About Us

Formed in 2010, The Velvet Principle is a design consultancy, that specialises in designing wayfinding strategies that  help people navigate to and through places.  

The strategy always comes first. It’s when we identify what is required and where. While it’s likely that signs and graphics will feature, we use a mix of different tools ranging from architectural features, lighting and public art through to people and technology.

Core to our approach, is ensuring that any subsequent design is tailored to fit seamlessly within the building. 

We make the design work hard to capture and express the character of the brand or experience on offer. The result is a bespoke solution that aligns with the local context and the unique requirements of a business.

For us, a successful scheme is one that provides information when and where it’s needed, but merges into the background when it’s not required.

Senior team

Black and white head shot photograph of Sian Kelly

Sian Kelly


Managing DIRECTOR

Sian’s experience is on the client side in sales, marketing, strategy and innovation. She’s worked for a diverse range of organisations including Coca-Cola, The National Physical Laboratory and Innovate UK (the government’s innovation agency), where she was the lead specialist for the creative and digital sector. Sian is the former chair of The Sign Design Society, the professional association for people interested in wayfinding and sign design. She spends her spare time cycling and learning to play jazz saxophone.

Black and white head shot photograph of Sean Brereton

Sean Brereton


Creative DIRECTOR

Over the last 20 years Sean has been designing wayfinding schemes for high profile developments worldwide. He started his wayfinding career at The Design Research Unit before moving to Leslie Jones Architects. Prior to founding The Velvet Principle, he was Operations Director at Saatchi and Saatchi X where he led the Destinations team. Sean is an enthusiastic cyclist and is the current chair of The St Margaret’s Cycling club.

Testimonials

"I've been working with The Velvet Principle for a number of years now and have found them to be an invaluable member of the team - easy to work with, proactive and reliable. They’ve taken on all challenges thrown their way – not only designing a unique wayfinding scheme for Bracknell, but turning their hands to a cart, sofa, kiosk and a customer information hub along the way. Sean’s been great at taking initial ideas and developing them into something concrete, finding someone to build them and managing the entire process."
Sue Boor
Head of Marketing
"Sean and Sian (The Velvet Principle) provide a fresh and insightful approach to Wayfinding, taking the clients aspirations and merging these with well thought design and execution to deliver a great Wayfinding product."






Neil Read
Landsec (Project Director Trinity Leeds)
"We worked extensively with the Velvet Principle on a wayfinding strategy for the Lexicon, Bracknell which was the comprehensive redevelopment of Bracknell Town Centre. At all stages, the Velvet Principle understood the development strategy and took great care to ensure that the wayfinding strategy and signage design complimented the overall design intent and concept. The result is a wayfinding strategy that fits in very well with the Town’s look and feel."
Simon Russian
Development Director