ADA stands for the American Disability Act. This act warrants those with disabilities have equal access to buildings by providing signs with high contrast, real letters, and braille for prime readability. In America, there are about 2.5 million people that are legally blind and many others who suffer from limited vision. As the Baby Boomer generations continue to age, these particular signs will become even more mandatory.

There are 4 principal components when fabricating an ADA sign:


The plate is attached to everything else. The thickness, shape, and size of the base plate varies, as long as it is large enough to contain the necessary lettering, pictogram, and Braille. The sign may be round, square, rectangular, or other shapes.


Tactile lettering is letters that are raised 1/32-inch above the background and the lettering has to be cut.

The cutting can be done by using a laser or rotary engraver. Lasers are quicker great because they cut straight or perpendicular edges. A rotary engraver will typically leave some bevel around the letters, depending on which type of cutter used.


After the tactile lettering has applied to the base plate, it is time to use the Braille. There are three types of Braille, but ADA requires Grade II Braille. Grade II-B significantly minimizes the number of characters used.

Here are 3 ways it can be used to acquire the Grade II Braille:

  • The rotary incised Braille yields settled space, leaving the Braille dots raised to the surface layer of the base plate which is durable, unobtrusive, and economical.

  • The raster dot application uses a tiny plastic or metal ball to make the Braille. First, the machine uses a drill bit to create the hole and then the dots get inserted. This method is faster and cleaner, allowing for easier production.

  • Lastly, the easiest method includes someone making stirps of imprinted Braille with an adhesive back that you can just peel and stick to the sign.


A pictogram is an international symbol made in the same fashion as tactile lettering. Signs for the office and room numbers do not require pictograms, but signs such as restrooms, phone, and no smoking do require them.

To learn more about ADA signage or any other types of signage, visit our site at our website or e-mail our team at