Category Archives: Dialect

Funny Sign… Serious Business

This is a funny method to communicate something serious and I personally love it. Recently a client was in San Diego and they took a picture of a sign they loved and they’re already working to use something like this in what they do in their business. Since they are the owner they have a bit more latitude than some folks but almost anyone can use something from this in what they do.

Humor – No Smoking Allowed on pier especially e-cigs and the fine is $250! Then it goes on to tell you to please smoke… the City needs the money. You have an option and it gets expensive!

Walking Barefoot – this saves the City from that pesky task of picking up the fish hooks while warning people that the danger is there.

No Jumping From The Pier – this isn’t smart in the best of cases and here if you do the closest land is in a direction you might not consider. Choose carefully!

Don’t Feed The Birds – When you do this you feel good and the birds get sick. I line up on the side of the birds and many people aren’t aware that feeding birds will make them sick.

This sign has it all and presents everything from a very different point of view. They liked it a lot and I like it a lot because it’s one of those signs that tends to actually get read and people take action on the information provided. It’s your call… A little boring or a little funny. What message do they want to hear?

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!

Too Much Information Or Just Trying To Get The Desired Result?

As a family we saw this sign and it spurred a fair amount of conversation among us and even other people. The differing points of view on this sign were of great interest and I want to share what others were saying and my big takeaway.

The first thing one of my daughters asked was “who doesn’t know how to pick a strawberry?” This was a great point of view and a reasonable one provided the person already knew how to pick a strawberry. One of the people working there overhead her question and chimed in “everyone knows how they pick a strawberry. This explains to them how to properly pick a strawberry!” She went on to explain “this sign also tells them how to keep a berry in the refrigerator and keep it fresh for the longest time possible.” Someone else over heard this and when the worker stepped away leaned over and said “It doesn’t really make any difference at all how you pick a berry.”

My takeaway is we all know what we think we know to the limits of what we know. Most people will do something the way they were initially taught to do something. The next question is whether they were taught the correct way to do that thing. People learn to do many things incorrectly and until they are taught the correct way they are doomed to failure. This often comes down to directing where a line begins, how tall you must be to get on a ride or many other things. There is a way people do things and a right way people 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!

From Boring To Exciting.

When someone goes on a diet and loses 50 pounds you can be certain it’s made a difference in how they look and how people see and judge them. There are typically changes in their face and their waistline and even how they interact with other people. You may or may not notice these changes depending on how well you knew the person before they went on the diet. This is when before and after pictures can make a difference.

These are pictures of a law firm we worked with and how we changed their conference room. The before picture is quite nice and looks professional. The obscure glass delivers an adequate level of privacy so people can meet in confidence and conduct their business. The law firm wanted a better solution and they called us.

This result provided a greater level of privacy and it takes the start of the meeting to a new level. I call this the “L. A. Law” approach to branding. Imagine the new client walking into the office for the first time and they see this level of branding on a conference room window. This creates the perception of a huge law firm just because it’s done like this. Their name is in huge letters and tells the client they’ve arrived someplace ready to take care of their issue. This is a simple change that can be made and it changes how you’re viewed. When you see the before and after pictures of your friend that lost 50 pounds and your perception of them has changes just imagine what a change VSG can make in what the world sees from 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!

Branding Your Message Can Produce Valuable Results

Staying consistent with brand messaging has value beyond a single message. The reality is when you carry one message into many areas the impact and takeaways multiply.

The simple message “Stay Alive” is one we frequently see this time of year and it has to do with water safety. If you’ve lived in this valley for longer than a year you are used to seeing stories on the news about people who drown and many of these people should have been wearing a life vest and for whatever reason weren’t. These deaths include swimmers, people on jet skis, people in boats, old people and young people. No one is immune to the perils of the water.

When Sacramento started the “Stay Alive” campaign there were no doubt people who minimized the impact of the message. The idea is admittedly simplistic but they took the next step and placed the same message near the life vests at places where people typically go to swim or just recreate in the water. Many victims are very young children and cool water on a warm day is a strong draw they cannot ignore. Too often parents unintentionally ignore their children… that’s where the alive portion of the conversation goes away. Campaigns like this address issues in an easy and effective manner.

What problem do you need to solve that could ease or erase an issue where you are? Is parking an issue or do people have a problem trying to figure out where to go next? Let’s talk and find a solution everyone can use to “Stay Alive!”

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!

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!