Custom Interior Signage

When some people are told that their interior signage needs to comply with specific ADA rules, the thought that enters the mind is sometimes that of simple resignation. It is just a rule that needs to be followed in order to avoid penalties and fines, right? Or is it really more than that?

In creating signs for your business, you will be subjected to a number of regulations that you need to follow. These rules include design restrictions as well as mounting height and mounting location guidelines. Each type of sign that you use for your establishment needs to follow a set of directives and it has been said that failure to follow every rule in the list can put you in danger of steep fines and penalties for what is called “non-compliance.”

What is not being seen in this instance is the fact that these rules are actually there for more than just having people follow them. These rules were made for a good reason, and that is to give everyone the same rights when it comes to signage and accessibility. The main reason for these rules seems to have been lost in the fear that people might get fined or sued for non-compliance, and this main reason is actually for everyone’s good.

Companies, buildings, schools and other public areas that anyone can access require signs that can be easily read and understood by everyone. This includes people with disabilities. To make these signs readable and understandable by all, features like 70% color contrast between the background and the characters on the sign, as well as the use of non-glare and non-gloss finishes, are integrated into these signs.

Interior signage in particular requires the use of a list of specific signage features in order for these to be usable by everyone. The rules that need to be adhered to vary from one type of sign to the next, but the main purpose is the same – giving everyone the equal opportunity to understand these signs by themselves without needing the aid of another person to translate or explain what these signs say. This means that even people who have visual impairments should be able to read signs that they can touch with their fingers and find their way around with the use of these signs even when no one else is around.

The features that interior signs should have in order for these to be understood and used by everyone include tactile characters and Braille translations, proper mounting height and location, and the use of fonts that are not difficult to understand. Fonts that are called sans serif are used for these signs since serif fonts can cause some confusion due to the additional strokes that add a decorative flair to these characters. With sans serif fonts, the absence of such decorative strokes makes it easier to read such text with the fingertips, and also with failing vision.

Not all signs are mounted at a height that can be touched by the hand, however even signs that are located up high need to follow rules set by the ADA. Character size as per the mounting height and reading distance needs to be followed so that people with rather weak vision can still understand what is being said on these signs. The use of internationally recognizable pictograms on these signs are also there to help people easily understand what the signs are indicating, and these are added to help bridge language barriers.  

In the end, the need for the compliance to such rules is indeed more than just trying to be a law abiding citizen. It is actually to help everyone understand what is on these signs and to help them find their way within your establishment. And isn’t that what interior signage is supposed to do, help people find their way around?

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