Braille Signs – Tactual from Stocksigns

At the end of March 2006 there were 364,615 people in the UK who were registered as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted) – RNIB. The Tactual Braille signs range from Stocksigns is the innovative and visually superior tactile signage system. Braille signs are capable of conveying fast, effective information to assist the visually impaired. They should be used to clearly identify exits, restrooms, entrances and other rooms for the visually impaired and also assist in way finding and navigation through your premises. Braille or Tactual Signs provide facility information in Braille for the visually impaired and also in bold letters and graphics for those who are not.

Braille Signs – Tactual from Stocksigns

The Stocksigns Braille signs range – Tactual – fully comply with Technical Bulletin 24 of the joint Mobility Unit. The JMU is a service provided by the RNIB and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Tactual signs may be manufactured to suit individual needs including a range of text options, panel colours and layouts. We can advise you on your own legal obligations and ensure that your workplace is complying with the appropriate regulations. Braille can be incorporated into your corporate signage to extend the audience range and the reach of your signs. Braille can be included in information and tourist interpretation boards to extend their accessibility and contact points, such as emergency assistance points, with Braille offer help to vulnerable members of the public.

Stocksigns only supply Braille signs that we manufacture ourselves. As a result not only can we be sure that they are of the highest quality but also that we have the technology and expertise to manufacture any custom made sign with Braille to our own specification.

What to look for in Braille Signs

When choosing braille signs from any supplier make sure they have the following features:

  • Wide spaced, raised text.
  • Highly durable, accurate, grade 1 Braille.
  • Braille locator.
  • Low gloss surface, high contrast colour range.
  • All safety symbols conform to BS 5499-5:2002 and ISO 7010

We also supply many other types of disability signs, including disabled parking signs and induction loop notices for the hard of hearing.

How Environmental Factors Can Effect the Life of Your Signs

The environment plays a large part in the impact that a sign will have. The longevity of a sign is affected by many factors. These include:

  • The amount of exposure to the sun
  • The range of temperatures where the sign will be located
  • The surface colour of the sign, red fades the most.
  • The environment where the sign will be installed, an exposed location will reduce the life of your sign, or an area with high levels of traffic will be affected by pollutants.
  • The chemical composition of the films
  • The thickness of the ink coating
  • The amount of UV radiation that the sign will have, i.e. a shaded location will prolong the life of your sign.

Although each of these factors influence how long your sign will last and so the effectiveness of the message, there is little doubt that the most significant factor in sign longevity is UV radiation. A protective overlay film (POF) can be over-laminated on to any aluminium or rigid plastic sign to give a greater degree of protection to the sign face. It allows:

  • Easier removal of Graffiti
  • Resistance to scuffs
  • UV protection – anti fade
  • Easier to clean
  • Prolongs life of sign

All signage material manufacturers use a worldwide standard rating system to determine the life of material based on application being 90 degrees vertical and facing north. However, one of the most important pieces of advice in positioning your sign is to get it absolutely right. If mount your sign with a slight tilt i.e tilting the sign backwards by as little as 5 degrees and you will reduce the life of the sign by approximately 50 percent.

Whilst UV light is the most important, other environmental factors that affect the life of the sign, which could damage your signs, are dirt, salt, acid rain, general pollution and more. All of these factors can reduce the life span of your signage, and need to be taken in to consideration. Our Safety Signs – How to clean your safety signs guide offer advice on general maintenance and up keep of your signs.  The type of fixing you choose can also effect the life of your sign, our article on Tips for the Care and Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs  highlights the need for correct fixing methods Vitreous enamel signs. Other guides regarding the installation of general signage are as follows:

How to Install Your Signs – Part 1- Self Adhesive Vinyl Signs

How to install your signs – Part 2 – Choosing the right sign post height

How to install your signs – Part 3 – Installation of standard safety signs and general signage

  • Choose the right material for your sign, based on the conditions that it will be placed in. Our Sales Team would be happy to advise you on the best sign materials for your needs.
  • Make sure that your sign substrate or vinyl is free of any contaminants by washing with a mild detergent first and when dried wiping with a solvent saturated cloth.
  • Position your sign to reduce the affect that the environment will have on it.

