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There are 95 storytelling signs throughout Dunedin Botanic Garden but visitors are not a captive audience. So, rather than a traditional style of education, we offer accessible, digestible, bite-sized chunks of content in a more appealing manner. This doesn't mean lessening factual information but it does mean including more thought-provoking concepts.
Information is offered in layers. First is a bold, clear heading, summarising the core theme. Most passers-by will absorb only this, so it's really important it encapsulates the whole story.
For those enticed further, there's a little more detail in a smaller font. Finally, a third layer of information gets into the nitty-gritty or tells a side story.
Each plant collection's special features are reflected in design, for example, rose garden signs have soft, graceful elements representing roses' delicacy, but also incorporate sharp, clunky features, referring to rose thorns.
The New Zealand native plant collection has a bold modern design, reflecting native plants' strong, dynamic features.
The differing designs help visitors realise they've moved from one plant collection to another.
Signs act as a static human guide, helping visitors explore what might not be immediately obvious.
Clare Fraser is information services officer at Dunedin Botanic Garden.