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What is ADA?

ADA is a law (The Americans with Disabilities Act) which was enacted in 1992. Its purpose is to provide people with disabilities easy access to public buildings, services and employment.

All interior signs which identify permanent rooms or spaces must conform to the law. The law states that these signs must have raised upper case characters accompanied by Grade 2 braille. If symbols or pictograms are included on these signs, the space for the pictogram is also regulated.

The greatest effect, by far, of these regulations has been on facilities such as office buildings, health care facilities, educational institutions and hotels where there are many rooms or suites. Each of these spaces must be designated with a raised character and braille identification sign installed in the proper location.

What is Wayfinding?

Wayfinding is the process of using spatial and environmental information to find our way in the built environment. Wayfinding is not separate from traditional signage design, but is a broader, more inclusive way of assessing all of the environmental issues that affect our ability to find our way to a given destination. A well designed wayfinding system integrates with surrounding architecture, landscape, interior design and lighting, making it easier for people to access and understand environments. Signage is a key component of a wayfinding program, using a system of text, graphics and tactile information.

What is Sustainable Design (green design, eco-design, design for the environment)?

Sustainable design is the art of designing physical objects, the built environment and services to comply with the principles of economic, social and ecological sustainability. It ranges from the microcosm of designing small objects for everyday use, through to the macrocosm of designing buildings, cities and the earth’s physical surface.Sustainable design considers the environmental impacts of environmental graphic design products throughout a life cycle that includes: raw material; transformation; manufacturing; transportation; use; and disposal. Techniques for sustainable environmental graphic design include: longevity, reducing the amount of materials required for production; using materials made with recycled, post-consumer waste; printing with low-VOC inks; painting with low-VOC paint; using energy-efficient lighting; using hardware instead of glues for assembly and mounting; and using production and distribution methods that require the least amount of transport.