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What Rules Do You Need to Follow for Your Engraved Office Signs to be Considered ADA Compliant?

Updated on October 2, 2013
ADA Compliant Signs
ADA Compliant Signs

When it comes to engraved office signs, it is ideal that you know which signs need to comply with ADA standards and which ones can be made without considering such guidelines. Not all engraved signs, after all, are made with compliance regulations in mind and knowing which signs to create with these rules being followed will help you avoid the problems associated with non-compliance.

In order for your engraved office signs to be compliant with the rules set by the ADA, you should first determine which of your signs do need to follow these rules. It may be easier though to have all your signs comply with these rules and this move can also make your signs look uniform and unified. It also helps you avoid any non-compliance issues should you overlook one or two signs that do need to comply with ADA rules.

Indoor Signs
Indoor Signs

Aesthetics Meets Compliance in Engraved Office Signs and Indoor Signage

Indoor signs come in many shapes, sizes, colors and configurations, but did you know that all of the elements that come together on these signs are actually well thought out? These signs need to follow specific rules set by the government but still have to have an aesthetic quality to them that business owners require of them. The combination of compliance and design can be a very tricky thing to undertake and only a handful of signage companies can actually pull such a thing off.

In the past, when business owners needed their indoor signs to meet compliance rules and still look aesthetically pleasing, signage designers thought that such a thing was impossible. With today’s signage making technology however, plus the amount of time that has already been spent on finding ways to meet both requirements set by business owners and the government, making beautiful ADA compliant signs is no longer an impossibility. You can now see amazing looking indoor signs around you that are also within guidelines.

ADA Compliant Restroom Signs
ADA Compliant Restroom Signs

Standard Compliance Rules to Follow for Indoor Signs

So, what are the rules that govern the making of these signs? Here are some of them:

  • Color Contrast – yes, those color combinations that you see on these signs are actually there for a reason. In fact, these have to meet the standard 70% contrast that the ADA is asking from business owners. When you see dark characters over a light background or light characters over a dark background, know that the color contrast between these has to be just right in order for people with visual impairments to see these properly. If these signs do not have the right color contrast, people who have vision problems will have a hard time reading or understanding these signs.
  • Non-glare finish – did you ever wonder why even signs with metal or metallic sign surfaces are not glossy when it comes to these signs? There is a reason for that and the main reason is due to ADA rules stating that all signs that need to comply with ADA guidelines have to have a non-glare finish. This is to also help people with visual impairments to easily read and understand the sign.
  • Tactile Letters and Braille Translations – while not all ADA signs need to have these features on them, a great number of them do. These are employed on these signs to help people who cannot see to easily read the signs with the use of their sense of touch, hence the term “tactile letters”. The reason why both Braille and these raised letters are used on ADA signs is due to the fact that not all blind individuals can read Braille. This is because not all blind people lost their vision at an early age and not all of them have learned to read the dots that represent letters, syllables and words in Braille.
  • Right Mounting Height to Character Size Ratio – this is a rule that is often used on overhead signs or hanging signs. These indoor signs do not need to follow the tactile letters and Braille translation rules since these are too far up for people to read with the use of their hands, however these need to carry the right size characters and pictograms in order for people to easily read them from a specific distance.

These are but a few of the rules that are used by sign manufacturers when they are asked to create indoor signs and engraved office signs by businesses. Non-compliance of such rules can easily mean penalties and fines, which is why sticking to such rules is important when it comes to such signage.


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