- Locate signs where they are clearly visible.
- A person with low vision may be able to read a sign if they can approach the sign for close-up viewing. Wall-mounted signs are ideal. Signs should be placed at eye level. The optimum height for viewing at eye level is 1400–1700mm above floor level.
- Position signs where the reader will not obstruct circulation paths.
- Signs that are projecting or being suspended from the ceiling must be positioned above head height at 2200mm from floor level. Although it is important that the sign does not create a head height obstacle, it is equally important that the size of the lettering increases in proportion to the distance from the reader.
Letter Height for Direction Signs
The readability of a sign will be influenced by its position, size, viewing distance and colour and contrast between the lettering and background. As the distance between the sign and reader increases, the size of the lettering must increase proportionately.
- Close-up reading
For wall-mounted information signs, where a reader can get up close to the sign, a minimum letter height of 15–25mm is recommended.
- Medium range reading
For identification signs in reception areas or directional signage in a building, a minimum letter height of 50–100mm should be used. The greater the distance between the sign and the reader, the larger the letter height.
- Reading distance of 5 metres
Best letter height 290mm
- Reading distance of 4 metres
Best reading height 240mm
- Reading distance of 3 metres
Best letter height 180mm
- Reading distance of 2 metres
Best letter height 120mm
- Reading distance of 1 metre
Best letter height 60mm
In general, a minimum letter height of 150mm is recommended at building entrances or for house numbers.
- Colour and contrast of the lettering and the background must be considered. Black on white or white on black are good contrasting colours. Sometimes, however, black and white can give too much reflection and so more muted colours can improve visibility, for example navy background with cream text, black background and yellow text or cream background with navy/black text.
- For very large text, negative text is best.
- Sign lettering should use upper and lower case letters, as words retain a shape for easy reading. Letters used should be plain (sans serif). Arial, Helvetica, Futura, Avant Garde, Times New Roman, Sabon, Bembo, Century Schoolbook, Akzidenz Grotesque or Baskerville are good choices of lettering typefaces.
- The surface of the sign should have a matt finish to reduce reflection and glare.
- The illumination of a sign should be considered. A sign must be visible in daylight and at night. When a sign is illuminated, the light source must be shielded from the viewer to prevent glare.
- If a wall-mounted sign has raised letters or Braille that are to be felt, the tactile letters should be placed at a height of 1400–1700mm above floor level. The letters should be raised 1.5mm and the edges of the raised characters should be slightly rounded. The recommended stroke width of each character is 1.5–2mm for a 15mm letter.
- Signs should be embossed, not engraved.
Position room number signs and names on the wall adjacent to the door handle and not on the door to avoid the door being opened whilst being read by touch. The top of room number signs should be at 1600mm from floor level.
- Floor storey numbers on signs in lifts need to be a minimum of 100mm in height and sited between 900 and 1200mm above the car floor.
- Colour and contrast is of the utmost importance. Use negative text for the lift buttons so that the controls can be easily distinguished from their background. The emergency button should be easily identifiable, using colour, Braille and tactile features.
- Lift control and call buttons should also have tactile raised characters that are repeated in Braille. The characters should be raised with a minimum of 1.5mm from the button face and be a minimum of 1.5mm high.
- Call and control buttons should require a light push down pressure so that the person knows that they have pressed the button.
- Call and control buttons should provide confirmation that the button has worked, for example visual output where the button illuminates.
Conventions for colours and shapes help to communicate information effectively
- Yellow triangles with the symbol in black indicate a potential hazard.
- Green rectangles indicate a safe condition, for example EXIT. Text should be white on green background or vice versa.
- Red circles indicate prohibition and blue circles indicate an action to be taken, for example ‘Keep Door Shut’. Symbol should be white on the blue background.
Tactile sign suppliers
Applied Signs and Display Ltd.,
Units 1-3, Willsborough Business Centre,
Clonshaugh Industrial Estate,
Tel: 01 871 2300
Web: www.appliedsigns.ie 
18 Killenard Lodge,
Tel: 057 864 7287
Web: www.braillesigns.ie 
Tel: 061 215010
Email: email@example.com 
CSI Manufacturing Limited,
5 Red Cow Interchange Estate,
Tel: 01 464 1488
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 
Tel: 01 463 4400
Email: email@example.com 
Unit A, 37/38 Academy Street,
Tel: 046 907 2840
Mobile: 087 250 1041
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 
Management Graphics Ltd,
Baldoyle Industrial Estate,
Tel: 01 832 6966
Web: www.managementgraphics.ie 
Nameplate and Sign Services,
Tel: 01 453 2659
Tel: 021 302511
D.C. Long Ltd,
Tel: 021 733 6210
Mobile: 086 823 9974
Web: www.taktyle.co.uk