All posts by vsg

We Know Enough To Ask Questions…

No one knows everything there is to know. This even comes down to specific occupations. While I might not know for sure if a specific sign is legal I know enough to ask questions, that leads me to better questions and to great answers.

A Doctor sent this picture of a sign he saw in a restaurant. The moment I saw this sign I questioned the legality of the sign and the explanation. Visual Solution Group simply wouldn’t print and post this sign without an approval from either an Engineer or a County Health Inspector. Tell us what you think and how you read this…

Restroom Accessibility and Equipment: Restrooms for customers must be accessible to handicapped persons and equipped to be used by individuals in wheelchairs. The federal American Disabilities Act is the governing law for this. Facilities for the disabled must be clearly labeled. They must have special amenities such as level or ramp access, wider doors, and handrails. They may be separate or combined; a multi-stall facility, for instance, can have a single handicap-access stall, but separate access facilities are required for men and women. Where Restrooms can be Located: Customer restrooms must have direct and easy access from the dining or receiving area. They cannot be in basements or back rooms, and customers must not pass through kitchens or food storage or preparation areas to reach restrooms. Facilities must be clearly marked with directions if needed. Individual stall or restroom doors should be lockable. Exceptions to Restroom Rules: There are some exceptions for very small businesses. In some jurisdictions, a restaurant with less than 1,200 square feet of space that accommodates no more than 20 employees and customers at one time may have a single unisex restroom, so long as it is handicap-accessible. Local regulations can vary on this, so it is important to clarify with a health inspector.

This may be a close call. In Baseball it’s a case to tie goes to the runner… in this case the disabled person is the runner and rightfully so they prevail and the sign may lead to fines or even and lawsuit. Never assume the way we used to do things or want to do things is the way we should do things!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

When Even The Best Sign Won’t Matter

There are times when someone can create the perfect sign with the perfect message and somehow it can still fall short of the intended message. We’ve seen more than one hand made sign placed in a position to warn someone about something critical (like an evacuation route) and in an emergency the likelihood of actually seeing the sign is minimal. Then we have this one…

When you initially look at the sign it looks perfect. You have a visual warning to “Give Cyclists Space.” In case you didn’t know there is a 3 foot law on the vehicle code mandating that separation in California (section 21750 CVC). So far so good! Going just a little deeper we see the sign was proactively placed in the middle of the designated bike lane and that placement required a bike rider to swerve into traffic due to a lack of space! Do you suppose that was intentional? We don’t.

We create and install a lot of signage for hospitals and schools. We know both the laws and we understand the ramifications of our actions. We know if a sign won’t get the job done to not install it and work with whoever is in charge to resolve it. The sign above has only one job and we label this as an epic failure. If a bike rider is forced to swerve into the traffic lane and is involved in an accident you wonder who is at fault. This could have been done in a different manner and that alone could solve the collision question and potentially answer many other questions no one wants to ask.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

Things We See When We Do A Sign Audit…

We started the idea of “Sign Audit’s” when someone asked us to see if there were any issues that needed to be addressed. At the end of the audit it became a question of what to do first and what could wait. Some items were important and other items were urgent. The attached picture is on the urgent list.

This is a picture of a hand written sign someone placed over an emergency phone that had been identified as “Non-Operational” for in excess of 3 weeks! Whoever placed this was no doubt trying to be funny. Imagine if someone was in a dire emergency, the phone was their only option and they’re met with this sign. Someone knew there was a problem, someone likely reported the problem and then someone dropped the ball. We charged nothing to fix this problem. We identified the problem and got the people responsible to put this high on their priority list. We imagined the long term cost of doing nothing. This is just one of the ways we add value.

When we see something like this we take it to the next logical level. “What If” is a question we ask and when we don’t like the answer we draw a line in the sand and do whatever we can to get the issue handled. In a case where an Emergency Phone line is down we keep asking questions until we get an answer about what’s being done. We view ourselves as your partner in all of this and that means a second set of eyes. Frequently we locate problems that we cannot fix so we bring it to the attention of someone who can and will.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

 

Did Someone Move Your Cheese?