Tips for the Care and Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs

1 What is Vitreous enamel?

Vitreous enamel is a glass-like coating which is fused onto steel at temperatures of 750-860 degrees C. The enamel will exhibit all of the properties associated with glass including:

  • Colour Stability;
  • Scratch & Graffiti Resistance; and
  • Fire Resistance

2 Vitreous enamel signs need to be carefully treated as if they were glass:

a) Carefully remove signs and any fixings from packaging.

b) Handle with care using protective gloves as there may be sharp edges and avoid dropping or hitting the signs.

c) Use stainless steel, brass or zinc coated fixings.

d) Ensure a soft protective washer ( plastic or fibre ) is used at all fixing points between the fixing and the sign surface.

e) Do not drill or enlarge holes as this will crack the enamel

f) Clean every two months with mild soapy water – ensuring there are no abrasives or grit on the cloth or sponge . For stubborn marks use a non-abrasive bathroom cleaner.

3 Installation of Vitreous Enamel Signs

a) An enamelled sign pantray with return edges should never be fixed directly onto a hard or rough surface – the localised compression which could occur on high points may cause chipping or spalling and possibly cause corrosion on the return edge.

b) Where an enamelled sign has to be fixed to an uneven or rough surface it should be spaced off from that surface to avoid localised pressure points.

c) If the sign is to be installed in a coastal or corrosive environment additional protection will be needed to the sign edge if slight corrosion is to be avoided. Edges of enamelled signs are difficult to completely coat with enamel and so additional protection against corrosion may be required. Protection can be given by exterior mastic, waterproof tape or a rubber or plastic moulding. Alternatively the edge can be protected and hidden by an outer frame. Our technical sales department will be happy to advise. For more information about Vitreous Enamel signage, please send an email to sales@stocksigns.co.uk.

Top 10 signage areas to consider for the Disability Discrimination Act

Safety signs and Disability Discrimination Act

On October 1st 2004 the final stage of the goods, facilities and services provisions part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act came into force. Although the legislation has been in place for some time our need to meet the guidelines is still firmly in place. This article is a reminder of what we need to consider in terms of signs and our obligations to the DDA.

The aim of this legislation is to achieve equality between the disabled and able-bodied; it introduces a basic duty not to treat disabled people less favourably than others. The new basic duty or obligations apply to anyone providing a paid or unpaid service to the public. As a “service provider” you must ensure that access is available to all disabled people and that entry routes, facilities and all information are clearly defined and indicated by suitable signage. The regulations concern access, mobility and site signage, they apply to all service providers, ranging from large corporations to small businesses (not the owners of the premises).

Under recent changes to part 2 of the Act, all employers must now ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled people in terms of recruitment and employment conditions. Compliance with the DDA can be achieved effectively by most businesses within a modest budget; however, planning is essential to ensure that the disabled user is not at a disadvantage. The new provisions are a further important step towards ensuring that disabled people have access to services that others take for granted.

10 Sign areas to consider with the Disability Discrimination Act

You are required to make reasonable adjustments to your premises; the areas to be considered are the signing and marking of:

  1. designating disabled car parking bays
  2. setting down points
  3. routes to and around buildings
  4. building entrances and exits
  5. directions to facilities i.e. lifts, stairs, reception, toilets, restaurants etc.
  6. information on additional services available to the disabled
  7. clear indication of help points
  8. emergency exit routes
  9. emergency disabled refuge points
  10. the enhancement of general information signage

For additional advice on signage and the DDA we would recommend carrying out a site survey for your premises.

School Signs – Building School Identity with Signs

There are several elements of school signage schemes that can be used to build school identity. These can range from clear branded welcome boards, navigation signs, information signs, down to standard health and safety signs. They all have their part to play in building school identity.

School Welcome Signs

The main school entrance signs and welcome boards are your first signage points of contact with staff, children, parents and visitors and are your primary identity builders. If you start with strong images and messages on these boards, these design elements can then be carried throughout the school and grounds on all the remaining signage.

