What is the Difference Between ADA Signage & Wayfinding Signage?

ADA Signs and Wayfinding Signs

What is the Difference Between ADA Signage & Wayfinding Signage?

ADA Signage & Wayfinding Signage are always around us, everywhere we go. Signs help us get around and give us important information. However, not all signs are the same. Directional signage or wayfinding signs are for the general public and may or may not be usable by those with disabilities. For example, a blind person wouldn’t be able to get much use out of a standard visual sign, whether it’s an interior sign or an exterior one.

ADA Signs

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires businesses to provide ADA compliant indoor location marking signs for locations such as the restrooms, room numbers and directional signs. The ADA regulations include provisions for Braille signs, placement and height of directional signs and other identifying signs in large, easy to read colors and fonts for those who may be visually 

ADA Sign with Braille

impaired. The ADA regulations only apply to indoor areas and not to an exterior sign. Other ADA signs in Braille and specialized print may also provide directional signage to areas such as:

Changing and exam rooms

Electrical rooms

Kitchens or cafeterias

Mechanical rooms

Break and conference rooms

ADA signs typically don’t involve areas that may change uses frequently, although some businesses may use custom ADA signs for this purpose.

Directional Business Signs

Many businesses use custom wayfinding signs. Besides the obvious purpose of letting people know where to go, directory signs have other important uses:

Wayfinding Sign

Customer familiarity

Promoting the brand of the business

Safety and health

When customers enter your business, they will come to expect to see a certain type of signage. Attractive and distinctive custom wayfinding signs can help to promote your brand. People become assured by and comfortable with the signs they expect to see. They will associate this with your business brand as well. An attractive interior sign is more than just useful. It’s part of your business image.

Other obvious reasons for directional signage are for health and safety reasons. You would always want to clearly mark all exits and the nearest fire exits in the case of an emergency. Directional signs are also frequently used in schools, malls, apartments, and museums.

ADA Fire Plan SignWhy ADA Signage is Necessary

It’s in a business’s best interest to provide ADA signs in all indoor areas of the premises. Not only is it the law, but it allows a business to serve all customers as equally as possible. The ADA regulations serve the greater good.


Professional Outdoor Signage

Although this is not required to be ADA compliant, outdoor signage can help to promote a business and increase customer visits. We can help you by providing:

Sign strategy, design, and placement

Custom conceptualization


Outdoor Wayfinding


A well-designed exterior sign identifying your business is essential if your location is less than ideal. ADA Signage & Wayfinding Signage can help draw customers to you who may not have realized you were even there. The expense of the sign may pay for itself in very little time and is a worthwhile investment.

Sign up