ANSI Safety Tags and Tape Format and Color


A single tag or one length of tape should address one topic.  The signal word panel should be on both sides of the tag. If the tag is bilingual, one side may be in the foreign language or the other side may contain the general support information such as: "Do not remove--see reverse," "Contact supervisor before removing," or "See other side."

Message Panel Color

The message panel on tags should be safety white with safety black lettering for high contrast. Other high contrast color pairings may be used for symbols.

Lettering Format 

  • Signal words should be in sans serif, uppercase font only. NOTICE headers should follow previous guidelines and be italicized
  • Message panel lettering should be sentence-case (a combination of upper- and lowercase). Serif lettering may be used for longer messages on safety tags
  • Uppercase may only be used for short lettering or to emphasize words
  • Safe viewing distance and legibility should determine letter size - recommend letter size chart

Examples of serif fonts: Garamond, Times New Roman

Examples of sans-serif fonts: Arial, Franklin Gothic, Helvetica, New Gothic, Verdana

Message Format

To comply with ANSI standards, the message should always communicate all three of the following criteria: the type of hazard, the consequence of not avoiding the hazard, and how to avoid the hazard. The message may also include work instructions and contact information for the person in charge. When determining the order of the message, the user's knowledge of background information of the hazard as well as reaction time.

Tag Borders

The message panel may be surrounded by a border color in high contrast to the message panel background. The border should be the same color as the tag's signal word panel: Red for danger, orange for warning, yellow for caution, blue for notice and green for safety.

Tag Layout Designs

*Text should be left-aligned for everything except one-line statements. One-line statements may be left-aligned or centered. Justified text has too much space and is difficult to read. *The signature block is optional depending on the tag function.

ANSI Barricade Tape Layout

Barricade tape should use one of the layout options provided below. The message may be repeated on the back side if desired.

Multi-Lingual Formats

Examples of multi-lingual formats are shown below. Typically, English will be on the front of the tag and the second language will be on the back. On a barricade tape, the two languages are side by side on one "section" of the tape.

The Electromark ANSI Reference Guide is designed to be a current, authoritative source regarding the ANSI Z535-2011 Safety Sign Standard and every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the text, symbols, and illustrations. However,  Electromark makes no guarantee, warranty, or representation that this compilation is accurate, complete, or without errors.