Code signage refers to ADA compliant signs which are required for new or renovated public buildings. Far West Contractors, a construction company, was working on a project for Valley International Preparatory (VIP) High School in Northridge, California, and we helped out with the signage part of the project. ADA signs include room identification signs, exit signs, maximum occupancy signs, and much more. Many of these signs require raised text and Braille, along with other specifications such as color contrast, typeface, and even sign location. Because ADA signs are so specific, we are involved in every step of the project.
When we first receive a request to bid for a job, we do a walkthrough of the location to make sure we are accounting for every sign that the inspector will require. After that, we put a bid together based on the quantity and type of signs the client needs. During this process, we work with either our customer, the contractor, or the client directly to determine the sign design. As mentioned before, there are some limitations but when it comes to color and material, the signs are very customizable as long as the finish is non-glare, and the copy contrasts with the color of the sign. As you can see from the photos, the school went with a theme of blue, orange, and gray. If we are selected for the job, we go through the submittal process where the contractor and client can review the specifications of every sign to make sure that everything looks how they want. Once we have approval, we start making the signs. Most of the signs were made from compression panel, which means the copy and Braille were thermoformed. Most public schools require this so the Braille and letters can’t be picked off of the sign.
Once the signs are completed and the client is ready, we go back to the location to install the signs. Sometimes, if the signs aren’t ready or the walls aren’t ready for the signs to be put up but they need to go through an inspection, we will print temporary signs to be put up where the permanent signs will be installed. The signs need to be at a specific height and location so we personally handle all of the installation.