Sign Design Guidance


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Sign Design Guidance
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A new section of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) came into force in October 2004. The new regulations are mandatory for service providers. Any information signs and sign systems that disregard the needs of the partially sighted will be deemed discriminatory. These brief notes will hopefully enable sign buyers to comply with the Act, make their signs more readable for everyone and in many cases cheaper too.

The theme of the new Act is very much about noticeability and comfortable readability by partially sighted people, but by everyone else as well. Readability comes before image. The following principles should be taken on board by anyone specifying a sign or sign system:

bulletKeep signage around a building consistent (Positions, colours, fonts , layout)
bulletKeep signs at eye height as far as practicable (centre line 1550 mm from the floor)
bulletSigns should be in a lit area and not obstructed
bulletInformation should be in sentence case (Capital letters only for the beginning of sentences etc.)
bulletInformation should be conveyed in an easily read letter style
bulletSigns should contrast. Lettering from substrate, and substrate from the wall / surrounds.

Further information on the Act can be obtained from the Disability Rights Commission website for general information or from the JMU handbook for sign specific information.

Avoiding Graffiti

Location Try to locate signs where possible away from where idle hands congregate.

Height above ground Is it high enough to be out of harms way? I always reckon on having the bottom of the sign 8 feet above foot level. Most grafitti writers are too lazy to overcome such an obstacle.

Laminating It is only practical to laminate small signs. I won't laminate beyond 4' long and 18'' wide. It does add to the cost. I charge an additional 15%. You cannot modify a laminated sign at a later date, so beware if names or phone numbers may change over time. On the plus side, laminating does give a quality impression and makes it easier to get graffiti off.

Minimising Vandal damage

Back Support It's harder to break a sign if it's back is flush with a wall. Signs in frames or signs set off from the wall with studs not only cost more; they are a lot more likely to fracture when hit by a brick.

Materials It's a lot easier to break a sign made of PVC foamboard than one of acrylic, polycarbonate or aluminium. Correx should only be used for small temporary signs (estate boards, event signage etc.) as a bend is a break and the sign is useless. When using acrylic for boards, spend the little extra to have cast acrylic instead of extruded acrylic. I never use extruded acrylic. It is too easy to shatter.

Fixings When drilling the board to fix to the wall, don't drill too near to the corners.

Jointing of large signs When putting two signs together, try to put support at the joint, especially on long sided joints (over 18'') or if using boards of less than 5mm

Orders and enquiries:

bulletBurntwood Signs Unit 9 Lime Lane, Yates Industrial Estate, Lime Lane, Pelsall WS3 5AS
bulletEmail: - Monitored 16 hrs a day for quick response.
bullet01543 - 37 1066 or
bulletIf you leave a UK landline number and availability on the email, we will be happy to ring and discuss
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