Category Archives: Dogs

Some Assembly Was Required

Sometimes we are asked to do things not completely related to signs and completely related to helping just get something done.   Recently at Kaiser South they had something they needed done, no one available to do it so they asked us.

Kaiser needed Bollards installed and they didn’t have the manpower to get the job accomplished in the time frame required.  Bollards are objects (shown here) that protect pedestrians from passing vehicles and in a health care setting they assume an even greater role than simply protecting property.  Kaiser had another company place the internal structure in place and they purchased the actual piece to be installed shown here.  This is where the idea of “Some assembly Required” must have come from!

A Bollard is defined as something designed to divert traffic from an area or road and these fit the bill.  These weigh just over 600 pounds and a forklift, two people and a ton of patience was required.  Kaiser had the guide post placed in front of the entrance they wanted protected and once the was dry Jake and I did our part.

This was important to Kaiser for the simple reason they wanted to protect their patients from passing cars.  There are a lot of people who come and go every day and anytime you mix a large number of pedestrians and moving cars the potential for problems is there.  When you add the distraction of a cell phone with the driver of a car and a cell phone with a pedestrian the mix can turn deadly.

Kaiser made the completion of the task top priority and we were able to assemble this for them.  The final result was excellent and even though this wasn’t a sign these act as a visual reminder to beware.

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!

Get Used To Ever Increasing Signage Confusion

We were recently asked about a growing trend causing hospitals, colleges and even cities severe issues.  Many of these issues have far reaching liabilities attached to them and when they say “we need signs” they mean in the next day or two.  The issue revolves around what are called “e-scooters.”

The “e-scooter” craze is an offspring from Lyft and UBER and they have cute names like Bird, MoBike and Jump.  These are electric scooters you can rent with your cell phone by the minute to get you from point to point.  Thus far there are few actual laws regulating these and many of those who use e-scooters have taken few laws to mean anything goes.  People are renting these scooters and riding on the street, sidewalk, shopping centers and even in traffic.  There is no training required and if you’re an adult you aren’t even required to wear a helmet… keep in mind many of these scooters can go as fast as 35 mph!

We’ve had calls from clients asking what signs we have to handle this and how soon we can create and install a sign.  Since each application is different and each set of rules unique we don’t have an off the shelf solution.  The rules are specific for a hospital, college, high school and an area where there are a lot of pedestrians who fear an almost silent machine coming up on them with minimal to no notice.  This reminds us of the time a few years back when we had less than a week to design, fabricate and install over 200 “No Smoking” signs in six business days.  Someone had a problem, needed a solution, called VSG… Handled!

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!

Why Specific Specifics Matter

I saw this when I was helping a client in San Francisco.  While I’m not a huge fan of big cities I am a huge fan of San Francisco.  This sign is just one of the reasons why.  This sign is so specific it virtually eliminates guesswork and second guessing.

You can only smoke at the curb and if there is no curb you must be at least 15 feet from exits, entrances (sometimes these are the same so this eliminates arguments and alternative definitions) and you cannot smoke within 15 feet of operable windows and vents.  About the only thing this sign doesn’t explain is what an operable window is, how to identify a vent and what the penalty is if you get caught.  The clarity is amazing and from a sign makers point of view this is what we strive to create.

Contrast this with a “No Parking” sign randomly placed without any parameters.  How far away from this “No Parking” sign can I park?  Are there other restrictions I must observe?  Who came up with this “No Parking” rule, who is going to enforce the rule and what’s the penalty if I ignore the rule?  Most of these questions are easily answered in minimal space and giving answers to these questions might actually increase or decrease compliance.  If the penalty for parking is a $10 fine someone may not care on the other hand if the penalty is having your car towed it’s more likely to be obeyed.  Specifics matter!

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!

Vegetarian Corn Dog?

Webster’s dictionary defines “Vegetarian” as a person who does not eat meat : someone whose diet consists wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products.  Webster’s defines “Corn Dog” as a frankfurter dipped in cornmeal batter, fried, and served on a stick.  Webster’s defines Frankfurter” as a cured cooked sausage (as of beef or beef and pork) that may be skinless or stuffed in a casing.  Each of these disagree with one another and they do it on the same sign.

When you take a good Look at this sign it’s pretty easy to understand how confusion with signage happens.  It also explains why some signs bounce between out front office, you and our graphic designer.  How someone sees a sign is influenced by their point of view and how they read a particular sign.  I want to think this is where the idea of KISS came from.  KISS stands for Keep It Simple Sign person and we agree.

We will often see the final price of a sign overly influenced by redesign costs and much of this happens due to visual confusion and removing confusion is possibly the biggest reason we have signs.  I have seen signs that tell the reader No Stopping while telling you on the same sign to come to a complete stop.  The sign was professionally done and someone wasn’t paying attention!  We go out of our way to read your sign, determine how we can read your sign in a different manner and then and only then move on to creation.

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!

A Contradiction In Terms On Display

There are times in life when we encounter something so clear its easy to miss.  Some people use the phrase “You can’t see the forest for the trees” which means the trees are in the way.  In this week’s example someone took the time to create and post a sign to alert others that no sign should be posted there.  This is like passing a police officer on the freeway while speeding and talking on your phone which makes no sense at all!

This sign almost begs someone to post a sign if for no other reason than someone else did.  There’s no authority on this sign so no real reason to respect what it says.  Had they taken the time to state who controlled the space and who was forbidding the posting of a sign it might go a long way to getting others to comply.  Since they were making a sign why not get it done right the first time?

Signs in schools or health care facilities have an even higher standard to serve.  Signs need to be as concise as reasonable while explaining what they need to explain.    Explaining everything there is to explain on one sign is seldom an attainable goal.  The “Post No Signs” should have explained who made the demand and left it at that.  Anything else isn’t necessary or helpful information and may lead to confusion.

