Business owners know that ADA-compliant signage is a necessary piece of the wayfinding sign strategy for any building or office. In the face of all the federal guidelines regulating the design of these signs, it’s important to remember: ADA signage doesn’t have to be boring.
Try to forget the ubiquitous blue and white signs that are often used in these applications, because ADA-compliance and your organization’s brand can go hand-in-hand. Any building that offers goods or services to the general public (like restaurants, retail stores, hospitals, banks, museums, hotels, shopping malls, libraries—you name it) needs signage that follows the rules laid out by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and not all of these signs are created equal.
Customized to your business’ branding guidelines
By using custom shapes, printed backgrounds, layered designs, and textures, your wayfinding signs can incorporate sophisticated design and still maintain accessibility requirements.
Signmakers have an endless list of materials for you to choose from—like aluminum, wood, an endless rainbow of colored acrylics, even custom printed backgrounds—that will integrate seamlessly with the tactile and visual requirements of these signs. Add frames or standoffs and you’ve created a fully finished look.
ADA – knowing the rules and limits
Building signage falls into three categories when you’re discussing ADA requirements. The strictest of these are for permanent rooms and spaces. Signs that designate restrooms, exits, elevators, and room numbers will need to follow both tactile requirements:
- Raised letters in an ADA-friendly font and raised pictograms, if applicable
- Grade II braille
As well as visual requirements:
- High level of contrast between the background and the foreground
- A matte, non-reflective finish on the raised letters and pictograms and their background
Directional and wayfinding signs don’t require you to incorporate the tactile elements above, but they do still need to comply with the mentioned visual standards. Signs that change more frequently, like building directories and room occupancies, are not required to comply with ADA guidelines.
These rules may seem overly restrictive, but working them into the design of your building is simple. There are many fonts that meet ADA guidelines, so you are sure to find one that fits with your corporate identity. Color combinations for these signs are nearly limitless, as long as there’s contrast between the content and the background. There are no rules governing frames or mounting devices, and you can make a distinct impression with custom-cut backgrounds and layered signage.
Layered signs in particular allow you to combine unique textures and printed backgrounds—even a company logo—with the ADA-compliant portion of your signs. Stainless steel, Corian®, acrylic, and copper are just a few of the custom materials that you can use to help frame the informational piece of an ADA sign.
Allow your ADA and wayfinding signs to inspire as well as inform. Generic signs may meet the minimum legal requirements for your business, but they can’t help you extend the reach of your brand. Your ADA solution should be as unique as your business.
Contact us to get started
Let the Signarama Evansville team guide you to a superior ADA signage solution—whether it’s for new construction or a renovation, contact us for a consultation at 812-477-7763 or email@example.com.