Interpretive Signs Course with Don Enright

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199 CAD
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This workshop is now full.

I hope to offer it again next year. To be notified of this and other courses, please send me a message via my website here.

An online introduction to planning, writing, and evaluating interpretive signs.

This is a practical introduction to the basics of creating signs: visual experiences for your audience that are attractive, brief, clear—and effective. A good sign is one that gratifies the audience and meets your goals. We will investigate creative ways to achieve both ends, from planning through execution.

Workshop includes:

  • Types of wayside signs, and how an interpretive approach enhances them all
  • The planning process: understanding your goals, your audiences, and your logistical environment
  • Interpretive writing: how to say the right words, in the right way, within an extremely concise medium
  • Using images, illustrations, and infographics, and how to work effectively with graphic designers
  • Testing and prototyping interpretive signs. 

Meet Your Instructor

Don Enright is a freelance interpretive planner and writer with over 30 years experience in the field. Don’s interpretive writing has appeared in national parks, national historic sites, zoos, aquariums, and science centres across Canada. Learn more about Don at his website,

Educational Outcomes: You will…

  • Identify goals and objectives for your interpretive sign project
  • Identify target audiences for your signs
  • Draft a creative brief to communicate your project to managers and contractors
  • Understand and distinguish wayfinding, sanction/management, and interpretive signs
  • Identify strategies to foster behavioural change through signs
  • Draft an effective interpretive theme structure for a signage project
  • Identify interpretive writing techniques for concise interpretive media; draft and redraft interpretive text for a sign project based on instructor feedback
  • Identify and avoid less effective writing habits including clichés and excessive jargon
  • Locate interpretive signs effectively on the landscape
  • Evaluate and describe effective graphic design for interpretive signs
  • Identify and describe different materials for the fabrication of interpretive signs
  • Evaluate and describe the effect of 3D bases and housing for interpretive signs
  • Describe potential interactive elements for an interpretive sign project
  • Identify at least two evaluation techniques for interpretive signs in the field
  • Understand accessibility standards for outdoor interpretive signs

Course Format

This course uses a combination of interactive webinars and online work between the webinars involving study and quizzes. There is also a practicum assignment in which you draft text for an interpretive sign and submit it for feedback from Don.

Budget Your Time

  • Four hours total webinar time
  • Four hours optional Q and A sessions
  • A total of about 8-10 hours individual course work. More if you’re a keener.

Tech Requirements

  • A browser and web connection
  • Zoom with camera and microphone. One learner per screen please: shared screens and mics make for a hellscape of echoes.
  • For webinars, in addition to Zoom you’ll need a second tab or screen for Mentimeter, an interactive collaboration platform. See this site’s introductory course for examples.

Course Schedule

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

First Online Class (Zoom)

10 AM-Noon Pacific Time

In this interactive session, you will draft a creative brief for your interpretive sign project, including goals and target audiences. We introduce the TORE approach to interpretive writing (Thematic, Organized, Relevant, Enjoyable) and you begin work on your interpretive sign writing assignment that you will submit for feedback in a week.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Optional Zoom Q and A Meetup

10 AM-Noon Pacific Time

Drop in and ask any questions you might have to help you complete your own sign creation project.

Tuesday February 15, 2022

Second Online Class (Zoom)

10 AM- Noon Pacific Time

In this interactive session, we will share and offer each other feedback (gently and kindly of course) on our writing, and we will introduce the principles of good design for interpretive signs. We will also introduce three evaluation methods for interpretive media, and you will craft an evaluation framework for your sign project.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Optional Zoom Q and A Meetup

10 AM-Noon Pacific Time

Last chance to drop in and discuss any questions you might have about your sign projects.

Do you need to submit a request to your manager to take this course? Download an informational one-sheet in PDF form here.

Feedback from the 2020 Class

“What would you say to someone thinking about taking this course?”

“Take it! Don is engaging, interesting, realistic and funny. “

“Do it! Especially if you can do a draft plan for your sign project before hand — this seminar will absolutely help you improve your project. You will probably leave the seminar with a completely different, and much improved, plan for your sign placement and designs”

“I would highly recommend this webinar to every organization. No matter who you are, you’re bound to create even the simplest of signage and it is so helpful to keep in mind all the factors that could make that one sign effective.” 

“You will learn so much and your work will improve a lot!”

“Just do it! You will learn a lot of principles that apply not just to signs, but for other products. And, if you’re not familiar with thematic interpretation, you will get a healthy introductory dose of it.”

“Take it – it’s worth every cent and you’ll have fun.”


You will receive a Certificate of Completion for this course upon finishing all online modules and quizzes. All quizzes are open-book and may be repeated as many times as you need to.


You are welcome to use the credit card checkout system within this site—alternately I can invoice you if you contact me directly using the coordinates in the footer.

Group Rates

If you have a group of four people or more and are willing to pay in a single transaction, please contact me and I can invoice you with a 10% group reduction.

What’s included in the price?

  • Two interactive webinars
  • Two Q and A sessions via Zoom
  • All online materials in an interactive learning management system, available for six months after the course
  • Online forum-style discussion space exclusive to learners in this course
  • Individual feedback from Don Enright on your sign project in progress

Terms and Conditions

By registering for this course you acknowledge that Zoom webinars are not recorded——if you miss ’em, you miss ’em.

You also agree to our privacy, harassment, and refund policies in the footer of this site, below.