If you have heard of the term “ADA signs”, there is a good chance that you have been required to have these signs for your business. Using these signs is mandated by the law, and as such, not complying with the rules that cover design and mounting locations may very well put you in trouble.

There are quite a number of rules that govern the creation and mounting of these signs, and there are also quite a number of variations as well. To give you an idea as to what signs need to comply with ADA guidelines, and what features are required for these, try to look around you. You will find that some of the signs that you see every day are actually subject to the rules set by the government.

Some of the rules that need to be followed include rules regarding the use of specific fonts (only sans serif fonts are allowed), the use of the right color contrast between the background and the characters on the sign (a 70% contrast is required), and the addition of tactile features (Braille translations and raised letters or numbers are needed). You will also need to mount these at the right height, with some mounted according to the character size and others mounted according to signage use.

Here are some of the signs that need to really follow the guidelines set by the US government as well as certain types that can be used to create such signs:

-      Bathroom signs – these are signs that are part of a larger group of signs called “permanent room signs”, and these are used to mark, as you might have already guessed, permanent rooms. These are essentially rooms that are made for one specific use only, like bathrooms and kitchens, and are not likely to change usage anytime soon.

-      Directories – signs that you see in lobbies and reception areas with the names of offices or the people who occupy such spaces beside the room numbers and floors these are on are called directories. These are subject to some, but not all of the ADA rules that are made for signs.

-      Directional Signs – these are similar to directories since these tell people where specific rooms can be found, however these have arrows on them pointing to where a person should go. These are also found on every floor and are used in numerous establishments that include hotels, hospitals, office buildings and schools.

-      Engraved signsthese signs are often chosen by companies when they need to have ADA compliant signs made, particularly those that require tactile characters and features.