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do you need images on your ada signs featured image 1000px 400px 1 : alpha dog ada signs

Do You Need Pictograms on Your ADA Signs?

It may come as a surprise, but not every ADA sign needs to include a pictogram. There is actually a lot of flexibility when it comes to ADA signs and the design of the pictogram.

But first, what is a pictogram?

‘Pictogram’ is a term used in the signage world. A pictogram is an image that can be easily identified as the physical object which it is representing. It can also be called an icon, drawing, or symbol. The goal of a pictogram is to be easily recognized.

There are 3 pictogram categories:

pictogram categories three 500×142 1 : alpha dog ada signs

1. Pictograms are required on signs that assist people with disabilities.

Signs that provide direction to accessible permanent rooms and spaces require pictograms. This is most commonly seen for wheelchair accessible restrooms. The International Symbol of Accessibility, International Symbol of TTY, and the Volume Control Telephone and Assistive Listening System symbols are all recognized worldwide as a part of the ISO, (International Organization for Standardization, a national group representing a single design standard).

Pictogram Name Description
isa handicap icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) Anything that is wheelchair accessible, including restrooms, entrances, exit routes, stations, etc.
iso official international symbol of tty icon 300×300 154×154 1 : alpha dog ada signs International Symbol of TTY A public teletypewriter, allows the hearing impaired to type messages instead of talking
iso official volume control telephone icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Volume Control Telephone An amplified telephone, allows hearing impaired to have clearer conversion over the phone
iso official assistive listening system icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Assistive Listening System A device that amplifies sound directly into the ear, allows for better hearing

2. Pictograms are recommended on signs that identify permanent rooms and spaces.

Signs which identify a room are advised to include pictograms. They are most commonly seen on restrooms. Though they may not be required, it’s nice to be able to quickly identify a restroom, and it’s important to remember that not everyone reads English.

Name Standard +Wheelchair Accessible  
All Gender Restroom man woman pictograms 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs man woman pictograms handicap 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Shop Now
Boy’s Restroom boy icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs boy handicap icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Shop Now
Family Restroom family icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs family handicap icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Shop Now
Girl’s Restroom girl icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs girl handicap icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Shop Now
Men’s Restroom man icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs man handicap icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Shop Now
Unisex Restroom man woman pictograms 300×300 2 : alpha dog ada signs man woman pictograms handicap 300×300 2 : alpha dog ada signs Shop Now
Women’s Restroom woman icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs woman handicap icon 300×300 1 : alpha dog ada signs Shop Now

Always remember to check for variances in your state and local code to make sure that you are meeting their requirements. A great example is California, which requires two signs to identify a restroom, check out The Mystery of California Title 24 Restroom Doors Signs.

3. Pictograms are optional on all other signs.

These pictograms do not fall into the ADA standards (pictograms which serve the disabled), but local codes (state, fire, building) may require them. Since these signs are not part of the ADA standards, they do not require text nor the minimum space that the required and recommended pictograms do.

fire extinguisher pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsfire extinguisher shop now wash hands pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signswash hands shop now no smoking pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsno smoking shop now baby changing area pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsbaby changing area shop now
stairs pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsstairs shop now elevator shop now lactation rooms pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signslactation rooms shop now no cell phones pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsno cell phones shop now
in case of fire pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsin case of fire shop now storm shelter pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsstorm shelter shop now telephone pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signstelephone shop now drinking fountain pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsdrinking fountain shop now
drinking water pictogram 150×150 1 : alpha dog ada signsdrinking water shop now      

It is always an option to include tactile and braille on these signs, as it might be required by your local building code.

Did you know there is a minimum space required for pictograms?

There are minimum spacing rules which apply to required and recommended pictograms. They must be in their own space at least 6″ high, but there is no rule regarding the size of the pictograms.

Minimum Space for Pictograms

pictograms minimum space dimensions 800×473 1 : alpha dog ada signs