“ADA” stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is a regulatory government protocol that sets the rules and regulations for signage that designates accessible areas of public spaces. The purpose of ADA signs is to give those with visual impairments the ability to read verbiage on signs that designate restrooms, changing rooms, stairwells, elevators, and many other functional rooms. ADA signs are intended to be easily read visually and through tactile touch with the use of Braille. ADA signs are usually made from acrylic and manufactured using special software and a router engraver machine.
More Than Braille Signs
ADA signs are sometimes interpreted as being signs with braille, when in fact, they’re much more than just braille signs. The sign standards in the ADA Accessibility Guideline require that signs that identify a permanent room or signs that direct the audience to functional rooms must adhere to rules about the sign materials, finishing, text, braille, and installation standards. Braille signs might seem like they’re only made to benefit the blind and visually impaired, but the simplicity and specificity of these types of signs also benefit the deaf and people with cognitive disabilities.
Rules for ADA Signs
The following are general rules for ADA signs. The full list of rules and regulations can be found on the ADA website. Keep in mind, different municipalities could have different guidelines to follow so be sure to double-check with your local government and building inspector for the full list of rules that you must follow for your ADA signs!
- Sign background must have a non-glare finish
- Sign lettering and sign background must be highly contrasting in color tone
- Lettering must be in a sans-serif font and all uppercase characters for ease of use
- Lettering characters must be 5/8” – 2” tall with 1/8” spacing between characters
- Pictograms must be in their own 6” tall space
- Braille must be grade II, clear, domed-shaped, and all characters in lowercase
- Room signs must be mounted on the latch side of the door, centered horizontally in an 18” space, and between 48” – 60” from character baseline to the floor
Keep in mind that this list above is just a general overview of some of the rules for ADA compliant signage. A full list of requirements for ADA compliant signs can be found here.
ADA Signs and Environmental Design
Most signs have a functional and useful purpose. Signs give people the ability to navigate an unfamiliar space without having to bother someone to ask for directions. ADA signs are so useful, that they’re a requirement for new buildings to have to comply with the ADA. Environmental design is similar to interior design in that it is the design of the surrounding interior layout, furniture, lighting fixtures, and carpet. But the one thing that environmental design takes into consideration is signage. ADA signs may have a lot of limitations in terms of the complexity of their design, but they can still compliment the design of the environment with the use of natural materials, recycled materials, and contrasting finishes.
Are you looking for a sign company to design, manufacture, and install your ADA signs? Connecting Signs will work with you to help you reach your goals when it comes to ADA signs. Give us a call today at 970-493-0133 or request a quote here to get started!
The thing about directional signs, also known as “wayfinding” signs, is that they are often the last thing on your mind. This is until you’re lost and need some direction! The beautiful thing about directional signage is that they’re supposed to be noticed by those who need to find important facilities, but they should easily blend in with the surrounding architecture and interior design layout. A successful directional sign plan takes time, patience, and organization. In these next few paragraphs, we’ll go over some tips and options for organizing a comprehensive directional sign plan.
Make Sure Your Directional Signs are Useful
The best way to begin your directional sign plan is to put yourself if the shoes of your guests who will need to know where the exits are, where the restrooms are, and other important areas. Following suggestions from your local building inspector is a good place to start as well but take some time to walk through the space to understand the directional signage needs. Map out the important and heavy-traffic areas where directional signs will need to be located. Consider a high-contrasting color scheme to help the text stand out if the directional signs have size restrictions.
Keep the Message (Stupidly) Simple
When people are rushing to get somewhere and suddenly, they need to know where a restroom is, they will depend on directional signs that are clear, specific, and simple to guide them to the nearest restroom. Think about the last time you were in an airport and realize that an environment like that can be really distracting and overwhelming. Airport signs are a perfect example of when it’s necessary to place signage in the best place so that they can be seen and read at the right time by the right people!
Adapt and Revise as Needed
Once your directional signs are up and functioning, notice how people interact with them and adapt to ensure that they are functioning as intended. Keep directional signs clean and free of obstructions. It’s also a good idea to double-check that illuminated directional signs are fully functioning and to replace and fix them the minute a sign goes dark. Not everyone always gets directional signs right the first time, so allow yourself some grace to change things up. Maybe that directional wall-mounted sign is not being seen as it should, so consider a ceiling mount system for that sign. There are always different options and sometimes you’ve got to go through them all to find the right option for you!
Customize Directional Signs to Keep People Happy
Directional signs can be tricky to plan out, especially if your building has several tenants and even more so if your tenants are open to the public. Your tenants’ customers will need to easily find their locations by using these, and if they are not correct, those customers will not be very happy. The way to get around this issue is to utilize directional signage that has changeable tenant panels. Custom directional signs are more expensive but will have a long and useful life directing customers and other people around your building.
If you’re looking to get started on your directional sign project, request a free quote here. Let us help you elevate your and wayfinding signs to their fullest potential. Connecting Signs guarantees all of our work to ensure that your signs are designed, manufactured, and installed in a timely and efficient manner.
