewed at the visitors’ convenience, and are available 24 hours a day.

6. Interpretive signage enhances visitor perceptions of a site, city, or region. By drawing attention to an area's unique history and identity, tourists better appreciate the story of a new place.

Click below for
Examples of Tree/Plant/Wildlife ID Signs we offer:

Some additional areas to consider are below. Text:

• Must be an appropriate reading level--usually between a 7th and 9th grade level. • Use short sentences and paragraphs. Keep text blocks short.

• Avoid using jargon or technical terms.

• Use upper and lower case text, not just uppercase.

• Should be vivid language using active verbs.

• Do not overload the reader with information.

Design and layout:

• Do not crowd text and graphics.

• Avoid distractions such as busy backgrounds, illegible type, too dark or bright colors, etc.

• Use colors and images that attract audience.

• Limit colors to dominate, subordinate, and accent colors.

• Use type styles and sizes that are easy to read. Do not use more than three different types.

• Mount at appropriate height and angle for comfortable viewing. Keep in mind those with disabilities. Location: - Answer the following questions to determine the best location for a sign.

• What is the relationship between the sign and the subject it is interpreting?

• What is the potential for vandalism?

• Is the layout clean and simple? Simplicity is usually better for interpretive signs.

• Does the sign achieve its intended interpretive objective for the intended audience? Interpretive signs are a great medium that can reach a wide audience with minimal effort.

Click below for
Examples of Tree/Plant/Wildlife ID Signs we offer:



Tree Rings





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This page was last updated on November 1, 2018
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