One of the most recent and most exciting trends in ADA signage is the introduction of Thermoformed ADA signs into the marketplace. Thermoforming isn't new. In fact, if you've ever fought to open a new gadget in a "blister pack" package, you've handled a thermofored product.
Thermoforming uses heat and pressure and compresses plastic into a mold. This process makes and extremely durable, dense plastic sign. What is new is using this technology to fabricate ADA compliant signs.
Thermoformed signs have some clear advantages:
-They can withstand high impact, high traffic applications (think middle schools)
-The material can be textured (stucco, slate, stipple, etc)
-High density plastic keeps germs from penetrating the surface of the sign. And they are virtually impervious to cleaning agents which makes them ideal for medical buildings.
-Fingerprint and graffiti resistant.
-Scratch and chip resistant.
I believe that as the planning and architectural communities begin to understand the advantages of thermoforming over photoplymer signs, they will begin to specify these signs instead of photopolymers. If you need a sign that will hold up in any conditions, you need a thermoformed sign. Also check out our post on ADA litigation increasing.