Why is it necessary for public spaces to be accessible to all? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was first signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is an exhaustive catalog of specifications for architectural buildings and public spaces intended to make those areas more accessible for people of all abilities. Among the many items discussed in the ADA is the topic of compliant signage. Signage for accessible environmental design means that the verbiage on wayfinding, permanent exits, and restrooms needs to be accessible to people of all abilities.
Signage Requirements for ADA Compliance
Signage requirements for ADA:
- Visual letters and tactile letters are required
- Tactile letters must have accompanying grade II braille
- Signs that are designed to be read by touch should not have sharp edges
- Tactile (raised) lettering must be 1/32” in thickness
- Tactile lettering must be featured in an easy to read sans-serif font with all uppercase letters
- Minimum letter height: 5/8”
- Maximum letter height: 2”
- The bottom edge of tactile characters must be mounted 48” to 60” above the floor
Additional rules can be found here.
Choosing Materials for ADA Signage
Another important requirement of ADA compliant signage is a contrasting background to ensure that the visual text is easy to read. The most visible color combinations are white text on a black background or black text on a white background. ADA signs don’t always have to be featured in black and white, however. The use of contrasting colors is also a great way to ensure that the visual text is easy to see and read. Creating a contrasting background/foreground with textured materials like brushed aluminum or wood can also effectively help wayfinding and room signs stand out.
ADA Environmental Signage Design Tips
Signage for accessible environmental design may seem simple with all the provided rules and requirements, but don’t be tricked into thinking it’s a simple task. A full ADA sign schedule can be complex and extensive. Here are some tips for designing ADA signs:
- Use easy to read sans-serif fonts
- Adjust text kerning to improve readability
- Avoid complex imagery and photos
- Be clear and specific with word choices
- Create interesting shapes or match the interior design aesthetic by layering different acrylic backer panels
- For wayfinding signs, lead the text with the corresponding directional arrow
Find the Right Sign Partner to Produce ADA Environmental Signage
The most important phase of getting environmental ADA signage planned and produced is partnering with a trusted and reputable sign company to design the layout, produce, and install the signs. A sign company that will guarantee their work and is flexible enough to ship and install anywhere in the country can be hard to find but luckily you’re reading a blog from one of the best! Request a quote here and get started on your ADA environmental sign project today!
Astute Financial – Clear Lobby Sign
This simple acrylic lobby sign for a local financial services company is a great example of how to showcase your brand in a tasteful way. This medium-sized lobby sign is made of clear, matte acrylic backer and the logo is thin dimensional acrylic letters. The logo subhead and tagline are made of premium cut vinyl. Round brushed aluminum standoffs were chosen to anchor the lobby sign directly to the wall because of the subtlety of the installed look.
Trademark Property Management Group, Inc. – Dimensional letter/logo reception area sign
This brushed aluminum dimensional logo sign for a property management office shows how much impact some simple dimensional letters can have. The intent of this sign was to keep the logo and letters subtle and classy. There are lots of different options available for materials and finishes, but this reception area sign is made of 1/8” thick composite aluminum. The shapes of the letters and logo accents were then routed out using our CNC router/engraver machine and installed directly to the wall.
Landmark Monuments – Wood Lobby Sign
If you’re looking for a more rustic sign, here’s a sign that might give you some ideas! This wood lobby sign for a monument company features a re-purposed wood backer with steel-cut logo and letters. Additional steel accents frame the logo on both sides to help showcase this business’s brand. This lobby sign shows how mixing different and contrasting materials can make an impact and professional statement. It’s never a bad idea to explore and get creative with sign design!
Device Pharm – Red Acrylic Lobby Sign
Here’s a great example of how to utilize your brand as the focal point in your reception area or waiting room. This acrylic lobby sign for a marketing firm is made of opaque (non-transparent), high-gloss, red acrylic with black and white dimensional acrylic letters applied directly to the backer. Round black standoffs were used in the installation. Standoffs are one of the best ways to anchor your sign because they’re minimal and help to add depth to the finished sign.
She She Nail and Wax Lounge – Routed Composite Aluminum Reception Area Sign
Here’s an example of taking a great logo design and creating an effective reception area sign! This entire sign was routed from a piece of thin aluminum composite metal. We used a bright pink opaque premium vinyl for the pink features and black premium vinyl to cover the subheading backer. To help line up the letters and logo features we made a simple line template and adhered the sign components directly to the wall.
These examples of effective lobby signs are only just the tip of the iceberg! There’s so many additional ways to showcase your brand and impress your audience. Consider an illuminated cabinet sign or a multi-layered lobby sign, the options are truly endless! Not sure where to begin? Give us a call at 970-493-0133 or click here to get your free estimate on your custom lobby sign.
Interior-grade acrylic is one of the most common and affordable sign substrates available and is the perfect medium for indoor signs. Acrylic comes in different grades and thicknesses depending on what it will be used for and can easily be routed out into any shape or font. Acrylic has a nice smooth finish which makes it ideal for flatbed printing. Indoor acrylic signs can come in the form of way-finding directional signs, lobby area signs, reception desk signs, room identification signs and restroom signs.
