Braille Signs

You may be wondering how Braille is added to your signs. There are a couple of methods that are most commonly used to create today’s required domed Braille and these are the Raster method and the Routed Out method. Considered the more effective of the two is the former due to the perfectly domed Braille that it produces, however some sign manufacturers still use the routed out method mainly because it is the kind of equipment that they already have on hand.

Routed Out Braille Signs

In the past, most Braille translations on signs were made with the use of a rotary engraving machine. This created raised dots with a cavity around it. This means that your Braille translations are in a rectangular area that is created with the use of an engraving tool.

This method can be rather complicated and difficult to do since newer ADA standards require Braille symbols to be in domed shapes that are easier to read by those with vision impairments. The problems that come with this method being used for creating Braille on signs include cuts being too deep or cuts being too shallow. This is why most sign manufacturers are encouraged to use the newer and easier method of creating domed Braille on signs and that is with the use of the Raster method.

Raster Braille Signs

When Braille is added to a sign using the Raster method, it produces a clean and accurate result that is compliant with ADA standards for domed Braille. While this method still uses the rotary engraving machine to create holes in your sign for the Braille translation, a special Braille drill called the Raster drill is used to create the straight sided holes that are needed for this particular method to work. Once these drilled holes are made, beads called “Rasters” are then inserted into them.

This method creates the perfectly domed Braille letters and words that are required by the ADA for compliant signs. This particular method of creating Braille letters onto your signs can be used on a variety of materials that include plastic, wood, acrylic, laminates and metals. When it comes to metals though, or other materials that do not contract or expand, you may need to use adhesives on the beads for these to adhere to the gouged-out holes for the Rasters. When it comes to laminates, plastics and acrylic signs, no adhesive is necessary for these beads to keep them in place.