The Silent Salesman

Traditional retail is evolving rapidly, responding to the growth of online shopping and changing demographics. We’re seeing the emergence of new terms – multi-channel, show-rooming, retail as theatre. Within this changing landscape, retail destinations are having to work harder than ever to deliver added value to shoppers.

With customer experience a key competitive platform, providing effective information to communicate what’s available and ensure that shoppers can find their way round a shopping centre is a basic requirement. During this talk, Sean and Sian from The Velvet Principle will explore the challenges and discuss what makes a good wayfinding implementation. Supported by examples from Sean’s 20 years of experience of developing and implementing wayfinding solutions for shopping centres across the world.


The Velvet Principle is a specialist wayfinding, branding and experiential graphic design consultancy, jointly founded by Sian Kelly and Sean Brereton. Since forming in 2010, the company has worked on various retail and corporate office projects both in the UK and internationally.

Sian Kelly is the Operations Director of The Velvet Principle, prior to which her career was very much on the client side, with roles in business development, marketing and strategy within Coca-Cola, The National Physical Laboratory and, more recently, the governments’ innovation agency - The Technology Strategy Board (now called Innovate UK), where she was responsible for developing and implementing the UK’s technology strategy for the Creative Industries. Sian is very interested in the contribution that technology can make in helping people understand their environment and maximise their experience.

Sean Brereton is the Creative Director of The Velvet Principle. He studied Information Graphics and after two years with a small agency, Pointer Communication, he joined Design Research Unit as sign designer on a variety of transportation projects. These included the new DLR station at Canary Wharf, a commission which expanded into the site-wide statutory signs package for the Canary Wharf estate and Canary Wharf Tower.

Prior to that Sean was with Leslie Jones Architects, then Anderson Design and Marketing (later adopted by Saatchi & Saatchi) working on retail developments across the UK and destination branding for the retail property industry. Appointed Operations Director, Sean headed up the retail destinations team with projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the UK retail property sector.

velvet 69

Member tweets

Who's Online

We have 212 guests and no members online

Contact Us

  • Sign Design Society,
    Flat 60,
    The Eye,
    Barrier Road,
    Chatham, Kent,
    ME4 4SD.
  • +44 (0)203 488 0774
Copyright © The Sign Design Society 2015