Interpretation vs Information


Interpretation is often described as “the art of helping people explore and appreciate our world” (Association for Heritage Interpretation, 2005).  Interpretation displays, often seen in parks, zoos and similar public facilities, aim to educate and inform as well as to involve people in the information they provide, to make the topic “come to life” for the visitor.

Information boards or warning signs are different in that they provide basic factual and functional information regarding some element of the facility, for example the location and opening times of the café or where the nearest toilets are. These often take the form of ladder signs which provide information in logically separate sections, making reading them easier for visitors.

Public parks and wildlife preserves are making increasing use of both types, but particularly interpretation boards which have been less common in the past. The aim is of course increase the visitor’s knowledge on topics including the history or wildlife of the site. It is possible to create single or groups permanent boards, or make use of temporary, mobile displays for the day of openings or other special events. This often requires specialist interpretation design work which can be outsourced to companies with particular expertise in the area.

Practical considerations for both types of board include making them as vandal-proof as possible. They need to be tough, weather resistant and wipe clean if possible, for ease of removing graffiti. There are many brands available, including n-viro™ printed panels from Fitzpatrick Woolmer, who also offer bespoke signage solutions for facilities requiring heavily customised work.

If you need interpretation or information boards for your park or other facility, consider visiting to see what they have on offer. If you need to know more about specialist interpretation design, try sister site instead.

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