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Midland Park Sign Maker Explains ADA Sign Requirements

If you own a business, you have heard about The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal civil rights law enacted in 1990, amended by The ADA Amendments Act in 2008, with regulations enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor. The purpose of ADA is to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in employment, in the programs and activities offered by state and local governments, and in accessing the goods and services offered in places like stores, hotels, restaurants, football stadiums, doctors’ offices, beauty parlors, and so on, places with public access.

Title III of the Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodations (businesses that are generally open to the public and that fall into one of 12 categories listed in the ADA, such as restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care facilities, recreation facilities, and doctors’ offices) and requires newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation—as well as commercial facilities (privately owned, nonresidential facilities such as factories, warehouses, or office buildings)—to comply with the ADA Standards. The original Title III regulation was published in 1991. An update was published in March of 2011, taking effect on March 15 of that year. Part of ADA accommodations is a business owner’s requirement to provide informational and directional signage; it’s under Title III that the regulations for ADA signage are found.

So who is covered?

Public accommodations (i.e., private entities that own, operate, lease, or lease to places of public accommodation);

Commercial facilities; and

Private entities that offer certain examinations and courses related to educational and occupational certification.

Places of public accommodation include over five million private establishments, such as restaurants, hotels, theaters, convention centers, retail stores, shopping centers, dry cleaners, laundromats, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospitals, museums, libraries, parks, zoos, amusement parks, private schools, day care centers, health spas, and bowling alleys.

Commercial facilities are nonresidential facilities, including office buildings, factories, and warehouses, whose operations affect commerce. Residential facilities that allow for public access, say to a leasing office or a pool or an exercise room, will require ADA signage for those areas.

Entities controlled by religious organizations, including places of worship, are not covered. Nor are private clubs, except to the extent that the facilities of the private club are made available to customers or patrons of a place of public accommodation.

State and local governments are not covered by the title III regulation, but rather by the Department of Justice’s title II regulation.

If you have questions about the signage required by ADA, you should be talking to an expert. It’s a complicated and constantly changing area.

For more information or assistance with developing accessibility signage for your business, call ImageTEK Signs & Graphics at (201) 351-8755.

Bergen Country Sign Maker Creates Modern Makeover for Shoe Repair Storefront

Bill’s Shoe Repair has been a staple in Midland Park, NJ since its inception in 1985. In this age of technology, many specialized trades have disappeared but Bill’s Shoe Repair is busier than ever.  Installing a sign for Bill’s entailed moving ladders, greeting customers, opening doors every five minutes because so many people are in and out of there. If you are a people person, it was a fun thing to do. Bill’s Shoe Repair located in the Godwin Plaza in Midland Park, NJ, which is being comprehensively rejuvenated by Accordia Realty Ventures.

Since the entire plaza is getting a facelift, it makes sense that new signs be designed and installed to match the renovations and give tenants a modern and appealing look. A plan was drawn up for the plaza to utilize Front Lit, LED Channel Letter signs for each of the exterior storefronts. The store front signs will be consistent with each other, bold and refreshing in the daytime, and striking in their illumination at night. LED sign lighting has become very popular over the years as the quality has improved while the price has come down.

Let’s get technical. LED channel letter signs utilize a combination of individual letters and/or logos to form a sign. The letter faces are generally made of acrylic and are bonded to what’s called a trim cap. The trip cap helps to attach the letter faces to the sides of the letters, which are known, as the “return”. The return can be various depths, but a 5” return is most common. When you attach the face and trim cap to the return, you create a channel to insert the LED lights. Once the proper amount of LED lights is secured in place, the letter is sealed with an aluminum backer to keep the snow and debris from entering the letter channel. For this project, Front Lit, LED Letters were used, but we had the option of using Back Lit/Reverse Channel/Halo Channel Letters or a combination of Front Lit and Back Lit Channel Letters.

Backlit Storefront Sign

In the end, Bill’s Shoe Repair shop and sign has a completely new, attractive, updated first impression and overall look that matches the quality of their work and the freshened appearance of Godwin Plaza.

For more information or assistance with developing impactful signage for your business, call ImageTEK Signs & Graphics at (201) 351-8755.

Midland Park, NJ – Sign Maker Offers Tips on Making Signs Easier to Read

Why are signs difficult to read?

Professor James Kellaris, Professor of Signage and Visual Marketing at the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business, developed some instructive survey statistics on what makes signs difficult to read. With all due respect to David Letterman, here is the good professor’s top ten:

TEN: “Other” … OK, this is rather undramatic, but only 1.6% are in this category, but it demonstrates how truly granular the survey results are;

NINE: The sign has distracting visuals, visuals that prohibit a full comprehension of the message. We have all seen this, what many call an excess in creativity. Rule of thumb: Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should!;

EIGHT: The sign looks very similar to other nearby signs. This is what we call the “ho hum” or “me too” effect; the tree gets lost in a forest of other trees;

SEVEN: The letters are spaced too close together (sign makers call this “kerning”);

SIX: The letters use a fancy font (how many times have you looked at a sign and struggled to understand what it said?!);

FIVE: Often, digital signs that change the message change it too fast, much like a too-fast crawler on the bottom of a cable news program;

FOUR: The color of the lettering is too close to the color of the background, minimizing the contrast;

THREE: The sign is insufficiently lit at night. This may seem obvious, but not providing sufficient lighting wastes the money and effort going into a sign;

TWO: The location of the sign makes it difficult to see (a great example of this is a street sign behind a telephone pole or tree);

Example of Bad Signage

And, the NUMBER ONE reason people report sings are difficult to read (drum roll, please):

The letters are too darn small!!

For more information or assistance with developing impactful signage for your business, call ImageTEK Signs & Graphics at (201) 351-8755.