What to Consider When Offering Senior Living Signage to Clients
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There are several benefits to adding senior living signage to your offerings; however, there are just as many factors to take into consideration before you do. Ultimately, your goal should be to provide your clients with the best products and service possible. To do that, you must have a solid understanding of your clients’ needs as well as your own capabilities.
We know that breaking into the independent and assisted living market can be tough. That’s why we put together a list of things to think about when offering senior living signage to clients. After reviewing this list, you should have a firm grasp of what it takes to ensure your clients receive the signage solutions they need.
Let’s get started…
Types of Senior Living Signage Your Clients Need
First, you need to consider what kind of signage your clients should actually have. Senior living communities—both independent and assisted—require certain types of signage. Some are necessary from a legal and logistical standpoint, whereas others are just highly recommended. Familiarizing yourself with various kinds of senior living signage lets you to do the following:
- Decide which ones to add to your offerings
- Make helpful suggestions to clients
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry
Here are some of the most common types of displays found in such facilities…
Interior Logo Signs
All businesses should have an interior logo sign in place, including residential facilities for seniors. This type of signage serves as a welcome to new staff members, residents, and visitors. Without it, people may wonder if they are in the right place. Therefore, this is a recommendation worth making to clients that do not have one in the lobby.
Room signs are crucial for senior communities, especially those that cater to older adults with memory issues. Providing your clients with these displays can ensure they have identified rooms and common areas clearly. As a result, residents and visitors will be able to locate specific areas of the facility with ease.
Directional signs can serve a few purposes in senior living facilities. For starters, they can mark exits and restricted areas clearly. In addition, they can reinforce community rules, such as “no smoking.” These displays provide residents and visitors with extra guidance and navigational help.
Stair & Elevator Signs
Both stair signs and elevator signs are a must for senior living facilities with multiple floors. Without these types of signage, individuals in a client’s facility may struggle to travel from one floor to another. If a client doesn’t have such signage in place, you need to help them address the issue immediately, as it is a safety hazard.
Providing a client with a directory of staff offices and common areas can improve wayfinding within their facility. This type of display is strongly encouraged if your client’s community is particularly large or complex. It’s a recommendation you should offer if your client wants to make navigation as easy and convenient as possible for visitors.
Many senior living facilities have also started introducing memory aids such as memory boxes. Although these features aren’t required, they are recommended. If a client is looking for a unique way to help residents with self-recognition, wayfinding, and more, you may want to offer up this suggestion.
Required Elements for ADA Signs
Second, you should keep in mind that some signs must meet ADA requirements. Directories, interior logo signs, and temporary signage (those used for a week or less) don’t have to be ADA compliant. However, most other types of signage, such as permanent room signs, do.
Before taking on a client’s order for senior living signage, you need to figure out whether their signs should be ADA compliant. If so, you must ensure those signs meet the following guidelines:
- Glare – ADA signs should have a matte, non-glare finish for easy readability. A reflective substance can be used to make the sign more visually appealing. However, images and text should be made of a non-reflective material.
- Contrast – A high contrast ratio between touchable lettering and background is necessary. In most cases, a ratio of 70% is considered acceptable. Additionally, there’s no set rule for the approach you take to contrast, so you can use light lettering on a dark background or vice versa.
- Font – Any fonts used on ADA signage must be “simple serif” or “sans serif.” Further, italics and scripts may not be included on such signs. To clarify, this rule only applies to important text such as room name or Braille.
- Tactile Lettering – Tactile lettering has to be in an uppercase format and at least 1/32” thick. The lettering must also be a minimum of 5/8” tall and maximum of 2” tall. However, there are different rules for hanging ADA signs and projection signage.
- Images – Images and pictograms on signage aren’t required to be tactile. Nonetheless, these symbols must be placed in a field that is at least 6” tall. It’s worth noting that not all ADA signs must have pictograms. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult a fabricator that knows which types of signs are exempt.
Branding Opportunities through Senior Living Signage
Third, you should think about the branding opportunities that are available through senior living signage. You can incorporate a client’s branding throughout their displays (even ADA signs) in a number of ways. Doing so not only benefits the client by ensuring their branding is consistent but also benefits your shop by introducing an upsell.
During the consultation, find out if your client uses specific colors, fonts, or images in their materials. Then, determine whether you can fit those elements in the signs they’ve requested. More often than not, a client will appreciate the chance to add their logo and/or color scheme to displays.
Shop Capabilities for Producing These Displays
Finally, you must consider your own capabilities in terms of producing these displays in-house. Although you may be eager to break into the market, it’s important to take a step back and determine the best course of action. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have the equipment necessary to fabricate ADA signage?
- Do you have a graphic designer on staff to handle sign formatting and design?
- Is your team knowledgeable about ADA guidelines?
- Can you provide clients with a quick turnaround on senior living signage?
- Do you have the tools and materials to produce memory aids?
If you answered “no” to one or more of the questions above, then you should think about taking an alternative route. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t offer senior living signage. It just means you may need to outsource orders or form a partnership with a third-party fabricator.
It’s true that adding senior living signage to your offerings can help you expand your client base and increase your revenue. But like anything else, it’s all about being prepared to serve your clients to the best of your ability. And when you find it makes more sense to outsource certain orders, that’s when you call on the team at Erie Custom Signs.