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An Architecture Sign Tends To Give Direction

An architecture sign tends to be one that designates a permanent space.  It is informative regarding the spaces, an exit placard, or speaks to accessibility.  The ones that are considered to be of this type are generally required to follow some ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines.  Marketing, logos, and temporary banners and placards are not generally required to abide by these guidelines.

It may be easy to see why it is often assumed that they are solely for the benefit of those who suffer from vision impairments, since it is often noticeable that a placard has the text done over again in Braille.  However, this is not the only case.  Plenty of them are designed for people who deal with hearing and mobility issues as well.

Overall, an architecture sign must be glare-free, have a high contrast between background and characters, and follow state and city regulations.  As an example of contrasting, if the text is a darker color, the background must be a lighter color, and vice versa.  This particular guideline focuses specifically on the contrast, and not on different colors, so some very different colors without high contrast might not be ok, while very different shades of the same color would be in alignment with the guidelines.  There are also rules regarding the stroke size of the typeface, as well as the letter size.  High, overhead letters must measure at least three inches for the upper case ones.

In addition to the rules for the look of the architecture sign, there are regulations governing the proper location of the placard.  Since they must be able to be placed where functionally blind people can see them, the guidelines address the specifics of where the placards should be.  Often times, it is a single sign that is used for both sighted and blind readers.  Sometimes it is possible to have a single sign devoted to each.  A couple of the ADA rules state that individual letters can be no higher than two inches, and no smaller than ⅝ inch.  They must be installed a specific height above the floor, to make it easier for someone who is disabled to consistently find them.

An architecture sign can be one which directs someone throughout a building.  Of course, it is just as imperative that these placards are clear and easy to understand as it is for them to give the identification of that room.  It does not do a whole lot of good to have a location identified if there is no way for an individual to figure out how to get there.  These may include, but are not limited to, those with pictograms on them.  There are four of them that are recognized regarding accessibility: the wheelchair, the ear, the phone, and the keyboard.  The wheelchair indicates accessibility locations for those who have mobility issues.  The ear indicates availability to an assistive listening system.  The phone with sound waves indicates a telephone that has a volume control.  The keyboard indicates there is a text telephone.

It is important to make more things accessible for the general public.  An architecture sign is just one way of making that happen.

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