Sign & Digital Graphics

January '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • January 2017 • 57 "We're also seeing a shift toward wood grain patterns and nature-inspired pat- terns. Another trend is a surge in online ordering. ADA companies should make all their products available online to make it easier for local sign shops and their end user customers to buy any time day or night. Our distributors are always busy, so allowing them to place orders any time of the day is huge! We receive a lot of orders after five pm local time, and we get lots of weekend orders from our online store," he adds. Rules and Regulations McMahon also notes that creating A DA -compliant interior sign can be complicated because of all the rules and regulations that must be adhered to. "There are so many rules and regulations pertaining to AADA signage," he says, and not just the federal ADA guidelines. "The IBC (International Building Code), the N F PA (National Fire Protection Association) and the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) all have standards that must be complied with. In addition, there are states that have strict state and county codes and many of these codes are consistently being updated. For this reason, Signmojo has a Regulations Compliance Team that is continuously researching guidelines to make sure that our signs are compliant and manufactured in a timely manner." "In all we have 13 different depart- ments that somehow all have to come together with their part of the product within 10 days probably thousands of times every month. It's a real challenge on the manufacturing front. When you add in the complexity of the ADA, the I B C , and N F PA , we have a wealth of knowledge necessary to succeed in this business." Outsourcing Benefits and Questions to Ask "One of the many benefits to signs shops in regard to outsourcing is that, if they do their homework and are willing to learn some basic signs, then they don't have to invest in the equipment neces- sary to make high-quality tactile ones," says Sharon Toji, president of ADA Sign Products, Long Beach, California. "They can put their money into sales, design and customer service instead," she adds. Toji, who also offers professional ADA consulting, says shops should be able to get a few sample signs that demon- strate the qualities of the product that the wholesale company sells. She points out that in terms of the tactile elements, even though you aren't blind yourself and almost definitely don't read braille, you should be able to pass your finger- tips over both the raised characters and the braille and not feel as if your fingers would be sore after reading a few signs. "Both the characters and the braille dots should each be distinct from other characters and dots, and you shouldn't be able to feel the ridge of a raised border or frame or any other detail when your fingertips are passing over the braille." Toji says it's a good idea to ask the wholesale ADA company what kind of translation software they use for creat- ing their braille. "If you are in California, make sure that they are using the California font," she says. "It's actually legal through all the states, but if you have any doubts about the braille, you can always ask for a printed translation and that they should be able to provide certification from a braille transcriber." Toji adds that you should be cautious of wholesale companies that promise unrealistically fast turnaround times. "Companies that promise miracles are often skimping somewhere," she says "On the other hand, if you are ordering standard items like restroom signs or exit signs, the wholesale company may have those on the shelf ready to ship. Lastly, question prices that are rock bottom. Again, what will be skipped in terms of quality in order to get miraculously low prices and miraculously fast turn- around?" Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 ADA signage has become an integral part of the sign industry. (Image courtesy of CAB Signs) (Right) This oval number sign, designed Ullrich Hepperlin, shows another varia- tion on ADA Sign Products' "Pieces and Parts" system with large, bold printed element. It demonstrates how one shape can be used for very different signs. (Image courtesy of ADA Sign Products) ADA compliant signs can not only provide functionality for a business or institution, but can also reinforce branding as well. (Image courtesy of Howard Industries)

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