Recently a client passed a book on to me titled “Who Moved My Cheese.” The book is all about A-mazing ways to deal with change in your life and work. We’d shared some of the personal and professional changes we’ve had recently and he thought the book and its lessons would be of value. People rarely share books anymore so I took the share seriously and read the book cover to cover… Then I read it again!

Any Engineer or owner/managers of a business is well acquainted with the pace of change… that pace only seems to accelerate every year. Getting comfortable with the speed of change is hard to do and a required skill. The book talks about 4 mice who saw the source of their food drying up and how 2 of the mice accepted that and changed while the other 2 mice refused to accept that things had changed.  The book shows what happens to each of them.

The book uses a maze to illustrate how we all have to navigate change. In talking to many of the people we serve I hear how much their position and responsibilities have changed over the time and how that has impacted their life. Most of us can relate.  For me much of the change comes down to how VSG does what we do and being adaptable to the new opportunities we are offered.  Each of us will have opportunities that came disguised as work and very often accepting these opportunities will mean the difference between success and failure.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

 

Things Better Left Unsaid Sometimes Needs To Be Said…

As youngsters we learned every action had a potential opposite reaction.  Personally I taught my daughters to consider the impact of their actions on others.  This applies to many areas of life.  Things like hold doors open for people, don’t litter, look your best at all times and don’t dispose of things in a careless manner.

One of the basic areas of this comes down to where some of us throw trash.  When I go to athletic events I often see beer cups thrown into urinals.  Who could possibly think this is either a good or even appropriate place to throw trash?  Someone has to remove that from the urinal and dispose of it properly.  Was the person who threw it there actually taught that a urinal was the proper place to throw this away?  Other than the fact someone has to remove this and throw it away what are the other potential impacts of this behavior?

I asked an Engineer about the impact of small pieces of trash in a urinal they explained when small bits of trash collect in filters and enough debris collects in one of these filters a spill is the result.  If the debris gets past the filter there is potential damage to the plumbing system and that results in increased labor, material, down time and costs for everyone.  The down time resulting from this results in a closed restroom and this impacts us all… Especially the elderly and infirmed.  At the end of the day the sign is asking that we all consider the other person and act accordingly.  Simple message and a great result!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

 

 

When I decided I wanted to work for myself and serve the public I thought I knew what to expect.  So far it’s been more interesting and at times even more exciting than I had reason to believe it would or could be.  These days when I’m asked “Can You Do That?” my initial reaction is to say “Yes” and then figure it out.  The best hotels in the world pride themselves on their ability to say yes and figure the rest out from there.  This story is about starting with “Yes” and going to the next step.

In the last few months we’ve been asked to help with installing bollards, speed bumps, chain link fencing and even an 8’ high iron fence.  We’ve never proactively told anyone we do these things… they tell us they need help, ask for that help and we’re programmed to figure out how to help.  A long time ago I learned my life would be easier if I knew people who could get things done.  It turns out I know people who can do each of these things and many of my customers need help from time to time.

Sometimes I get calls from an Engineer who has an issue in front of them they need solved immediately.  I’ve always promised when it’s a sign issue just call VSG, tell us what you want and consider it’s complete.  I love telling someone who is frantically looking for a solution “I Got This” and then handle it.  I was given a problem recently with a sign that was an important part of a safety system.  The sign was damaged beyond repair and with inspectors coming in within the following week it needed to be dealt with.  I was called on a Saturday morning and an hour later I met with the engineer, understood what was needed to solve the issue and by 5:30 Monday evening the situation was dealt with.  I love being that company for so many of you.  Thank you for letting it be VSG!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

When Was The last Time You “Wet Your Plants?”

Done at the right time and in the right situation a simple play on words can be extremely powerful and drive the exact behavior you are looking to drive.  With the advent of spring I have a picture from a nursery reminding you that spring is here. You may need to water your plants as a result and that the landscape department is open for business.  There is actually a lot going on here.

