About Us

Creativity with a practical approach

Imagemakers, established in 1989 by Jane Sillifant, was borne out of a life-long passion to bring history and nature to life. We love what we do and take a thoughtful, creative and practical approach to each project we work on. From concept to scheme sign off we combine creativity and practicality to overcome the toughest logistical and design challenges no matter the project size, subject matter or setting.

Our skills include:

  • Audience Development and Activity Planning
  • Interpretation planning and strategies
  • Concept design, 3D visualisation and spatial design
  • Audio-visual solutions (e.g. scripting, directing, filming, installation)
  • Digital media (e.g. websites, apps for tablets and smartphones)
  • Illustration
  • Interactives
  • Public art
  • Branding and identity
  • Signage and orientation
  • Technical drawings
  • Fabrication management (e.g. value engineering, factory checking, tender process management)

Heritage contexts

We work within a broad range of heritage contexts:
  • Museums and galleries
  • Historic buildings and monuments
  • Historic towns and cities
  • Protected landscapes and nature reserves
  • Parks and gardens
  • Places of worship
  • Industrial heritage sites
  • Canals and waterways
  • Visitor centres

Our clients

We work all across the UK, in Europe and in China. We deliver schemes for a wide range of clients including local government, national agencies, charitable organisations, partnerships, community initiatives and the private sector.

NMMC's British Tattoo Art Revealed exhibition

This show confounds expectations and explodes myths... It engages and inspires.

Dr Jeannie Sinclair, Museums Journal

Sarah Levett

Such brilliant Creative Directors for the King Richard III visitor centre. The superb results really speak for themselves.

Sarah Levett, Director of Arts and Museums, Leicester City Council

Hannah McSherry

Professional and approachable, Imagemakers listen to, and work with, the community to help develop their interpretive ideas and designs.

Hannah McSherry, Herefordshire Council client for two significant HLF projects

The Tank Museum

Brilliant – no-one can know what Afghanistan is like if one had not experienced it but this exhibition helps us understand.

Visitor feedback, Battlegroup, Afghanistan exhibition, The Tank Museum

Tehmina Goskar

Copper Kingdom Centre is a brilliant example of how exciting heritage can be. It's the best heritage centre or museum visit I've made in years.

Tehmina Goskar, Independent Heritage Consultant and Historian

Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre

The interpretative elements look stunning and it was a pleasure to work with the Imagemakers team to achieve the Museum’s objectives.

Claire Seymour, Museum Curator

Oates Museum

A dramatic transformation... it’s been an absolute pleasure working with you.

Major General Patrick Cordingly DSO DSc FRGS

North York Moors National Park Authority

We were impressed by Imagemakers’ professionalism and enthusiasm for our project. We were particularly pleased with their design skills.

Jennifer Smith

How we work

Craftsmanship, local distinctiveness, sustainability, timely delivery and cost effectiveness are all critical elements of a successful project. We apply a range of research, consultation and creative techniques, including: qualitative and quantitative analyses, workshops, focus groups, brainstorming, formative evaluation and testing. Visitors are constantly exposed to technological innovations in their daily lives and have high expectations. Our creative thinking, combined with our knowledge of ever-changing, cutting-edge technology, adds interest and excitement, enabling your stories to be told in truly engaging ways.

Our People

Jane Sillifant

Jane Sillifant

Jane established Imagemakers way back in 1989. Frustrated that so much of our past was being lost, Jane steered the company to spark a wider interest and passion in heritage. Her aim was to promote respect and long – term protection for future generations. Delivering great interpretation makes this possible.
David Revell Image Makers

David Revell

Creative Head
David joined Imagemakers in 2008 and works closely with both the in-house studio and project management teams to formulate pioneering interpretive solutions and striking visual designs. David has broad experience of creating innovative designs for a diverse client base having worked in a market spanning prominent public, private and commercial organisations. His specialist skills include art direction and implementation, concept design, brand identity, exhibition design, running creative workshops, team leadership and project
Janette Hemingway Image Makers

Janette Hemingway

Office & Project Manager
Janette joined Imagemakers in 2001 as an administrator. She now has full responsibility for day-to-day office management. Her wealth of experience, garnered through an exciting 15-year career working in Bangladesh, the Ivory Coast and Austria with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and a year working for Noel Edmonds’ Unique Group, allows her to provide invaluable support to both the new business and project management teams, responsibilities she fulfils in conjunction with management of company finances.
Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander

