An architectural sign system is used in many public buildings. This system of organizing placards makes sure that all signage is within the specified codes for building, fire and ADA compliance. The Americans with Disabilities Act specifies that all identifying placards be placed at a certain height and with very specific fonts and color differentials concerning the background color versus the font. These things are very important and carry stiff penalties and fines if the guidelines are not followed.
It is important that an architectural sign system include directions to stairways, entrances, exits, fire alarms, evacuation routes, restrooms, security, telephones and elevators. These are very important informative placards that would be necessary to escape a building in the event of a fire or other disaster that required evacuating the building. These are mandated by certain building codes and fire codes as well as other types of governing bodies in respect to building safety for visitors and occupants. All of these identifying placards must also be ADA compliant so that those with vision disabilities or hearing impairments can still utilize the information they contain. This includes brail and the use of universal symbols or characters that show someone which restroom is designated as a ladies’ room and which one is designated as a men’s room. This also helps those who may not be familiar with the language that the placards are printed in.
Another use for an architectural sign system is to designate what each area is used for and which floor it is located on. Without identifiers above doorways, a large building could easily become a maze for visitors who are trying to navigate their way to a specific location. Directories usually found in the lobby can also be a big plus for visitors who may not be aware of which direction to go, or which area of the building the office they need to visit is located.
An architectural sign system is also used to warn people about hazards that might exist in a building. This type of placard is required to identify any area that may work with harmful chemicals or radioactive materials. They are useful for keeping any employees informed about areas they should not enter without some sort of protective gear, whether it is a hard hat or a haz-mat suit. They are also used to keep the public out of areas that are not intended for public access. This is important because it keeps visitors safe from unnecessary harm by restricting entry and alerting them to the dangers of entering an area that is not suitable for the public.
The most important job that an architectural sign system has is that it allows free and safe navigation of a public area, even for those that are unfamiliar with the building. This type of signage is seen in hospitals, universities, schools, courthouses, libraries, office buildings, factories, warehouses and just about any place that welcomes the public and grants them access.
Even the parking areas of public buildings use placards to instruct employees and visitors on where to park, as well as guiding them to the proper entrance of the building. It is easy to see that this type of signage is vital in our everyday lives.