Category Archives: Dialect

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!

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!

 

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!

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!

Placement Matters

Oops!  This was my thought when I rolled up on this sign the other morning.  So many things were going great and one thing detracted from what was going on.

There I was… on my way to see a client and I hit a traffic slowdown.  No one likes to hit traffic but something good came out of it.  Road repair was happening in front of me and the crew from Elk Grove was seriously hard at work like I’ve seen them work in the past.  They were patching potholes that morning (Who doesn’t hate potholes?) and while I was stopped I saw this sign.  They were evidently so busy getting to work that sign configuration was a minimal consideration.  This is a familiar story.

If I was to write a story on signs that were improperly installed by others I could write for a long, long time.  Signs not level, signs not actually affixed, signs placed where they increase confusion and signs placed in places they shouldn’t be placed.  This sign was upside down and this happens because someone gets busy and makes a mistake.  While I waited in my truck I watched people point at the sign and laugh.  How much of their laughter is directed at the sign and how much at the work crew who put the sign in place?  That answer is impossible to say but figures in to the entire equation.  VSG installers spend a little bit more time to create a better result.  We fix mistakes others have made and we dot I’s and cross T’s.  If VSG was the last one there and failed to act when acting should have happened, that’s on us.  Placement 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!

Who Is “That Guy?”

We talk about us, them, those people and in this case we talk about “that guy.”  Who is “that guy” and why does he sometimes have a shorter life span than “other guys?”  Let’s explore that is some detail.

I personally snapped this picture from a sign I saw near Cambria.  My beautiful bride and I took a short trip to visit San Simeon to see Hearst Castle and Cambria and we happened on this sign near a large group of seals.  Seals are massive animals who appear to be docile to the uninformed.  The locals understand the sometimes aggressive nature of these animals and even after they explain what they have seen there are some people who discount what they hear.

This warning picture shows the result when someone hears the warning and then ignores the warning.  Experience tells me the initial sign used to discourage people interacting with seals was the written word.  Anyone who deals with the public understands the written word will suffice for most people and others needs additional interaction.  This sign goes the extra mile in my opinion and tells the viewer to “not feed or touch the animals” and further states it’s “harmful and illegal.”  The sign then speaks to the small percentage who were not reached with the initial signage by showing legs and a fishing pole underneath a massive animal.  While the sign is quite graphic it gets the job done and might even save the life of “that guy!”

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!

Signs That Lighten The Mood

More and more intersections feature signs designed to elicit the specific behavior of getting drivers to slow down and pay attention.  Sometimes they want you to slow down due to way too many collisions and other times they want you to slow down because someone died there.  Either way the creator of the sign wants your attention for what they consider to be a good reason.

In this blog I’m going to concentrate on a single place where multiple accidents have happened and where a little extra caution might be of value.  I frequently use the term “Mother Nature is undefeated”.  I told this to a friend recently after his home was damaged by a storm.  No one was hurt but it was obvious who was in charge.  Here I’ve attached a picture where someone near a wall is keeping track of walls won/loss record as it relates to cars.   So far… Undefeated!

This is kind of a fun way to get you to slow down and pay closer attention.  In reality the wall doesn’t care if you hit it reminding you avoid doing so goes a long way!  The record of this particular wall is better than it states.  In the nine years this planter has been in place it’s been hit over and over.  The City has documented 23 repairs and damage levels have ranged from $461 to $2.626 for a total of at least $25,745.  The first crash happened during the initial construction process and most repairs are listed as happening for unknown reasons.  The biggest takeaway from signs of this type are slow down, pay closer attention and live longer!    

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!

You Say Potato And I Say What?

As our area and nation becomes increasingly diverse, we are tasked with being able to communicate with more and more people without using English.  This melting pot we call America, and especially California, has people from all over the world and we need to factor in everyone to the greatest extent and level of inclusion possible.

According to the Los Angeles times there are currently 220 languages used in California and 44% of all residents speak something other than English in their home.  The reality is that communication challenge continues when they leave their home and engage the rest of the world.  We are asked to create a sign recently in English, Spanish and Chinese.  Our follow up question was met with a blank stare.  The question was “What Chinese dialect do we represent on the sign?”  This matters greatly and since this sign was in a medical facility it took on an even greater level of importance.

As the picture we used demonstrates, there are different ways to talk to groups of people even here in the states so we cannot be so cavalier as to ignore this actual need.  The reality was the person ordering the sign needed to do more homework before the actual order was placed and the sign created.  Once we had the dialect (there ended up being 2!) we were able to meet with our team, get the translation and graphics done and solve the issue.  At the end of the day we must be sensitive to the person reading the sign!

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!