Custom ADA Signs

When you customize your signs, you essentially tweak every single detail you want on these. When you have custom ADA signs made however, you can only tweak certain elements on these. This is because of the fact that ADA signage need to be made with very specific elements intact, and this is because these elements are what make these signs ADA compliant in the first place.

What are the things you can customize freely on these signs and what are the things that you cannot really compromise on? Some of the elements you can easily tweak (although still within certain parameters) are the following:

Color contrast combinations – while the contrast is something you cannot play around with (the set contrast is at 70%), the color combinations you can use to achieve such a contrast is something you can tweak to a reasonable level. Not all ADA compliant signs need to be black and white, or blue and white, as some people may suppose. These can actually be gold and black, grey and black, burgundy and white, green and white, and so on. You may need to ask your favorite sign maker what color contrasts they have that are ADA compliant since not all sign manufacturers offer that many combinations for you to choose from.

Fonts Used – these also need to follow a very specific rule, and that is the use of sans serif fonts. This rule however leaves you with quite a few choices to pick from, as long as the font that you do choose does not have the additional stroke that serif fonts carry. The fonts that you can choose from include Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, Lucida Sans, and Tahoma, to name a few. The reason why the letters and numbers on your signs need to be sans serif is due to the fact that the additional stroke that serif fonts carry can sometimes confuse people as to what letter they are looking at.

As for the elements that you cannot compromise on when it comes to ADA signs, here are the things you cannot neglect to adhere to:

Non-glare finish – no you cannot use shiny or glossy materials for your signs, specifically if these are part of the list of ADA signs that you need to have made. A non-glare finish or non-gloss finish is needed to prevent the possibility of light reflecting off of the surface, which can produce glare (hence the non-glare term). This reflective quality can make reading a sign difficult, which is why it is specified that matte, non-gloss, or non-glare materials be used for creating these signs.

Character Size as per Signage Size and Mounting Height – you will also need to have the characters on your signs be made in the right size as per the size of your signage, as well as per its mounting height. This is to ensure that these signs are readable at a specific distance and do not mislead or confuse whoever is reading these.

Braille and Tactile Elements – these are specifically required for signs that mark permanent rooms and spaces, which include restrooms, exits, stairwells, closets, etc. These very same elements also need to follow very strict rules regarding the spacing, size of the dots used for Braille, shape of the dots, and even the distance between the tactile letters and the Braille translations.

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