Tactile Signage: A Crucial Tool for Inclusive Navigation

Tactile signage is a type of signage that incorporates raised lettering, symbols, and Braille characters to communicate information to people who are blind or visually impaired. It plays a vital role in ensuring equal access to public and private spaces for everyone.

Importance of Tactile Signage

For people who are blind or visually impaired, navigating an unfamiliar environment can be challenging. Tactile signage provides a way for them to independently locate specific destinations, such as restrooms, exits, elevators, or different departments within a building. This fosters independence and allows them to move around confidently without relying on assistance.

In addition to wayfinding, tactile signage can also be used to identify important features like room numbers, types of stores, or warnings. This information is crucial for navigating an environment safely and efficiently.

Benefits of Tactile Signage

  • Accessibility: Creates a more inclusive environment for people with visual impairments.
  • Safety: Provides clear information on potential hazards or dangers.
  • Independence: Empowers people to navigate unfamiliar spaces without assistance.
  • Equality: Ensures everyone has access to the same information.
  • Compliance: Meets building codes and accessibility standards like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States.

Types of Tactile Signage

Tactile signage can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, or acrylic. The raised lettering and symbols are typically created using thermoforming, engraving, or braille printing techniques.

Here are some of the different types of tactile signage:

  • Braille signage: Includes raised Braille characters alongside the printed text, allowing people who can read Braille to access the information.
  • Pictograms: Employs symbols that are universally understood to convey information without relying on language.
  • Tactile text: Uses raised lettering to allow people with low vision to read the text by touch.

Placement and Design Considerations

For effective communication, tactile signage needs to be strategically placed and designed with usability in mind. Some key considerations include:

  • Location: Signs should be positioned at an appropriate height for people to easily reach and read by touch. This is typically between 48 and 60 inches from the ground.
  • Clearance: Maintain sufficient clearance around the sign to avoid obstruction from swinging doors or protruding objects.
  • Contrast: Use high-contrast colors between the background and the raised text or symbols for better visibility.
  • Font selection: Choose a simple, sans-serif font for raised text that is easy to read by touch.
  • Braille compliance: Ensure Braille characters meet the standards of Grade 2 Braille, the most common form used for public signage.

By following these guidelines, businesses and organizations can create tactile signage that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.


Don't let your signage become a barrier! Tactile signage is a powerful tool to promote inclusion and accessibility in your building. By enabling people with visual impairments to navigate independently, you create a welcoming and safe environment for everyone.

Investing in ADA-compliant tactile signage isn't just the right thing to do, it's also good for business. Improved accessibility broadens your customer base and demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility.

Ready to make your space more inclusive?

Zenith Signs offers a wide range of high-quality, ADA-compliant tactile signage solutions. From standard pictograms to custom designs, our team can help you create a signage system that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Visit our website today to explore our tactile signage options and get a free quote: Zenith Signs tactile signage: link to Zenith Signs tactile signage page.

Let Zenith Signs help you unlock the power of inclusive design!

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