There’s a common misconception about ADA signs across businesses: that they are boring necessities that you better get right, if you want to stay on the right side of the law. While ADA signage indeed are more about compliance than about business needs, if designed with a bit of care and prior planning, they can be as much a part of your marketing strategy as any other business signs.
Besides, if you are making use of ADA Signs in Houston, you are sending across a strong social message: that your business values ALL customers. Without further ado, let’s talk about the ‘ABCs of ADA Signage’ and how best you can use them as part of your larger business marketing strategy:
Inception of Law and What is at Stake for You
A civil rights law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was put in place in 1990. The purpose was to ensure that differently abled individuals are not discriminated against in public spaces. Businesses fall within the purview of this act.
Business signage has specifications that need to be met under the ADA guidelines. You run the risk of paying fines of upto $150,000 if your signs do not meet ADA standards.
Things you Need to Know About ADA Signage
There are several parameters that are applicable to ADA signs across America. ‘Easy To See’ is one of the basic tenets for these signs.
You might have customers who are visually challenged. For those who have partial sight, the sign must be placed at a predictable location with easily readable text. The text formatting, spacing, and color of the signs are extremely important too. For those who rely on Braille, placement of the ADA signage is of utmost importance.
Making Signs ‘Easy To Read’
Finish & Contrast: Signs that are placed indoors should not have a glare or shiny finish to reduce the possibility of reflection which could make signs difficult to read. The sign must have distinctively contrasting combinations i.e. light text on dark background and vice versa.
Raised Text: For a patron with partially impaired vision, touching the sign text can be helpful. For your sign to be ADA compliant, the tactile text has to be raised a minimum of 1/32″ from the sign surface.
Character Forms: ADA compliant signs also needs visual/tactile texts to be in upper case. Text must also be ‘sans serif’ i.e. without decorative lines on characters. The regulations also specify stroke thickness of characters, cross section of raised text, and line spacing between texts.
Pictograms: When talking about ADA signs, the first thing that comes to one’s mind are pictograms. Although they look simple and straightforward, they too have specifications that need to be met. The border dimension of pictograms must be a 6” minimum in height. They needn’t be raised but must have a contrasting background and a non glare surface. If pictograms contain text, they have to be placed right below the images and adhere to guidelines for tactile letters.
While it’s important to conform to guidelines for ADA signs in Houston, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be far off from your overall business signs needs. We can help you build customized ADA signs that adhere to ADA guidelines and yet does not detract from your business’s message and branding. We can assist you with entire sign creation and installation process.
Have questions about ADA signs in Houston? We are just a call away!