Character Proportion. Letters and numbers on signs shall have a width-to-height ratio between 3:5 and 1:1 and a stroke-width-to-height ratio between 1:5 and 1:10.

Character Height. Characters and numbers on signs shall be sized according to the viewing distance from which they are to be read. The minimum height is measured using an upper case X. Lower case characters are permitted.

Height Above Finished Floor Minimum Character Height
Suspended or Projected
Overhead in compliance with 4.4.2
3 in (75 mm) minimum

Raised and Brailled Characters and Pictorial Symbol Signs (Pictograms). Letters and numerals shall be raised 1/32 in, upper case, sans serif or simple serif type and shall be accompanied with Grade 2 Braille. Raised characters shall be at least 5/8 in (16 mm) high, but no higher than 2 in (50 mm). Pictograms shall be accompanied by the equivalent verbal description placed directly below the pictogram. The border dimension of the pictogram shall be 6 in (152 mm) minimum in height.

Finish and Contrast. The characters and background of signs shall be eggshell, matte, or other non-glare finish. Characters and symbols shall contrast with their background --either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.

Mounting Location and Height. Where permanent identification is provided for rooms and spaces, signs shall be installed on the wall adjacent to the latch side of the door. Where there is no wall space to the latch side of the door, including at double leaf doors, signs shall be placed on the nearest adjacent wall. Mounting height shall be 60 in (1525 mm) above the finish floor to the centerline of the sign. Mounting location for such signage shall be so that a person may approach within 3 in (76 mm) of signage without encountering protruding objects or standing within the swing of a door.


Quick reference about ADA Signage

The guidelines and regulations for ADA-compliant signage may seem daunting, but if you keep a few simple “rules of thumb” in mind while designing your signs, it’s easy to create great looking signs that are fully compliant. Use this quick reference guide to point you in the right direction.

ADA requirements specify a size range for text height of 5/8 - 2 inches. Use this chart to help you determine how much text will fit on a sign.

For 5/8 inch letters (the most common size), you need to allow 2 inches of height per line of text,including the Braille translation below.For larger text sizes, allow 2 times the height of the characters, plus 1 inch per line of Braille.This is a general guideline; actual space needed may be more or less depending on the text.

Other Spacing Requirements:Pictograms: 
You need a 6 inch high area for a pictogram. There are no rules regarding the actual height of the pictogram, but 4-4.5 inches is a good starting point.Braille: You need to leave a minimum of 3/8 inch clearance on all side of Braille.

Use simple, sans serif fonts, in a medium or bold weight. Do not use italics, scripts, or otherhard-to-read styles. For tactile signs, all text must be UPPERCASE. For visual only signs, such as directories, directional signs or overhead signs, you can use lowercase letters.

Braille Quick Reference

Text on tactile signs must be accompanied by Grade 2 Braille. Grade 2 is not a “letter for letter”translation of the text; it contains 265 contractions, single characters used to represent whole words or groups of letters. Accurate translation software is a must. 

All Braille should be lowercase, except proper names (“Fred Jones”), letters which are part of a room number (“105A”), initials, acronyms or before the first word of sentences. Most translation software is case-sensitive so if you type your text as lowercase the Braille will be lowercase, and vice versa.

These are most of the regulations and standards you should be aware of. For more information, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-888-987-0999.

Contact us for information on our Raster® Method of Braille, our comprehensive ADA sign manual,frame systems, sign materials, and more.


Click Here For Department of Justice A.D.A. Standards 

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