Lead 3D Designer
Scott has 16 years’ experience of creating world – class 3D interpretive design schemes. He can conceptualise, create detailed designs and drawings and go on to manage implementation of museum galleries, exhibitions for historic buildings and outdoor interventions for a wide range of heritage sites. Having designed schemes in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and the USA, Scott’s experience is truly global. Highlights include: Gloucester Cathedral, Canadian War Museum, Kew Palace, The British Museum, Oman Pavilion, Big Pit (Wales), Wuhan Civilisation Museum (China) and World of Discoveries (Portugal).
Charlie Curnow

Charlie Curnow

Project & Production Manager
A highly experienced production & project manager, Charlie’s in-depth knowledge is drawn from more than 30 years’ design industry experience. He worked for high profile agencies including the Saatchi group, before entering the world of heritage interpretation. He provides technical design input whilst ensuring Imagemakers’ projects are executed efficiently: overseeing programming, cost control, procurement, contractor management and on-site works. Charlie’s also central to the new business side of Imagemakers, working with colleagues to prepare tenders and pitches.
Martin Liu

Martin Liu

China Business Representative (China)
Martin joined Imagemakers in November 2013. Educated in New Zealand, Martin has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering. His career to date has taken him from landscape design and development in New Zealand to supervising landscape construction projects for Real Estate Development companies in Changsha City, China. Martin helped our team project manage the design and development of Yanghu Wetlands Science Discovery Centre, Changsha.
Simon Young

Simon Young

Interpretive Planner & Project Manager
Simon is an experienced heritage interpreter and historian by training. Having obtained a BA in History at the University of Oxford and an MA in Museum Studies at Newcastle, Simon brings his considerable skills in planning, research, content generation and editorial support to bear on Imagemakers’ projects. He also co-ordinates studio activities.
Gavin Leach Image Makers

Gavin Leech

Designer & Illustrator
Gavin joined Imagemakers back in 2001 after completing his BA (Hons) in Graphic Design & Illustration at the University Campus Suffolk. Gavin has played an important role in the company’s development ever since.
Originally working on illustration and conceptual design, Gavin has broadened his talents significantly, by developing new skills in 3D modelling, design / build for web as well as mobile app user interface design.
David Masters Image Makers

David Masters

Interpretive Planner & Project Manager
David brings wide-ranging experience of interpretive planning, implementation, research and evaluation to Imagemakers, working for clients throughout the UK, Europe, Africa, China and South America. A specialist interpretive planner and copywriter, he has produced advisory and best practice guidelines for the Heritage Lottery Fund; delivered numerous workshops, lectures and seminars and edited the award-winning Interpret Scotland journal. He is Commissioning Editor of the Interpretation Journal, the ‘best practice’ publication of the Association of Heritage Interpretation (AHI). In 2013 he was accepted as a Fellow of the AHI.
Phil Songhurst Image Makers

Philip Songhurst

Project Manager
Phil joined Imagemakers in 2008 following an exciting and varied career path through education, leisure and tourism. He combines a lifetime’s passion for heritage and the environment with extensive practical and ‘people’ skills to efficiently manage a wide variety of interpretation projects and holds a detailed working knowledge of design materials, production methods and fabrication processes.
Matthew Jones Image Makers

Matthew Jones

Project Manager / Creative Lead (China)
Matthew has been a central part of the Imagemakers team since 2000. He has extensive experience of interpretive planning, creative copy / script writing and community consultation. He also has a good knowledge of interpretive media, materials and the logistical aspects of project management and delivery. He enjoys the challenge of getting to grips with new stories and projects and places considerable emphasis on building positive working relationships with all his clients. Since 2015 Matthew has been working extensively on interpretive planning and conceptual design schemes in China.
Emma Delow

Emma Delow

Assistant Project Manager
Emma has worked with Imagemakers since 2013. With a background in market and social research, Emma develops well thought through content and is motivated to seek out stories which will spark and hold the interest and attentions of visitors to museums and other heritage attractions. With an eye for detail and a methodical approach to everything she tackles, Emma works closely with clients and our design team to organise and oversee the creation of high-quality artwork.
Julie Zhao

Julie Zhao

Project Manager (China)
Julie is a graduate of the world-class Hunan University, from which she gained a BSc degree in Mechanical Design, Manufacturing and Automation. Julie joined Imagemakers in 2014, following a period of freelance project management support. Her attention to detail and understanding of technical matters has equipped her well for her role overseeing museum and visitor centre implementation projects and liaising with client design teams, architects, fabricators and exhibit designers.
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

