Interpretive Signs May 2021

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An online introduction to planning, writing, and evaluating outdoor interpretive signage. 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. 

Presenter: Don Enright, 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,

Course Outline

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. Count on 8-10 hours total; maybe a bit more if you’re new to this kind of thing.

Note that because of the interactive webinar format, it’s best if you do not share a screen. You’ll need one browser per person to do the interactive elements of the webinar. Non-registered participants are not allowed in the webinars.

May 4, 2021: 2-Hour Zoom, 10 AM 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.

May 11, 2021: 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 online work and writing assignment.

May 18, 2021: 2-Hour Zoom, 10 AM 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.

For Your Calendar

Here are the course dates for your calendar (this is an iCal reminder, like a meeting booking. It won’t enrol you in the course- it’ll just remind you of the times.)

Feedback from the pilot course

(In late 2020 I piloted a 2-hour version of this course for the Canadian Wildlife Service)

“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 whom 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!”


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

Group Rates

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


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.

Terms and Conditions

By registering for this course you acknowledge that Zoom webinars are not recorded——if you miss ’em, you miss ’em. Course content will be available in the online learning space.

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