If you promote your shop as the go-to place for all types of signage, there will likely come a time when you receive a request for public restroom signs.
You may be thinking, “Great! I’d love to add another product to my list of offerings.”
After all, tons of businesses have restrooms that are open to nonemployees, so there’s a huge opportunity for increased revenue. And since your facility is equipped to fabricate a wide range of displays, you should have no problem creating public restroom signs…right?
The fact is that such signage must adhere to ADA rules. That means you have to not only familiarize yourself with those rules but also invest in specialized training for your team.
Failing to do so can lead to a number of consequences, including…
- Customer dissatisfaction
- A blow to your shop’s reputation
- Loss of business to the competition
That’s why it’s in your best interest to educate yourself on the requirements for public restroom signs. In addition to preparing for future client requests, it can also help you determine whether it’s feasible to add such displays to your offerings.
What Are the Characteristics of ADA-Compliant Restroom Signage?
First, if you’re planning to take on ADA-compliant restroom signage, you need to do your research. That means reading the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and Americans with Disabilities Act Title III Regulations in their entirety.
There’s a lot of information in these resources, so it helps to have a brief guide you can also turn to for the most important characteristics.
Here are some of the highlights:
- All letters and numbers must be raised by 1/32 inch in uppercase, sans serif, or simple serif font, and they should be accompanied by Grade 2 Braille.
- All raised characters must be at least 5/8 inch in height but no higher than 2 inches.
- Pictograms on restroom signs should also have the verbal description of the picture directly below it, and the border dimension of the pictogram should be at least 6 inches in height.
- The background and characters should be in a non-glare finish.
- There must be a contrast level of roughly 70% between the background and the characters.
- Any symbols used should follow the international symbol of accessibility.
Additionally, there are specific mounting requirements for public restroom signs that must be followed.
Which of Your Clients Require ADA-Compliant Public Restroom Signs?
Along with understanding what characteristics public restroom signs must have to be deemed ADA compliant, it’s also worth knowing which of your clients are required to have such displays in place.
Chances are the majority of your clients are nongovernmental entities. And if they’re open to the public, they’re covered under Title III of the ADA, which lays out the requirements for public accommodations and commercial facilities.
Such businesses fall under 1 or more of the following 12 categories:
- Lodging establishments, such as hotels, motels, and inns
- Establishments offering food or drink, such as restaurants and bars
- Places of exhibition or entertainment, such as theaters, stadiums, and music venues
- Places of public gathering, such as lecture halls, convention centers, and auditoriums
- Sales or rental establishments, such as shopping centers and grocery stores
- Service establishments, such as hospitals, salons, and laundromats
- Public transportation, such as terminals and depots
- Places of public display or collection, such as museums and art galleries
- Recreation venues, such as zoos and amusement parks
- Educational institutions, such as schools and universities
- Social service center establishments, such as day care centers and senior living facilities
- Places of exercise, such as gyms and golf courses
Any client’s business that is a place of public accommodation must comply with all Title III guidelines, including those related to signage.
5 Things to Consider When Filling an Order for Public Restroom Signs
When you receive a request for public restroom signs—and you’ve determined that the client must adhere to ADA rules—there are 5 things you need to consider before you can move on to fabrication.
1) The Client’s Budget
As with any type of sign project, you need to consider how much the client can afford to spend on public restroom signs.
Are they looking for a quick and affordable solution, or are they willing to invest more time and money to get something custom?
Knowing what budget you have to work with makes it easier to select the best option for your client.
2) The Client’s Style
When a client requests public restroom signs, you should take the time to ask questions about their style.
Are there certain colors they like or don’t like? Do they already have a logo, emblem, or other artwork? Do they want their public restroom signs to match their current décor and signage?
Getting as many details as possible ensures that they’ll be happy with the finished product.
3) The Size of the Client’s Facility
To ensure a client gets all the public restroom signs they need, it’s important to determine the size of their facility.
How many restrooms do they have in their facility? How many of them are open to the public?
By asking the client about the size and layout of their facility, you can make sure you get the sign order correct the first time around.
4) The Location of the Client’s Facility
In addition to adhering to national ADA guidelines, businesses that are open to the public must also comply with local and state guidelines. That’s why you need to find out the exact location of the client’s facility.
In what state is the client’s facility located? In what city? Have they done any research on local codes?
Some states, such as California, have their own set of rules when it comes to ADA restroom signs. By finding out where your client is located, you can make sure their signage has all the necessary features.
5) Your Shop’s Capabilities
Finally, before you can take on a client’s project, you need to consider your own shop’s capabilities.
Is your team knowledgeable about how to fabricate ADA-compliant public restroom signs? Do you have the right equipment to produce Braille lettering? Is your shop stocked with the proper materials and paint?
If you don’t already offer ADA-compliant signage, then you’ll have to invest in training, equipment, and materials to provide the best products possible. But if you don’t have the resources available, the best course of action may be to enter a wholesale partnership with a third-party fabricator.
Creating ADA-compliant public restroom signs isn’t as cut and dry as you may think. There are many things to keep in mind—from the characteristics of such displays to the capabilities of your own shop.
The good news is that you don’t have to miss out on a lucrative opportunity just because you’re unable to fabricate signs in-house.
You can partner with Erie Custom Signs and ensure you never have to turn away a client again!