Category Archives: Food

Who’s Minding The Store?

Clients send me interesting, confusing and disturbing signs and I appreciate that.  This sign was sent in recently and belongs in the confusing category.  The sign on the left tells the reader pretty clearly what the Winter hours are.  That’s helpful.  The sign on the right informs you they are closed for maintenance.  Only one of them is likely correct.

Situations like this come up more often than owners or managers realize.  This company had no intention of placing a sign telling you they’re open and closed at the same time.  How does this happen?  I recently came upon a sign on a door that clearly identified that door as an evacuation route and another sign on the same door that said “Do Not Enter”.  Listing both of those things are at best conflicting and at worst could get someone injured.

Avoiding conflicting signs comes down to paying close attention to what you’re doing and might even mean going an extra step by having someone who isn’t associated with what you want to communicate reading your signage. This person would read the sign, tell you what they see and then you compare their understanding to what’s written.  Both the “Do Not Enter” and the evacuation sign are perfect messages…when they are combined the meaning becomes unclear.  Take a minute right now and look at the signs you have posted and read them for content and consistency.  You may find signs that don’t belong together or signs that confuse more than they educate.  The next step is yours!

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!

Options Can Be A Good Thing

As a nation we’ve invested hundreds of millions to as much as billions in educating and reminding people that drinking and driving is not OK!  Some of this education has been in the form of driver training videos and other education has been in the form of electronic signs on the side of the road that say “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”  I want to share with you someone who used a different approach and ask how the approach could work for you.

This sign almost encourages you to drink and drive and then goes to the next step and explains what the alternatives are if you either get caught or are in an accident.  The getting caught aspect comes down to jail.  The prospect of spending time with others who are at various stages of sobering up should be at least mildly bothersome and will be some form of over the top expensive.  The next 2 choices are even more chilling.  Going to the hospital with unknown injuries and causing unknown injuries is a result no one wants.   This result gets you the jail component as well.  Not fun and possibly very painful

The morgue option, while likely not painful for the person it happens to will be painful for others.  Each of these results give you something to consider and may make the reader to opt out and not drive drunk or buzzed.  Other signs like this we will explore include “If You Think Education Is Expensive Try Ignorance” and “Do You Know The Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack?”  Some educate about what can happen and others educate about outcome.  Decide which one you want!

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!

Today I Am Sharing A Sign A Client Sent In…

I love sharing unique signs with you and today I’m sharing a sign I never got to see personally.  This sign image was captured by a client who was recently on holiday in Palm Springs.  Part of the story she shared was looking at what the sign said then looking at those who responded.  The entire group was comprised of men, all were having a beverage of some sort and about half were smoking cigars.  The sign said what they had, what they were looking for and where to gather.  Brilliant!

No matter anyone’s opinion on smoking cigars, wine bars or micro- brews we can all relate to the idea of day care.  In this case day care became evening care for men who apparently had spouses who wanted to shop with minimal desire to have their significant other tag along.  The lady who snapped this picture related she was going to come back the next day, drop her husband off and go shopping with her girlfriend.

This sign is very smart as it tells the reader in short order what they have (Cigar Bar, Wine Bar and Micro-Brews), who the service is offered to (husbands, not wives) and what they can do for them (Day Care).  The simplicity is incredible and they eliminate an entire group of shoppers without offending anyone walking by.  The next question is how can this be applied to your business or organization as elegantly as this place does?

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!

Using Humor To Engage And Inform

Most signs are created for a specific intent and convey a specific message.  This is the nature and goal of signs.  Signs exist to communicate visually in much the same way as someone would use sign language to communicate with a person who doesn’t have the gift of hearing.  This is a sign we saw recently and the creator went in a different direction.  While the direction they chose has a limited range it worked here and I wanted to share.

Few people like being solicited and I’m included in that group.  This sign enters the conversation the person who is being solicited might have going on in their head.  We don’t have enough money to buy what you are selling.  We are voting and have decided who to vote for.  We have a religious faith so we are all set for the here-after.  If, on the other hand you are selling thin mints we want to talk to you.  Other than that please go away!

This would get the attention of most people and if nothing else it gives us a reason to smile.  Humor tends to cross all boundaries and many consider humor, in it’s most basic form to be a universal language.  This sign spells out no soliciting in a fun way without being overly mean or confrontational.  I love its simplicity and when was the last time humans didn’t want to have at least a little fun?  Now, about those Thin Mints…

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!

Confused? Go Ahead And Study This Sign… We Can Wait!

This is an example of a sign where they wanted to do everything at the same time and ended up doing nothing at all.  Here we are warning of drones, bikes, pets, wind, night time and even scooters.  This is a common mistake made by those who need to do a lot and see the task as being pretty easy.

We understand that signs may have a certain amount of potential liability attached to them.  While a sign maker prints what’s ordered we also know we are often the final set of eyes between what was ordered and what was actually sought.  This sign needed to be broken up into signs in a manner that makes some sense.

There are multiple references to things related to walking on or near the bridge.  A single stand alone sign listing the rules and responsibilities for pedestrians such as the side of the bridge to walk on, the acceptable hours for walking, the stairs to use and warning regarding gusty winds.  As far as warning about things with wheels create a sign that includes skateboards, rollerblades, scooters and bicycles.

Doing less with one sign typically allows you to do much more with additional signs.  The minute a sign causes confusion is the same minute the average reader quits reading and moves on.  This can be controlled in advance and can mean the difference between a sign that matters and a sign that is little more than a collection of words and pictures.  The sign we attached gets a badly failing grade and lives as an example of what to not do,

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!

Visual Communication You Can Almost Taste!

Have you ever been driving down the road and you knew you wanted something and weren’t sure what that something was? I think we’ve all been there and in California you might see an In-N-Out sign or even a set of Golden Arches. Either of these signs tell you what’s ahead and you likely know what you can expect to find. In-N-Out opted to use words to convey what you will find and McDonalds used an image they have branded. Both are solid options.

Here we have the Burger Lounge and the option they used. The image shows an ice cold beverage spilling over in corner with a great looking burger and fries. They use the word lounge and this infers they might have adult beverages and the backdrop suggests down home food in a quaint setting. They included the web site to allow you to learn more if you choose. About the only shortcoming is the lack of an area code on the telephone number and possibly hours of operation. This is an example of a great visual communication in our opinion.

There is a space in the brain that organizes images and sounds and we keep that in mind when we design signs. If someone tells you to imagine what a school bus looks like most people think big yellow vehicle with kids in it on their way to or from school. When someone tells me Burger Lounge on a frosty mug with something spilling over I think delicious and prepare to eat! There is a lot of inherent science going on here we should all be using!

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!