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Marketing Tango

The Rhythm of Integrated Marketing

Accessible Signage Can Help Your Business Thrive


Mar 13, 2019

Accessible SignageWhen it comes to integrated marketers’ store signage, ‘ADA-compliant’ and ‘powerful’ aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. Signage that’s sensitive to the needs of those with disabilities is good business, since they make up a market that’s more than 50 million strong. Besides, accessible signage is good for customers without disabilities, too.

This article is NOT your guide to making all your signs ADA-compliant, because that requires a literal book. Instead, we’re providing ideas for how you can tweak your promotional signage to be more appealing to all of your customers.

The Signs That Must Be ADA-Compliant

There’s a whole category of signage that must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act: signs that convey information about your building, parking lot, restrooms, and other features of your facility that are necessary to keep employees and customers safe. For example, signs that designate accessible parking or bathrooms, or indicate entrances, exits, and other important features of the building.

Promotional Signage Is Exempt

Signs (including digital signage) that are put up for marketing and advertising purposes are exempt from ADA requirements – for example, displays, logos, endcaps, or any promotional signage not related to the physical space of the building.

The 3 Elements of Signs That Pop For Everyone

To make signage that stands out to customers with good sight and is still legible for those with impaired vision, integrated marketers need to focus on content, contrast, and construction.

Keep Content Simple

When it comes to copy and content, stick to the essentials, such as name, location and price. Make the copy large enough to pass the squint test without sacrificing the white space that’s required for readability. Use a simple, sans-serif font like one of the following:

  • Helvetica
  • Arial
  • Future
  • Myriad Pro
  • Verdana

    Go High-Contrast

    The color of your signage contributes not only to its overall impact but legibility and visibility.  Aim for high-contrast combinations that make it easy for all eyes to distinguish content of the sign. Try:

    • Black & white
    • Blue & white
    • Black & yellow
    • You can keep your signage branded by picking a color and then using tints within that color – for example, if it’s blue, using it at 10% for the background and then 100% for images or type.

    Materials Matter

    Your signs should be constructed of something sturdy and durable that reduces glare. Your printer can help you pick the right materials for the job, as well as recommend coatings. Again, promotional signs don’t need to meet the same criteria as wayfinding and informational signage, but creating long-lasting, accessible signage will pay off for years to come.

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