Acrylic signs stand out as a preferred choice thanks in part to the material’s versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Being available in lots of different colors and finishes allows for total control and customization! Acrylic is also stronger than glass, but half the weight. In the unfortunate event of a break, acrylic does not fracture like glass – acrylic fractures into big, dull-edged fragments. Maintaining and cleaning acrylic signs is very simple, although there is one rule: Never use abrasive liquids (like isopropyl alcohol) or ammonia-based detergents to clean acrylic signs. The best way to clean acrylic signs is to use a micro-fiber cloth and a mild detergent mixed with water.
While there is a lot of room for creativity in designing indoor acrylic signs, there’s also some rules that you might want to be aware of. Regulatory identification signs, like accessible restroom signs and room identification signs require a specific letter height/thickness, lettering color, background color, elevation, sign size, as well as grade II braille. These rules may seem restricting, but they’re intended to make public spaces more inclusive and accessible. On the plus side, simple and to-the-point is how to ensure that your message is seen and understood by the audience.
Getting your indoor acrylic signs started is simple from here! Follow this link to request a free quote, call Connecting Signs at 970-493-0133 for assistance in placing your sign order, or if you’re a Fort Collins local just stop by our showroom anytime!
What we DO
A few weeks ago we were talking with a potential customer about signs for their business. The customer had heard about us and soon into the conversation said, “I didn’t know you did all that! I thought you only did neon signs.” That really got us thinking that we need to state what we do because the sign industry is very different than it was years ago. The equipment and technology are constantly changing and improving. Our customers range from businesses to personal requests. The products and services we do are many and everything is custom made.
Here is look at what we do:
Banners (Vinyl, Scrim, Mesh, Fabric, Oversized)
- Pull-Up & Retractable Banners
- Street and Pole Banners
- Step and Repeat Banners
- Fence Banners
- Hanging Banners
Indoor Signs (Acrylic, Vinyl, Routed, Engraved)
- Reception and Lobby
- Donor Walls
- Channel and Dimensional Letters
- Back-lit Letters
Outdoor Signs (Aluminum, Acrylic, Wood)
- Channel Letters and Back-lit
- Dimensional Letters, Logos, Graphics
- Construction Sites
- Home Builders
- Monument Signs
- Real Estate
- Yard Signs (Temporary, Coroplast)
Trade Show Displays (Indoor and Outdoor)
- Table Throws
- Tents and Backdrops
- Portable Displays
- Modular Displays
- Lighting and Portable Cases Available
Vehicle Wraps and Graphics (Full, Partial, Decals)
- Business (Cars, Trucks, Vans, Box Trucks, Trailers)
- Color Change (Personal Vehicles)
- Window Perf
- Window Vinyl
Window, Wall, and Floor Graphics
- Frosted/Etched Vinyl
Services and Equipment
- Graphic Design
- Installation (Vehicle Wraps, Indoor and Outdoor Signs)
- HP Latex Printer
- HP Flatbed Printer
- CNC Router/Engraver
- Graphtec Plotter
Please call us for any questions about a change, upgrade, or new signage for your business. We can guide you from start to finish and guarantee satisfaction! Our website contains all this information and more – www.connectingsigns.com. Follow us on Facebook where we post a lot of our recent projects and promote our customer’s business. One last thing, we don’t do neon signs.
Brushed Metal Door Wrap Tuft Construction & Development is in Denver, Colorado. The company provides preconstruction, construction management, general contracting, and design services to ground-up residential and commercial projects. Visit their website and as you browse through pictures of their projects, you will be impressed with their creativity and “out-of-the-box” thinking.
You might not realize how important clear and readable signage is until you find yourself lost in an unfamiliar location. Directional signs are so useful and important because they tell us where to go and how to get there! Effective directional signs are ones that have large clear text in a color contrasting against its background. Any other necessary information like arrows or worded directions also are very visible and easy to read. Directional signs also need to be installed so that the customers can easily find them. As you can see, there are rules that should be followed for directional signs. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t look good. An effective directional sign is also designed so that it looks like it belongs as well as helping people navigate.
Outdoor Fort Collins directional signs in the form of traffic signs or road signs on the highway are purely functional. They don’t need busy designs with lots of contrasting colors, just two colors: any dark-colored background and white letters. There’s a reason interstate road signs look the same, because white letters on top of a dark green background is one of the best color combinations. The white letters stand out so well against that background.
Indoor directional signs (also) mainly serve the purpose of guiding foot traffic so they also need to be simple and readable from far away. If you ever find yourself in a busy international airport with thousands of other people trying to find their gate or rushing to make their flight, you will notice that directional signs are everywhere! They all look the same, with clear lettering and symbols and contrasting colors.
Signs help people in many ways. It’s very important to make your signs work for you! Directional signage is just one of the many kinds of signs that are necessary for modern times. With innovations in the sign industry and new buildings being built all over, there is a big demand for directional signs that not only look good, but also serve a purpose.