Surface Engraved Signs
A cutting tool rotates through the laminated material at a specific depth leaving a trough of exposed core. The result is that the top laminate becomes the background color and the exposed core becomes the text color.
Reverse Engraved Signs
Reverse engraving refers to the process of engraving the "under-side" of a substrate - allowing the top or finished side of substrate to remain smooth. Materials specifically designed for this application are usually 2-ply with a clear surface as viewed from the front and a thin colored layer on the back. When the engraving is completed, the text is paint filled to the color of your choice.
ADA Signs
The term "ADA Signs" has come into common use in the architectural, construction and signage industries with the advent of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA. Unfortunately, it's a misunderstood term. Most people think it's synonymous with braille signs. Certainly, signs with braille and raised characters are the most visible manifestation of the law requiring access to the built environment, but the sign standards in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, or ADAAG, require much more than just braille and raised characters on some signs.
In general, almost every sign that would be considered an "architectural" sign must comply with one or another of the ADA Guidelines. In other words, if a sign identifies a permanent room or space of a facility, including exits, directs or informs about functional spaces of the facility, or identifies, directs to, or informs about accessible features of the facility, it must comply. Signs for advertising and marketing purposes, temporary signs, company logos and names are examples of signs or sections of signs that do not have to comply.
Although, because of the rules requiring Braille on some signs, the signage section is looked upon as benefitting persons who are blind and visually impaired, some of the sign guidelines benefit persons with mobility impairments or hearing impairments. In addition, one can say generally that easy to read and well thought out signage systems are of definite benefit to people who are deaf, have problems speaking, have cognitive disabilities or psychiatric conditions that cause them to avoid speaking to strangers.
Signage is another area where lasers and rotary engravers both have a foothold. However, when it comes to ADA signage, rotary engraving holds the advantage because it’s easier to create the required raised lettering and braille dots. ADA signage is an area where we are continuing to see a lot of growth. You can use the rotary machine to create the letter cutouts and then switch the cutter, drill holes and place the ‘Raster’ Braille beads directly into the holes, which is something you really can’t do with a laser. Also, to strictly follow the law, you can’t really achieve a true ADA sign with Raster Braille using a laser because you can’t get the right angle of cut.