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How to Comply with ADA Signage Requirements

ada sign specifications

When it comes to ADA signs, style is important, but meeting the necessary requirements put forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act is still the primary concern for designers and manufacturers.

While meeting ADA signage requirements may seem intimidating at first, it all comes down to understanding the basics published by the U.S. Department of Justice. It also helps when you have a team with experience creating ADA signs on your side.

The last thing you want to do is design a sign for a client that will put them in violation of ADA sign requirements, as this could lead to lawsuits and fines.

Before you start your next project, make sure you at least know the basics of ADA signs.


Identification signs (those identifying a permanent room or space) must have raised characters or braille, and must be placed on the wall next to the door on the latch side.

The raised characters must be in sans serif style fonts with no italics or script and must be in uppercase letters only. 

A few of the fonts that meet ADA guidelines include:

ada approved fonts

There are much more precise specifications that dictate character height, thickness and proportions, all of which can be found in the complete ADA Signage Requirements Guide.

Finish and Pictograms

All ADA signs are required to have a non-glare finish on characters that do not contrast with the background color of the sign, so take this into consideration when choosing which color combinations match best with your client’s environment.

Pictograms have to be located within a 6-inch vertical space. Nothing else (characters, braille, etc.) can be present within the space with the pictogram. All characters and text should be located directly underneath the pictogram.

Other Laws and Specifications

Keep in mind that these are federal guidelines that must be followed, but that doesn’t mean that these are the only ADA signage requirements. Some states, like California, have stricter standards that must be followed. It is important for designers to know and understand the laws of the state in which their clients are located.

Leave Room for a Great Design

Just because ADA sign requirements must be met doesn’t mean that quality or design has to be sacrificed. The unique thermoforming process we utilize at Encompass leaves plenty of room for design options such as layers, shaping, color integration, edging and much more. Using our 101400 Studio, combined with our ADA specifications sheet, you will have everything you need to get started on your next ADA sign project.

If you have any questions, or you’re concerned that your design doesn’t meet the ADA signage requirements, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.