“Uhhh, what does ADA mean?”Pretty much everyone
Signs with raised Braille
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act. Passed first in 1990, these laws provide guidelines and regulations for how to post braille on public signage. This is to benefit people with vision disabilities who use tactile lettering (i.e. braille) to read information. Signage is only a small part of the ADA, but the rest (like door ramp regulation) is not relevant to our industry.
The law was amended in 2004 to include new design rules. Our artists have up-to-date experience in ADA compliance regulations, and we ensure that all designs are compliant before moving them into production. See examples of ADA law below.
No fancy scripts!
Font has to be sans serif. They want it simple and easy to read! No serifs, scripts, bold, or italic letters.
Keep things in proportion guys
Get used to uppercase because it’s required! Strokes can’t be too thick, and height to width ratio for lettering has to fall within a set range.
Just ask Goldilocks
In Grimm’s terms: Papa Bear’s letters were over 2″, so they were too big, and Mama bear’s letters were under 5/8″, so they were too small. But ADA-compliant letters were between those, so they were just right!
Kerning for Days
This gets complicated…so be glad you don’t have to deal with it! Our designers compare stroke width, adjacent contact points, and cross sections. Yuck.
Cheers for type leading
Most signs combine text and braille into one sign, so line spacing between them becomes important.
Think Dome, not Square
Think about it–would YOU want to be scratched constantly while trying to read? Braille dots need to be gentle half circles rather than raised cylinders to avoid sharp edges.
Woo hoo for grids
More awesome measuring! There are rules for braille dot sizes in terms of diameter, how far apart they are within AND between letters, and more. Fun stuff.