Category Archives: Dogs

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!

Signs Of The Times

Bridge

This is clearly NOT a sign of the times but  a sign of times gone past. It may be difficult for some of us to imagine a time this sign was needed but it wasn’t all that long ago.  I took this picture on a Bridge in the Bay Area in the past few days and it reminded me that we weren’t always the technical haven we are today.

Sheep, Hogs, Cattle, Goats or Horses driven in herds used to be a commonplace occurrence in the Bay Area and even in the Sacramento Region.  I still delight when I am delayed by a group of Turkeys who refuse to move off of the road and this commonly happens on University Avenue and most anyplace in the Wilton and South Sacramento Area.

We all see signs which are left in place and remind us of time gone past.  After I saw this sign I wondered what it must have been like to be around then and witness this most basic agriculture need.  What you don’t think about when you see this sign are the Border Collies who were trained and kept in place to make this all happen on schedule and without loss of livestock.

Now I’ve done what I set out to do.  Signs are Visual Communication and most readers have the vision in their imagination of a Cattle or other wild animal drive and all we provided was a sign, a reference and a few well chosen words.  Done right Visual Communication Matters!

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!

A Distinction Without A Difference

garbage sign

I have to say I needed to take a step back when I saw this sign for the first time.  I will also tell you I have been around long enough that I remember the term “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” and I am still at a loss what the intent of this sign is.  This is not a sign Visual Solution Group created for anyone.

Garbage is defined as “wasted or spoiled food and other refuse as from a kitchen or household” and Trash is defined as “discarded matter… Refuse”.  After looking up these definitions we are lead back to the starting point of asking what the difference is!  A great follow up question is how often will someone have a thesaurus with them and will take the time to look these words up?

Someone needed to stop and read this sign for content and meaning before it was created and installed.  What did they intend to define as garbage and what is considered as trash in their world?  There is little doubt the person who wanted the sign had a clear idea of what they wanted to convey and in our opinion they fell short.  What means one thing to you might mean something completely different to me and that is before we start to climb the language barrier mountain.

What did the customer who wanted this sign want to convey?  They had a definition of both garbage and trash that likely disagreed with one another.  This is an area where their point did not come across clearly!

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!

“Danger” Should Garner Sufficient Attention

Dont Get Caught redo

We happened on this sign on a recent vacation.  What this sign communicated did its job for us.  The reality is signs like this don’t always work so the person making the sign has to place themselves in the place of the reader of the sign and take on new information from a new point of view.

One of my clients manufactures golf carts for a living.  He tells me that if a golf cart is going to last it must be designed and built for the golfer who is easily frustrated and is looking for an outlet for that frustration.  Signs that do their job are really quite the same.  Appealing to the lower common denominator to some extent is important.  The reason to have a sign is to communicate something to someone and that communication has to be done at a level the reader understands.

This is not meant to be insulting or demeaning to anyone.  The Wall Street Journal is written at the 5th grade level of comprehension and once you know that a logical next question is what level should a sign be written at.  The end result I want from a sign I build for you is to communicate what you want communicated with the minimum human interaction possible.  Limiting the number of questions a sign creates, and we have all seen signs that confuse us, create more of a free flow of what we want to get done.  This is just part of the reason for the names Visual and Solution.

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!

Why Use 6 Signs When You Can Use 1?

multisigns

Here is a group of signs we happened upon on a beach and I needed to share this with anyone and everyone who was willing to stop and look.  We all know how distracted people are these days and there is no reason to think things are going to get better any time soon.  Cell phones have social media, text message ability, the internet, Amazon Prime and some phones can even send and receive calls I am told.

These signs on this beach take distraction to a whole new level.  Imagine you are with your family as I was and you see a bright, inviting and sandy beach in the back ground.  Further imagine it’s a warm day and it appears you are going to have the beach almost to yourselves.  Pretty picture so far!  You park the car and get ready for the short hike to a gorgeous day and you are confronted with not one but six signs telling you about every possible peril that lies ahead.  Imagine further that each sign speaks of a different danger and each is for real and has meaning and value!

