Interpretation Design and Signage for Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons National Park is a beautiful, dramatic and mystical landscape situated in South Wales. Distinctive shaped mountains, rocks and caves, canals, lakes and rivers attract many visitors with a tempting array of outdoor pursuits. The small towns and villages scattered throughout the park are home to thriving communities, where many make their living from the land and those that visit.
Through its involvement in the Interreg IVB European Regional Development Fund project in conjunction with Collabor8, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) intends to develop and manage the Park as a sustainable tourist destination. One of Collabor8’s main aims is to support local businesses by working together on projects and initiatives contributing to economic prosperity and sustainability - the latter one of Collabor8’s core values in addition to sense of place (local distinctiveness) and quality.
After holding several workshops the Cwm Tawe Collabor8 group identified a lack of information provision in the valley. A subsequent action plan recommended this be addressed through the installation of two new orientation panels. The panels would need to be highly accessible, easily understood, welcoming and able to briefly introduce and orientate visitors within the two designated landscapes. They also required highlighting local facilities, attractions, walking routes; features of interest and stories in addition to encouraging sustainable and safe enjoyment of the area.
After in-depth consultation with the BBNPA and working to a comprehensive brief involving copywriting, illustrative mapping, image sourcing, interpretation design and manufacturing elements; Fitzpatrick Woolmer began work researching background information on the locality, facilities and attractions along with authoring English and Welsh copy. Fitzpatrick Woolmer also researched and illustrated an aerial view watercolour map of the vicinity showing landscape and local features of interest with bilingual text and a key.
Working to the BBNPA’s strict brand guidelines interpretive designs were developed in-line with previous examples. For the hardware manufacture Fitzpatrick Woolmer considered that whilst all existing signs in the valley were made from timber, one of the panels would be located in a more urban environment next to a visitor centre - the ideal location to trial a recycled plastic panel.
Recycled plastic not only complements the Park’s sustainability values, but via Fitzpatrick Woolmer’s Proud to be Plastic campaign where a recycled message is routed into the sign, it helps to inform visitors that Brecon Beacons are doing their bit to reduce landfill. For the other more rural location a hardwood structure to conform to existing sign types was provided.