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New ADA in the Design World: Sometimes, Less is More for ADA Signage

It’s not breaking news any longer to say “the Department of Justice finally updated and published new ADA guidelines.” What is news – or should I say passing conversation – is what designers can do now that Grade 2 Braille is a mandate, not an option.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, there are several methods for achieving Grade 2 Braille on a typical ADA plaque sign, but as designers are beginning to discover, there is room for design flair in this rigid new world of regulations.

Tone-On-Tone: It’s The New “Black”

Sorry for the lame attempt at fashion humor with the subhead. What I mean to say is the new guidelines give designers a fresh opportunity to use tone-on-tone coloring for raised character messages and at a height of only ½”. The only catch is you have to have the same message in sufficiently contrasted lettering on the face of the sign. I hardly call that a catch when you start considering the possibilities. Visually impaired people still get the benefit of properly formed and domed Braille and a precisely formed character, and the people who simply have trouble seeing can now rely on the printed message.

Does this mean designers can get crazy with font choices? Of course not, but with new innovations in four-color graphic printing technology, designers can integrate aesthetic designs into the most mundane – but critical – regulatory portions of any signage program such as restroom signs, stairwell signs, and the every popular janitorial closet sign.

Check out this free download for Infinity that features new materials and new printing techniques. If you’d like to share some new design examples, let us know.

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