Why did someone go out of their way to create confusion and place signage in such a manner as this?  We all know it’s hard enough to get humans to read and comprehend a single sign and here someone went the path of 6 signs to communicate with beachgoers.  It’s evident that missing one warning could cause serious injury or even death and whoever did the sign went that way anyway.  What is the person making the signs used only a signle sign, highlighted the dangers and then took the final and possibly most important step of telling you who to call if you have a problem.  In my estimation this is what a pro would do and I know because I am that pro!

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!

“Stop” Me If You’ve Heard This One…

Shuttle Stop

If you’ve ever wondered why I take the time to wander around the hallways of a business, school or medical facility this is what the lawyers call an “on point” example. By “on point” they mean what everyone should be talking about.  The sad reality is I see this more often than most would imagine.  I was challenged by this statement recently and this was my response.

I was challenged by a manager (not going to reveal who) who thought I was over emphasizing the issue so we made a professionals bet of lunch as to who was right. The bet was we could go to a place I had never been and find more than one sign that appeared like this.  I had to find more than one and they were the final decision maker.

The person I bet with was right and they still had to buy lunch. They became tired of looking at out of date signs, weathered signs, incomplete signs, broken signs, incorrect signs and signs that reflected poorly on the place we visited.  They took the next step to help me talk to the director of the place I was and they are now a customer.  I won lunch (I tried to buy) and have a new customer.  I call that “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!”

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!

How Can A Sign Be Part Of Your Office Décor?

I was watching a re-run of a 1980’s show called L.A. Law recently and right there in front of me was a timelessly classic example of a sign created to be part of an office décor. While I cannot verify it I would go so far as to say the sign was created to engender the feeling that you are in a safe place and the people here take care of things like no one else can.

You may not even know you have that feeling you do. Remember the first time you saw the Disneyland sign when you were a child?  For most adults that memory will never be erased and most adults have the same feeling today.  The feeling today will cost us a lot more money but people happily spend that money in order to get the associated feeling.  The sign is where it starts and the park is where it happens.

When you first see the sign in the L.A. Law office the next thing you see is the perfectly appointed flowers and the director of first impressions. You know you are in a special place and expect to be treated that way.  When you look at how the rest of the office is designed you now expect the best.  Memorable to say the least… remarkable when you consider it all started with a sign.  Want to make this happen?  Talk to VSG!

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!

How Will The Frogs Know?

frogs on road

Signs are often created for more than a single reason. Here we see a sign created to both warn a driver of something and also designed to make that same driver stop and consider other aspects of what’s actually going on.

How will a frog ever know that it’s ok for them to occupy a road when it’s wet and the follow up question for the frog is what happens when the road is dry? Compelling questions often create unclear answers.  If you are driving the car won’t you slow down and look either way?  That’s the intent of this sign and why more and more cities are using this sort of signage.

This is called a pattern interrupt and it’s very effective. Using this makes the average human stop for just a moment and consider something they hadn’t just a moment earlier.  Doing this sets off a chain reaction in the brain and can drive the reader of the sign to alter what they do next.  In this case studies have shown they cause to driver of the car to slow down and pay very close attention to the potential for frogs.  How else could you get that result?

At Visual Solution Group we use pattern interrupts when it make sense and can yield a desirable result for the task at hand. Signs can communicate information and sometimes produce the “what’s next” side of the conversation.

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!

Modern Day Solution With Worn Out Display…

Bitcoin

I saw this sign on a business in Nevada City over the weekend and someone I was with didn’t have a clue what a “Bitcoin” actually is. I explained what I knew by telling them it’s a “Cryptocurrency” and a lot has been written about it in the news. All I know is the Bitcoin has had a huge increase in value and most people think it’s in a “bubble.”  The idea is both new and somewhat controversial.

With the advent of Bitcoin and other new currencies I would never expect to see worn out signage telling me they accept this in of all places Nevada City in a gift shop but they did! Accepting one of these new currencies tells me you are on the leading edge of technology and once I see the sign I have a different point of view.  What they choose to tell me is their reality doesn’t match my reality and it’s my reality I care about.

This happens all the time. I recently saw a client at a trade show who was using poorly printed hand-outs in an attempt to lure new customers to use their business.  They spent very little time viewing these and instead relied on what they had to say.  The hand-outs are what’s taken home and viewed at a later date.  I helped them my updating the piece with a little design work and some small enhancements and had them printed and the result was astonishing.  Oh, by the way… The product I created cost less than printing them out of their own.  I can explain this in person if you have something I can help with.

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!