Navigational and Wayfinding School Signs

Your wayfinding signs should carry the same branding elements e.g. school colours and logos etc as your “Welcome” School signs. Directories and wayfinding sign systems aim to make navigation around unfamiliar grounds and buildings as simple as possible. These signs are often the second point of contact after the “Welcome Boards” that people have with your school and first impressions count. As well as the functionality of the sign, design and aesthetics should be considered. School names and logos should be recognised at a glance and directional instructions should be instantly understood. An efficient way finding system will help new students orientate themselves quickly and alleviate some of the anxiety felt by new pupils. If they can find their way round easily from the start they will have a much more comfortable and relaxed start to their time at your school. All these small elements help to build a positive feel to the identity of the school.

Information School Signs

Children’s information signs help to create boundaries and guidelines to keep children safe. By publishing some of the guidelines you advertise your commitment to safety and to children’s personal and social development. Our article on using school and playground signs as teaching aids illustrates how they can be used to promote people skills and relationship building as well as traditional learning. For general information signs and notices use your school colours and keep the font used the same throughout. Even the simplest of information signs benefits from adding your school logo – adding authority to your messages. Use bright 3D Pictorial signs in your premises, these not only soften harsh building environments and add colour but work as teaching aids and can help students with learning difficulties. Use banners not only to advertsise school events in the community but also to celebrate success.

They can be used to display fundraising targets, results or just good news.

School Safety Signs

Safety signs have an obvious purpose – they are used to protect and guide pupils, staff and visitors. There is a legislative obligation to have the correct signage in place. However if you have to have them you may as well get them to work harder and promote your school identity. Add you school logo or name to help create uniformity throughout the school. Use braille sign versions of safety signs to aid your commitment to DDA regulations and children with special needs. Many signage companies will carry our signs site surveys to make sure you are complying with the latest safety sign legislation giving peace of mind to staff and parents.

By careful planning your signs can do so much more, whether replacing worn-out signs or going through a refurbishment make sure every sign you purchase works hard in terms of functionality but also helps reflect your school identity.

Playground Signs – How to use school signs as teaching aids

Not all learning happens in the classroom! Much of children’s social skills and relationship building occurs on the playground either through organised formal sports and activities or through natural play. Use your school signs to help this natural development.

Playground Rules School Signs

Use playground and school signs to brighten up the surroundings but also to teach children the importance of good citizenship and fair play. Playground rules signs give gentle encouragement and help children develop respect for each other.

More specific school signs can be used for individual activities, sandpit rules and ball game rules signs give detailed instructions of “do’s and don’ts” which can help reduce conflicts that arise through play.

Friendship stops can help to build self esteem, suggesting that it’s OK not to have someone to play with and by going to one of these stops a playground monitor, teacher or fellow pupil will help the child join in with other games or activities. They help to promote new friendships. A “time out stop” gives children the opportunity to calm down after disagreements or quarrels and have some “time out” for quiet reflection before rejoining their friends.

School Signs as Teaching Aids

Of course school and playground signs can be simple information or teaching aids. “Do not drop litter” signs can be used to help teach children the importance of looking after the environment, whilst specific areas of the school, such as a vegetable patch or flower garden, can be marked out with appropriate signage.

For more information about our sign ranges for schools see our new Signs for Schools catalogueor see our standard school signs range online. More information on getting the most from your school signs can be found in our blog post: “School Signs – Building School Identity with Signs”.

How to use Signs to Build Company Brand – Part 2 Way Finding Signs

You don’t need to be a Marketing Guru to know that advertising helps promote a business and is vital to success. There are many ways to advertise and signs are one way of the most cost-effective and visual ways to do so. There are many forms of signs, each with their own roles to play within a business. Signs can be divided into four main groups: corporate signage, wayfinding signs, information signs and safety signs. Part 1 of this guide concentrated on how to get the best from your Corporate Signage. In Part 2 we are going to look at how you can use your functional wayfinding signs as part of your company branding campaign.

Directories and way finding sign systems aim to make navigation around unfamiliar grounds and buildings as simple as possible. These signs are often the first point of contact a customer has with your company and first impressions count. As well as functionality of the sign, design and aesthetics should be considered. Company names and logos need to be recognised at a glance and directional instructions should be instantly understood. By using the same colour themes and logos, your signage system can carry your brand identity throughout.

