5 ADA Principles to Keep in Mind for Interior Custom Sign Systems

The American Disability Act (or ADA) are laws that have been enforceable since 2011. These act as a set of standards that all businesses with their doors open to the public must follow. They are meant to allow those who are visually impaired to navigate a building. If a business is not compliant with these laws, fines can occur. Here are a couple of guidelines for the state of Minnesota to help clear up any confusion with regards to interior ADA compliant custom sign systems.

Sign Height

Signs must be installed on the latch side of the door with the raised copy being between 48" and 60" from the floor. This height allows anyone with visual impairment the ability to feel for the sign in that 48" - 60" zone. A sign being too high or low could prevent a person from finding the sign.

Raised CopyInterior ADA Office Sign

Signs can be read using both raised copy and braille, so it's required that both be a part of ADA compliant interior signage. The raised copy must be between 5/8" and 2" tall in height. It's also required to be all uppercase copy and in a sans-serif font, such as Helvetica or Arial. These characters are quickly identifiable, where a sign with upper/lower case copy or fonts with serifs can be difficult to read when feeling for the characters.  

Braille

Braille goes hand-in-hand with the raised copy. These are the little, round dots that are placed next to the raised copy. The braille requirements are 3/8" clear spacing around the characters. It should be able to be distinguished from the raised copy but not so far away that it can't be found.

Contrast

Contrast is a must when it comes to all signage, but especially ADA compliant signs. A light background with dark copy (or vice versa) is ideal contrast for compliant signs. For example, a yellow background with orange copy would not be considered to have good contrast and would not be allowed. To aid in the sign contrast, they must also be fabricated from non-glare material. Anything that reflects light can cause readability issues.

Overhead Signs

Even those these signs aren't tactile, they still fall under the ADA umbrella. The bottom of a hanging or projecting sign must be a minimum of 80" from the floor, so they don't interfere with anyone walking near the sign.

Are Your Signs Compliant?

These are the basics to follow when it comes to interior ADA compliant custom sign systems in Minnesota.  Each state has the option to have stricter guidelines, but these are the minimum required. If you have an inspection coming up, need new interior signs, or are just unsure if the signs you have are compliant, give Spectrum Signs a call today!

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Patrick Woller

Patrick Woller [fa icon="linkedin-square"]

Patrick is a Graphic Designer at Spectrum Signs, a custom business sign maker in Blaine, MN. After a call from his college placement office, Patrick joined the Spectrum Signs team in 2010. Patrick finds enjoyment in the unique challenges his job gives him through the use of out of the ordinary materials. When Patrick isn’t designing signs, he enjoys playing with his dog Willis, learning the guitar, and working on welding projects.