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The Purpose Of Directional Signs

Directional signs are meant to make locating a specific place easier for any individual. Imagine how difficult it would be in a circumstance where someone has to find a particular location without having arrows or some other visual indication of the path to take. There are times that it is easy enough to get along with verbal instructions when they are simple. However there are times that verbal instructions are not enough and there needs to be other options that people can rely on. Not everyone can hear or understand verbal directions. Fortunately there other options like plaques and markers. When these are placed in public buildings in the United States, they are under the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (abbreviated ADA). Their guidelines address such things as Braille being placed on signs to help those who are visually impaired. It gives them the ability to obtain the same information that is printed on them.

When entering a large, unfamiliar building most people probably heavily rely on directional signs, even if they are not aware of it. There may be an initial request for assistance to get one’s bearings within the building, but then it is quite likely that people check the plaques posted as they go along. This is how they check to be sure that they are going the right way. Imagine trying to find a particular room in a large building if the path was unmarked.  In a hotel for instance, or a large office complex one would not know which way to turn upon exiting the elevator or stair well, especially if there were no directional signs there to guide them to the correct area.

Some of the ADA guidelines and requirements cover things like the height of the characters on the plaque and the color contrast allowed. This would mean things like light colored text should only be used on dark colored background. This would also include things like Braille being placed on some of the signs underneath the printed text.

In addition to interior plaques and markers there are also exterior directional signs. These may be used in places likes amusement parks and ball fields. They can help direct people to parking or to the next major attraction. They can be made out of a number of different materials, but metals and plastics are most popular.

Some markers, whether interior or exterior, are mounted flush against the wall. Others protrude from the wall at a height high enough not to be an obstacle for anyone walking past. There might be some preferences for flush mounted types, but ones that protrude might be slightly more noticeable to those who are able to follow visual instructions.

Anyone involved in building or outfitting a public building will want to be sure someone is quite familiar with the ADA requirements and guidelines. One needs to be sure that the requirements are all complied with. It is easy to find a company to work with when it comes to providing directional signs. They can also aid in figuring out what type of product would best fit the business.

Related Topics:
  • ADA Signage

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