Graphically the signs should display your name and logo to its best advantage, different signage styles will suit different company brands, for example free standing monoliths have the advantage of having a large surface area to display additional graphic features to create impact and drama. However the functionality of your wayfinding signs and directories will also effect how your company is perceived. A complicated confusing signage system will give visitors a negative experience of your company no matter how well your logo is displayed. To help create a simple and effective navigation see our article on planning your wayfinding system

Don’t forget your internal signs – wayfinding and directories are an essential part of interior design and can influence a visitors perception of your company and the brand you are trying to create. By choosing an internal sign system such as a Slatz system or similar your sign theme can be carried from desk top signs through to suspended signs and directories.

Stocksigns’ extensive project management experience ensures that maximum benefit can be generated from your wayfinding: a system should be clear and simple but also help to strengthen your corporate identity. From planning routes, advising on styles to complete installation we can guide you through the whole process.

Part 3 of How to use signs to build company brand is coming soon – part 3 will concentrate on using general information signs to build brand as well as inform your staff and visitors.

Wayfinding and signage in London

London is a great city for walking. The Mayor’s vision is to make it one of the world’s most walking friendly cities by 2015. Walking is an enjoyable, free and accessible activity and for most people, a necessary part of their everyday journeys.

Legible London is a wayfinding project designed to improve the navigation throughout the Capital for people who want to walk. A study conducted on behalf of Transport for London found that the present multitude of standard signs in central London are ineffective and often confusing, and that there was a consequent over-reliance on the Tube map to help people navigate above ground. External directories and wayfinding sign systems can simplify the journey around unfamiliar grounds. Continue reading

How to use Signs to Build Company Brand – Part 1 Corporate Signage

You don’t need to be a Marketing Guru to know that advertising helps promote a business and is vital to success. There are many ways to advertise and signs are one way of the most cost-effective and visual ways to do so. There are many forms of signs each with their own roles to play within a business. Signs can be divided into four main groups: corporate signage, way finding, information signs and safety signs. Part 1 of this guide will concentrate on how to get the best from your Corporate Signage. Continue reading

Vitreous Enamel Signs – New Gallery

Due to popular demand we have made some of our Vitreous Enamel Sign Pictures available to view. Enthusiasts and collectors from all round the world ask us for images of these iconic signs. Made from exceptionally hard-wearing Vitreous Enamel these signs have stood the test of time and look good as new for 40 years plus!

Shell Oil Vitreous Enamel Advertising Sign

For more about Vitreous Enamel Signs and Stocksigns visit our vitreous enamel signs page.

Stocksigns the health and safety signs and custom made signage manufacturer

Signage for Hotels and the Leisure Industry

Signing in Hotel and Leisure complexes falls into several categories, from a complete corporate identity through to safety and health signs for both guests and staff alike. Often considered as an afterthought to a project, signage is an underestimated communication tool for customers in the leisure industry. Continue reading

Getting the best from your Noticeboards.

Here are some factors to think about when choosing your external customised notice boards.

Tips on choosing the right noticeboard for you.

  • Where is your noticeboard to be displayed? We can provide noticeboards and lockable display cases that are sympathetic to your environment, or offer advice on the levels of weather or vandal protection your bespoke signs may require.
  • What information are you going to display? Is the information permanent or require updating regularly. We offer notice boards with fabric covered pin boards which are also velcro friendly, magnetic or fixed permanent display. Locking notice boards give flexibility and security. These can also be simple tamper proof snap frames / clip poster frames that allow very quick access to update your display.
  • When will the information be viewed? Illumination can be incorporated extending optimum viewing conditions. Lighting increases the functionality of your sign or noticeboard, not only making viewing easier, but adding to the aesthetics of your display.

wooden noticeboard, display casesStocksigns the signage manufacturer

Planning Your Wayfinding Signage & Sign Directories

Here are some factors to think about when choosing your External customised Sign Directories and Way Finding Signage Systems.

  • When Planning your custom made signs or way finding scheme it is best to physically walk the route, obstructions such as trees and other signage are often not marked on flat plans.
  • If possible get someone who is not familiar with the area to help. Their unfamiliarity will ensure your health and safety signs are placed in exactly the right place to make navigation easy.
  • A sign site survey from Stocksigns becomes invaluable in these situations.

Custom made signs

 

Stocksigns the signage manufacturer