Top ten tips for successful accessible signage

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School braille and tactile sign

Braille and tactile school sign

Good signs and wayfinding guidance are an essential part of any successful access strategy. We believe that clarity and simplicity in our signage makes our buildings more user friendly for everyone, not just those with visual or physical impairments. The most most successful sign systems are those which are clear and simple and use common, consistent language and symbols. Here is our list of 10 top tips for successful access for all signage:

1. Ensure there is a good contrast between text and sign background and if possible between the sign and the surface on which it is located
2. Position signage consistently so people know where to find relevant information
3. Signs should be fixed at eye level, where possible – between 1.4m and 1.6m above floor level
4. Choose fonts with a clear, unembellished (sans-serif) typeface and use sentence case with no underlined text (headings could be a larger size and bolder)
5. Make sure letter heights are large enough to be clear from a distance and use left aligned text
6. Pay particular attention to space – between letters, words, lines and around the sign itself. To improve legibility, it may be necessary to increase spacing by up to 30%
7. Tactile signs should have raised/embossed text and be positioned between 1.4m and 1.7m above floor level and at a distance of approximately 0.5m. The minimum character height should be 15 mm.
8. Always use tactile signs on toilet and bathroom doors, near lift call buttons, at the top and bottom of flights of stairs and wherever it is necessary to show the function of a room
9. Simple pictorial devices and symbols can be more successful in aiding recognition and overcoming language barriers. Internationally recognized symbols should be used if appropriate
10. When Braille is used on signage, it should be located directly below the text and ranged left. A recessed or raised Braille Locator mark indicates to the reader the exact location of the Braille on the sign

A good guide to inclusive signage is published by the JMU and Sign Design Society and is available from the RNIB.

Written by Create-Signs

July 5th, 2011 at 1:34 pm