Designer & Illustrator
Chris has a wealth of experience across the design sector, covering conceptual two and three-dimensional design, museum galleries, exhibitions, models and graphics for exterior and interior environments. He is also an excellent illustrator and talented in a diverse range of styles including pen and ink, watercolour, scraperboard, woodcut and oils.
Ian Haswell

Ian Haswell

Project Manager/Exhibition Designer
Ian has spent over 20 years working in the cultural and museums sector and is experienced in interior, exhibition and graphic design. He has worked in managerial roles for a number of cultural institutions and consequently has a detailed knowledge of operational and logistical matters of collection display and care, staffing, visitor services and site management and brings this experience to each project.
Naomi Hardy Image Makers

Naomi Hardy

Design Assistant
Naomi graduated with a BA in Design for Exhibitions and Museums from the University of Lincoln. She is a conceptual thinker with the ability to create engaging spatial design and exhibit solutions. Before joining Imagemakers Naomi gained a year’s work experience with Magna Science Adventure Centre and the Sealife department of Merlin Entertainment.
Krystal Fanning

Krystal Fanning

Graphic Designer
Krystal is a multidisciplinary designer with a passion for visual storytelling and heritage projects. After graduating from Falmouth University with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design, Krystal worked for design agencies in the south west. Highlights include working with the National Trust to help them tell individual property stories. Her skill set includes brand identity, interpretation design, signage and digital design.
Vikki Li Image Makers

Vikki Li

Project Assistant (China)
Vikki majored in Finance Management at Beijing Normal University. She joined Imagemakers in March 2017 and has become a vital part of the China team, assisting with content research, client liaison and high quality written and spoken translation in support of presentations and conference talks. Prior to joining Imagemakers Vikki gained extensive experience working in large-scale international science exhibitions within China.
Deborah Hodson Image Makers

Deborah Hodson

Audience Development, Activity Plan and Interpretation
With a BA in History and Archaeology and an MA in Museum Studies, Deborah has worked in the cultural and heritage sectors for over 25 years in the UK and Europe. Formerly Head of Engagement and Learning for a national museum group, she is a highly-experienced audience development and learning specialist, and has managed many successful HLF funding applications and their delivery. She has a wealth of experience engaging diverse audiences on a local and national level through strong
partnership working.
Tom Bensley

Tom Bensley

Assistant Project Manager
Tom joined Imagemakers after graduating with a BA in Business Economics from Nottingham Trent University. Tom gained experience with work placements at X-on Cloud Communications and Newforms Training and Development, alongside various roles at university including being the course representative in his final year. Tom’s strong organisational skills, along with experience in time and resource management, enables him to provide Imagemakers with an overshadow on various projects to ensure they run efficiently. His project management work mainly revolves around software development.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) projects

We have a long-established working knowledge of the HLF and a strong track record of delivering successful HLF funding applications. To date we have undertaken countless Heritage Grant and Landscape Partnership commissions at Round 1 and /or Round 2. Grants awarded to date total over £40 million.

We can offer:

  • Visitor experience plans
  • Interpretation plans and strategies
  • Museum, exhibition and site-wide design plans
  • HLF round 1 and 2 applications and support
  • Funding package applications and support
  • HLF Activity Plans and Action Plans
  • Branding strategies and guidelines
  • Community engagement and volunteering plans
  • Feasibility studies and options appraisals
  • Education and training plans
  • Research and evaluation studies
  • Fabrication management
Going that little bit further than the basic HLF requirements for a Round One bid improves the likelihood of a project’s progression to the next round.

Round One & Round Two

We help to prepare Round 1 and Round 2 applications, supported by interpretation planning and design development through RIBA Stage 2 (Concept Design) to RIBA Stage 3 (Scheme Design).


From RIBA Stage 4 to 7 we provide a comprehensive detailed design and project management service to ensure your project is delivered on time, within budget and to the highest quality.

Imagemakers in China

We have been working in China since we were first invited to undertake a project in Xian in 2009. We bring our expertise in planning, design creativity and quality control to projects right across China. We also have a prestigious team of associates in diverse fields such as tourism, architectural design and archaeology.

Contact us to find out how we can help bring your next heritage project to life.