Compare and Contrast: Compression Signage vs Applied Photopolymer Tactile Solutions

When it comes to your business signs, understanding the different sign building processes can be helpful. Here at Identity Group, we have a three step process for all of our ADA compliant signs, each with their own characteristics. These range from applied tactile to our proprietary patented photopolymer, to our superior patented Alchemy compression tactile solutions. 

These ADA compliant processes can be used throughout our many sign lines, as well as with our IDG Studio custom solutions. However, with differences in sign solutions such as thermoformed compression signage and applied photopolymer signage, the final sign product could vary in appearance. To learn more about photopolymer signage versus compression sign solutions, keep reading.

Here’s what you need to know about the differences:

  1.  Photopolymer Signage
  2. Thermoformed Compression Signage
  3. IDG Sign Solutions 

Photopolymer Signage

In order to create a photopolymer sign, a digital image is converted into a negative, transferred to a photopolymer sheet, exposed to ultraviolet light, washed, dried, and exposed again. IDG’s patented photopolymer process delivers acrylic signs with fused raised text, and inset braille beads. 

Typically a less environmentally friendly option, the IDG process for these durable, reliable photopolymer signs is more cost effective and environmentally friendly than our competitors processes, due to our ability to use recycled materials.  

Photopolymer signs are first designed digitally according to client specifications before construction begins. Following that, the image is reversed so it appears backward to the viewer, but correctly fits the sign. During the same process, the lettering must start out black because the colors will not be added until the very end, when the clear film is applied. Lastly, before the clear film is applied and your signs are finished, multiple signs from your order will be fitted onto the same sheet and processed simultaneously. 

Photopolymer Signs are:

  • Durable
  • One Piece
  • Vandal Resistant Construction 
  • Face Painted Base
  • Back Painted or Direct Digital Print 
  • Paint Tipped or Foil Stamped Tactile Elements
  • Variety of color, logo, & graphic options
  • ADA compliant when using tactile 
    • ADA Fonts 
    • Grade 2 Braille

Design Features

  • Custom Paint Colors 
  • Foil Stamping Not Recommended for Exterior Use Standard
  • Foil Tipping Not Recommended for Exterior Use 
  • Braille will be same color as background 
  • Maximum Size: 18” x 24” 
  • Standard Thickness: 0.040”, 1/16”, 1/8”, 1/4”

Visit Identity Group to learn more about our options for ADA compliant signs!

Thermoformed Compression Signage

Thermoformed signs are a durable, reliable and vibrant way to display information, particularly when it comes to ADA sign regulations. Unlike photopolymer signs, which create raised braille copy by exposing photosensitive sheets of polymer to UV light, thermoformed signs are created by using a mold to achieve raised copy, symbols and braille. 

Created by pressing acrylic into a custom routed mold, these sign solutions need high heat and pressure to be designed completely vandal resistant. Within this production process, the tactile copy and braille are integrated into the acrylic and therefore very difficult to remove.

When compared to other types of signs, thermoformed compression signs offer a rich, textured look. IDG’s proprietary compression process offers options for fully-fused text and graphics in standard or customer colors, metal, or real wood on a wide variety of substrates. Our thermoforming process creates sign solutions that not only meet all ADA regulations, but are also a beautiful addition to any building’s wayfinding decor. 

Thermoformed Compression Signs are:

  • Interior or Exterior
  • Durable
  • Precise Laser Cut Tactile Text Adhered to Base*
  • Come in 2 Base Options 
    • 10 UV Stable Solid Colors, or Non-Glare
    • Acrylic with Direct Digital Print or Back Painted
  • Permanently Fused with Compression
  • Cured Ink Process
  • Water Resistant 
  • Braille is Bonded to Substrate 
  • One Piece
  • Vandal Resistant Construction 
  • ADA compliant when using tactile 
    • ADA Fonts 
    • Grade 2 Braille

Design Features

  • Standard Letter Styles
  • Text Available in 7 Solid Colors
  • Braille will be same color as background 
  • Standard Thickness: Applique – 1/32” 
  • Background – 1/8”

Some Alchemy Substrate Options Include:

  • Thincryl
    • Clear or Color Acrylic – 0.030”- 0.060”
  • Solid Surface
    • Corian, Avonite – 1/4”, 1/2”
  • Clearcryl
    • Clear Acrylic – 1/8” – 1/2”
  • Toughcryl
    • Clear or Color Acrylic – 1/8” – 3/8”
  • Colorcryl
    • Color Acrylic – 1/8”-1/2”
  • Imagecryl
    • Clear Acrylic – 1/16”, 1/8”, 1/2”
    • Aluminum – 0.080“
  • Formacryl
    • Clear Acrylic – 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”
    • White Styrene – 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”
  • Natural
    • Bamboo – 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”
    • Fiberboard – 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”
    • Plywood – 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”
    • Composites – 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”

IDG Sign Solutions 

Having proper ADA compliant business signage is no longer an option for companies. Regardless of the industry you’re in, or how many buildings you own, you will want to ensure that you’re meeting ADA requirements. Creating custom ADA signs will ensure a great experience for all your visitors and employees, which will help you reflect your brand well.

Identity Group in Nashville, TN has everything you need to set your business apart. To begin building your unique sign solutions…

Contact Identity Group today!