An Overview of Photopolymer Signs and Raster Signs
The vast majority of ADA compliant signage being made today is made with the raster Braille method. In this method, the Braille is formed by drilling a hole and then inserting small raised, plastic beads.
However, photopolymer signs are being ordered by an increasingly large number of architects and designers. These signs are fabricated by exposing ultraviolet light to a photo-sensitive sheet.
There has long been a debate over these two common (and somewhat competing) methods of fabrication for ADA signage. While there are certainly plenty of arguments from manufacturers that use each type of method about which is better, the fact is that both photopolymer and raster are completely acceptable forms of fabricating high-quality ADA signage. They each also have their own unique advantages.
Raster braille signs, for example, are far and away the most efficient method of developing short-run signs. If you just need a quick 15 office signs as soon as you can get them, you will only have to pay $30 or less for each simple raster braille sign without a complicated design. The same sign used with a photopolymer method could cost up to 50 percent more, simply because of the material cost and additional setup—photopolymer was not made for small jobs.
An advantage of photopolymer, meanwhile, is that all such signs have been top-coated with paint, which acts as a sealant on the surface of the sign. This is especially beneficial in environments where frequent and rigorous cleaning is required, such as medical environments where sanitation is absolutely imperative.
There are some groups that claim that the braille dot is too flat on photopolymer signs, versus the more domed version on raster braille signs. However, while this was a problem years back, it has long since been corrected thanks to evolution in the photopolymer technology. The same is true with the criticisms of raster braille signs not holding up to years of use—while this may once have been a criticism that bore some weight, it has long since been resolved.
Ultimately, both types of ADA signs are perfectly acceptable and will provide you with a great product. You just need to determine the best type to use in each given scenario.
If you need help deciding which is the best for your signage needs, contact us today at Erie Custom Signs.