ADA Signs are commonly made of plastics, but that is not the only choice. Do you know what is available? There are many materials, but you should know this 3 substrate materials and a little about the colors and materials used for rasters (the bumps used in Braille).
Plastics: Companies like Gravograph, Gemini and RowMark make full lines of plastics for the substrate and the applique. They are readily available and easy to work with. The finish is the correct matte surface and the colors contrast well. Using these families of plastics is common and very convenient.
Acrylic: Acrylic is a form of plastic, but it comes in sheets. It can be painted or a range of colors are available. Acrylics are very commonly used in lobby and building signs, routed or dimensional letters and many other applications. There is a lot of Acrylic working skills and knowledge in the sign industry. To use Acrylics as an ADA sign, different cutting tools need to be used. Specifically the Braille holes are less compliant and require a special cutting bit.
Painting and printing on the 2nd side. Clear Acrylics offer a change to reverse print of add color to the “sub surface”. That is the back side. Many customers like this because the clear acrylic is see through. It adds the illusion of depth and it protects the letters or color from wear. It does not give a tactile text of graphics. These still need to be applied to the front.
Brushed Aluminum ADA Brushed Aluminum Signs are a favorite. They have a look and feel of quality. Most people understand ADA Signs are required, but that does not mean the signs need to be plastic. When restaurants, hotels, retail stores or office buildings need to convey quality, brushed Aluminum is very popular. Different forms of DiBond are normally used. Special cutting tools and a way to fix the rasters (the small balls) need to be used
Rasters Rasters are the small balls that make the Braille bumps. These come in different materials and colors. Clear Acrylic is the most common, but black and white acrylic are common. Also metal rasters are used with metal substrates
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