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 Does Too Much Mean Not Enough?

toomuch

At times people try to do too much then instead of getting something great done they aren’t able to accomplish anything at all.  This beach sign attempts a lot and I suspect gets little done aside from confusion and even a little upset.

When time permits I love going to the beach and so does my family.  The reason and goal I have for going to the beach comes down to having as much fun as possible.  I will submit that most of us feel the same way about the beach… no one I know goes there to have a horrible time.  What happens when you finally get to the beach and you’re met with a sign telling you about the 12 to 14 things you can’t do, even though most don’t apply to you?   How would you react?  Signs convey meaning… even if they don’t apply 100% to you they still bring intent with them.

This sign tells you no alcohol, no diving, no motor vehicles, no boats, no fires, no glass and the list goes on and on.  Unless you learned to skill of shorthand or have a photographic memory there is little chance you will remember everything on this list and you may develop a stubborn streak and see how many you can violate on your way to having your definition of a good time.  I will admit they lost me when they showed a picture of someone on the beach wearing a suit and tie with the caption “No Vendors”… seriously… What beach vendor wears a tie?

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!

Under New Management

new management

I frequent a business that recently posted the sign “Under New Management.”  I immediately wondered what was wrong with the previous management.  I liked going there and always had decent service.  Why the change?

Has this sign ever increased the customer count by even 1?  I doubt it!  Whenever I’m asked to create such a sign I question the wisdom of placing it there.  If you liked going there and they change management are you likely to want to try the new team?  Doubtful.  If you hated going there already will a sign like this alter your opinion and then take a chance and risk it?  Again… doubtful.

From my side of the desk a sign like this shouts change for the sake of change and little more.  The new owner or new manager knew how bad things were in their opinion or there would have not been any need to put the sign up in the first place.  This is the age old example of working on the wrong problem.

A better approach might be to actually create a business with world class service and then sustain that level of service.  Companies that will never have a sign like this are Southwest Airlines, Disney and precious few others.  They have determined the customer experience is paramount and work toward that end.  They see the experience as a profit center and this allows them to hire and train the right people and that makes signs like this unnecessary.  Come to think of it this is how I set up VSG and I have several clients that do this exact thing.

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!

 

Unintended Consequences Lead To Issues

We’ve written a lot about animals recently to say the least.  Animals strike an emotional chord with many of us and cause a shift in our attention.  The sign I saw recently when I was camping with my girls said a lot without saying a lot.  This is what I strive to create for you.

Wild Bears are instinctive hunters and as a result they are very good at the art of hunting.  With the exception of a sick animal when was the last time you saw a thin bear?  The reality is this has become a problem in some areas where people leave tasty little tidbits out for bears to eat.  These tidbits can be left out for a bear to easily get or someone may try to hide these in their car with predictably tragic results.  Bears are seldom slowed down by locked cars.  How does this apply to your verbal communication?

While we want to make it more challenging for Bears we also want to make things less challenging for your customers.  When your customer can read a sign and rapidly get the information they want and need they are happier.  This result typically removes the need to contact a staff member to handle their issues.  In the case of the Bear they are telling you what to do and the results if you don’t do what they say.  What if your sign said “Last Appointment 10 Minutes Before Closing” or “Customers With Complete Paperwork Given Priority”.  Would this change how your customer acts and help them at the same time?  Unintended consequences are never a good thing!

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!bears

Familiarity And Affinity

Frogs dogs

Whenever possible it’s smart to include images that people recognize and can relate to.  In these signs we have pictures of dogs, the word frog and the easily recognized blue and white wheelchair logo to identify an area the physically challenged can access.  The frog reference has the built in advantage of asking some people to see the word “Toad” and get the dual and cute meaning of towed.

Using images such as these are what we call a pattern interrupt and this can be wildly effective.  With the Frog sign you get people to ask themselves why a frog would need a parking area and that goes on to reference toads.  Great connection and it invites people to think outside of the box many of them live in.

The sign about using the ramp has a lot going on.  You are instructed how to get to the lower plaza, you are invited to have animals which are on leash, it’s clear you are not allowed to smoke (I will assume smoke anything even though that is not clear and it’s also not clear if you are allowed to vape) and they really don’t want you to feed the rats, squirrels or even the birds.  What images do you have that can be reasonable incorporated into your visual communication that will add readership and drive response?  Many national corporations find linking these images to be a serious game changer… Why not you?

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

Signs And Their Backdrop

river level

At Visual Solution Group we don’t see the same sign many others do.  Artists don’t see that same sculpture others do.  I remember reading about a sculptor who said all he did was look at a hunk of granite and remove everything that didn’t look like Micheangelo.  This is an overly simplistic statement with a lot of power.

I was recently hiking with my bride in the Auburn area and we came upon this sign and it contains a high level of subtle drama.  Being residents in this valley we read frequently about river drowning and who gets impacted.  The victims tend to fall into those who are poor swimmers, those who were impacted by the temperature of the water and those who were caught off guard by changing water levels.

Certain areas of the rivers have issues that are unique to them.  The area where this sign is positioned is near a place where water is released from a dam.  The releases aren’t advertised or always at the same time and if you didn’t frequently this area the odds are you could be caught off guard.  Being caught off guard here could lead to a fatality.

Look at this sign and you will see the warning in the forefront and surrounding the sign you see evidence of a wild and rapidly flowing river.  The background of the sign supports the forefront of the sign and makes the entire package very real.  The viewer might never consciously associate the sign and the background but their subconscious likely will.   The goal they were after was to cause a certain level of alert and a certain level of danger.  Mission accomplished!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!