The most important takeaway from this sign is what’s called a pattern interrupt.  It should be “Wet Your Pants” and with the simple addition of the letter “L” the entire meaning has changed.  Changing the meaning in both a subtle and dramatic way causes the brain to work and respond in a much different manner. This is much like what happens when you re-arrange words.  “The Dog Bit Johnny” use the same words and “Johnny Bit The Dog”.  We are using the same words and have a very different meaning and causing the brain to reconsider the entire premise.

Using technology like this is clearly not a great fit for every project or in every setting.  The reality is we place visual communication in an effort to garner attention.  Consider this…  We’ve all seen “No Parking” signs and recently I saw a sign that said “Don’t Even Think About Parking Here!”  Both say No Parking and one is overly demanding and I would imagine much more effective!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication, we get your point across clearly and concisely and we help you solve problems you didn’t even know you had!  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

Gentlemen… This Is A Football

The famous football coach Vince Lombardi loved to take his players back to the basics after any loss.  He started every post loss practice with the phrase “Gentlemen, this is a football.”  His thought was that managing the most basic element of what you were responsible for made you better than most everyone else.  Today I want to review what a sign is.

The word sign comes from the 13th century and means gesture or motion of the hand, especially one meant to communicate something.  The term comes from the Latin word signum “identifying mark, token, indication, symbol, proof, military standard, ensign, a signal, an omen, SIGN in the heavens or constellation.  Keep in mind this is from the 13th century and the term is still being used in its same basic form today!

This is where the idea of Visual Communication originated.  When the term was initially agreed on the language the world used was very different and much less developed than it is today.  With language being more developed today we have far more ways to confuse the most basic level of communication.  Scholars say that the English language is one of the more difficult languages to learn due to multiple meanings for the same sounding word.  There, their and they’re are excellent examples of that difficulty.  When spoken they can be confusing and they get more clear when written if the reader is paying attention, understands the difference and isn’t engaged on social media.  I mention social media due to what has become acceptable spelling and syntax errors.  Some of the errors redefine what a sign is and must be taken into account when a sign is designed.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

Stop And Consider The Message…

There was an incident over the weekend where someone wanted to take a selfie with a caged Jaguar.  This was a black Jaguar and not the car kind… The wild animal kind.

There were signs and warnings and gates and fences and none of them worked to prevent entry.  This person made a decision and was able to ignore each of the posted signs and get around each barrier and get back to where the animal was residing and then took the selfie.  The animal had other ideas and reacted as you would expect a predator to react.  When this person got close enough to the fence the animal was able to grab their jacket and get a claw on them.  The result was minimally damaging to the person… they were injured and they survived.  None of the signs or physical barriers were able to prevent a highly motivated person from entering anyway.  The fact is the signs and barriers work for almost everyone else.

This true story tells us we need to communicate in different ways for different needs.  The sign I have listed here might work for docile animals and wouldn’t be the best choice for Jaguars or any of the other aggressive and dangerous animals.  Knowing that you would communicate in a different manner.  The Federal Government uses a physical color coded system to convey a threat and areas where there are X-Rays present use a different system.  The method of explaining danger has to fit the danger.  Signs and intent matters.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

Bumper Stickers Are Mini-Signs

As we drive down the road we’re accustomed to seeing signs for fast food, gas stations and even points of interest.  Actually, when it comes to points of interest you need to pay really close attention or you’re likely to miss a point of interest as these are disappearing from road side signs.  Some of my personal favorite activities when driving involve looking at bumper stickers and then I compare and contrast the occupant with the sticker.  Just doing the comparison can be worth the price of admission!

You might have a sticker on the window or bumper of your car telling the world about your child getting on to the Honor Roll or the fact that they were the Student Of The Month at their school.  I’ve attached one of my personal favorites when it comes to the message the driver wants to send.  I spotted this on the back of an SUV in Mid Town Sacramento and it tells a rich and complete story about the driver.  Vietnam Veteran, Member of the Infantry, Member of the Airborne and you also know they Proudly Served.  There is a lot of communication on one window of one SUV.

If you were going to use the Bumper Sticker method of communication how would you go about doing it?  Single sticker with a single message or would you go the multi message route and tell as much as possible about who you are and what your interests are?  I know when election time rolls around I get tired of reading the sticker and comparing and contrasting!  How about you?

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!