25 July 2017
How ADA Sign Regs Lead to More Creative Solutions
Gone are the days of generic, commonplace, one-size-fits-all ADA signs

Since the 2010 updates to the original Americans with Disabilities Act became mandatory nationwide on March 15, 2012, (including requirements for facility signage) there has been an explosion of creativity – and business -- in the design, material sourcing and manufacturing of compliant signs. The laws not only provide accessibility to millions of Americans but have opened doors to vast opportunities in the facility signage sector.  Have you tapped into it yet?


While you often see the term “ADA Compatible” when reviewing sign products, the reverse is now true.  ADA signs are now “Design Compatible.”  In the last five years, designers and the sign industry have worked successfully to bring ADA signage into the 21st century.


The revised ADA regulations allow for a “dual signage” option, assuring that a sign contains elements that meet the needs of the visually impaired as well as those who are not, and expanding opportunities for much-needed design creativity.


Today there are more choices in font selection, color combinations, substrates, mounting options and visual appeal, all well-suited to offerings in the office furnishings market. Material suppliers have stretched their imaginations to produce acrylics embedded with textural elements such as field grasses, woodgrain and woven fiber.  Vinyl manufacturers have stretched the limits of the rainbow in colors, patterns and finishes. Many of these materials are used together to create signage that complements the décor and supports consistent branding.


The new “standard” selections offer a great deal more versatility with combined materials, layered substrates and unique shapes.  At People Signs®  you will find a variety of Sign Series, each set including mandatory ADA signage as well as coordinated non-ADA formats to outfit a building or campus wide signage and wayfinding program.


Mandatory ADA signage, such as restroom signs, must have Braille, raised lettering, and corresponding symbols. To be ADA compliant, office and cubicle signs require permanent room numbers that must meet text and font requirements.  However, occupant names can be changed with the slip of an insert. Providing more flexibility, paper insert signs have evolved to accommodate changes in the workforce while meeting ADA guidelines on signs which require permanent messaging. The clear acrylic lens which covers the insert can also be manufactured with the required raised lettering and Braille, but if the sign has insert capability, the background design can be changed at will. 


No longer simply utilitarian, ADA signs are an essential element of the overall design package, helping to establish the facility’s environment and supporting the occupant’s brand.  For that reason, at People Signs®  we offer a wide range of services in producing custom ADA signs. 


Now there are aesthetic options to meet the requirements of the most demanding clients, designers and architects.   The often feared ADA regulations have become not a roadblock to attractive signage but a pathway to improved communication and effective design. 


Looking for direction on how to tap into the ADA signage market?  Call us today at 610.434.3613.