Category Archives: Food

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!

Not Having “PMS” Was Causing Issues

PMS

Before anyone goes off on a tangent we need to be on the same page.  It’s true that not having PMS was causing issues so we got it.  The Pantone Matching System (PMS”) allowed us to give every color you have an exact number and with this number everything matches like it should.

Have you ever wondered how fire trucks all the same uniform color of red from one end of the country to the other?  The PMS system allows agencies nationwide to coordinate and get a definition of what a particular red actually looks like in the visible light spectrum.  Did you know there are 285 different and discernible colors of red the naked eye can differentiate?   Without a system how would you ever get an exact match?
With more and more companies taking on a nation or international branding the color we use matters more than ever.  Having all of your signs match shows at minimum an attention to detail and in the long run supports and protects the branding your company is spending money positioning.  The Pantone Matching system consists of several different guides and each lists different colors.  The Formula Guide, for example, consists of 1,677 solid colors and gives printing formulas for various types of paper stock.  The CMYK Guide for print processes has 2,868 colors that can be created using a four-color print process. Additional guides are available for the apparel, home furnishing, interior design and plastics industries.  If you have ever wondered how Disneyland, Visual Solution Group or Apple computers always have the same colors wonder no more.

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!

 

Stolen Letters

stolenletters

My daughter likes to cook. I like to eat. The other reality is I like to eat many of the things my doctor tells me I shouldn’t like to eat.  This is a great relationship on many levels with the exception of my doctors!

I recently asked my daughter to make me a cake and she was more than happy to do so.  I was extremely disappointed when I arrived home I found no cake… It turns out I really wanted cake.  When I asked why she explained we had no eggs and thus no cake.  I wanted her to improvise and go another route.  She was able to find an egg like product in the ice box and used that.  The result was not a good one.  The best description I have for this result is at best incomplete.

This sign was completed with an egg like product.  The best grade I can give it is an incomplete although the person who figured out which letters to substitute gets an “A” for effort. A better solution for this could be an electronic digital sign.  No one loses the letters and you can change the display on a week to week or even hour to hour basis.  The cost is very reasonable and at the end of the day the lack of finger pointing in regards to who lost the letters could be worth the investment all by itself.  Give us a call.

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!

Inattention To Detail

restaurantsigns

I was driving past a local fast food restaurant the other day when I saw these signs.  This restaurant just underwent an extensive remodel which involved closing for well over a month and the relocation of a Manager.  They were able to afford the revenue loss because the relocated Manager had built the business up to a great extent.

When they reopened they were dressed the part.  New crew, new uniforms for the crew, the place was spotless and in fact it was so clean and the new signs out front announced what many were waiting for a “Grand Opening.”  I think we’ve all seen the cloth banners that blow in the wind to attract attention and this place was lined with them.

Now a few weeks later and the signs have fallen into a state of something more than disrepair.  These signs are actual eyesores and no one at this place of business including the Manager have taken the time to notice.  When I see this being overlooked I wonder what else is being overlooked.  From what I can tell everything is running fine and yet I still ask.  When you see a sign being ignored, trash in the lobby or filthy restrooms do you wonder?  I know I do.  If you have something that needs to be taken care of, even if VSG didn’t install it call me so I can make it look right.

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 New Play On A Familiar Sign…

McDonalds W

Thursday March 8th was International Women’s Day.  This is an annual event held to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.  It’s also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

Many companies celebrate the day and the contribution women make to the world in both loud and quiet manners and few got the attention of McDonalds Corporation.  In a direct salute to women franchisees they turned the iconic McDonalds sign upside down to create a W where the M once stood.  Just a quick glance may not be sufficient and a longer look makes the change clear.  Why was this done and what’s the impact?

This was likely done to create a media impact and if that was the intent they hit a home run with runners on base.  This was only done at restaurants where the franchisee is female and in those markets press releases were issued to draw attention to those owners.  That attention drew media interviews and more than a few spotlights on those franchisees on local news reports.  This media stunt also told the world that anyone who is driven can succeed and we don’t have artificial barriers to that success.

On the other hand I saw this as a pattern interrupt and that is exactly what it sounds like.  We are lulled into a sense of almost sleep and when something is changed it wakes us from that slumber and forces us to pay attention.  Keep in mind it was McDonalds who started their signage with the idea of “Over 6 Billion Served” and they would update that number as they needed.  Seems to me they learned a lesson.

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!

Which Way Is The Best Way?

either way

We spend a lot of time over here at Visual Solutions Group working to eliminate confusing signs.  The sad reality is they seem to multiply faster than we can eliminate them.  Possibly the biggest question we have boils down to “is anyone paying attention?”

This is an example of a sign a client sent to us from Southern California and the picture was taken in a private parking lot.  What would you do?  How would you proceed?  The issues we have with this sign are twofold.  The first issue is the obvious confusion it creates and the results of that confusion.  While that’s bad enough the second aspect of this sign that disturbs us is the potential liability which could result from the use of a sign that can only be described as intentionally confusing.  If you saw this sign what would you do?  How would you react?

Signs like this are a result of multiple failures and not the least of which comes down to peoples inability to properly communicate.  As more and more of our communication transitions to the digital world less communication happens.  The next time you are at a stop light take a look at the drivers around you and see how many of them are looking at their phones.  Those are the folks your signs need to reach and get their point across in a few split seconds… Much like digital communication is delivered.

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!

Life Is Lived In 3 Dimensions… Your Signs Can Be The Same Way!

farrells sign

Is Today the day to take your company name or logo 3D with dimensional lettering?  More and more companies, hospitals and colleges are saying yes it is.  The reasons and benefits are clear and where every sign doesn’t need to be a dimensional letter it’s clear some should be.

Dimensional lettering is found almost everywhere and while the impact is clear you may not even know what these are.  What they are is an extremely popular way to advertise and promote what you need promoted.  These letters are constructed from aluminum, acrylic, laminated acrylic, steel, foam, laminated foam and even formed plastic. Durability varies depending on material but metal lasts the longest along with costing more and aluminum letters are a more cost-effective material and worth considering if you want the metal look without the higher price.

The use of these letter takes most people back to a simpler time and the best example I have with the most relevancy is Farrell’s Ice Cream.  The signage they used could be placed almost anywhere and was ideal for their company’s name and as a result it also enhanced and cemented in the mind of their customer their logo. Above and beyond the value of the logo this type of signage can be perfect for giving directions and overall way finding signage and can be used both indoors and out.

There are lots of options so choosing which direction to go might be one of the biggest questions you have.  I can answer that!  I can show you the impact the signage will have and why spending the additional money is at time the best investment possible for your sign dollar.

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!

Reminding, Entertaining Or Both?

Tipsy

I keep an eye out for creativity in the business world and some folks surprise me with what they come up with. When I saw this sign I wasn’t completely taken aback until I saw what folks were actually leaving in this tip jar.  Once I made a more critical observation my point of view changed in a hurry.

This was in the Honolulu airport wine store where they only offer to go items and my observation was this sign was a message/market match. Some folks drink wine for the sole purpose of feeling a “Little Tipsy” and that resonated with the patrons of this shop.  In fact I stopped and watched what was going on for about 10 minutes or so and my takeaway was huge.

In this shop every single transaction I saw was with either a credit card or a debit card and they were busier than I ever considered they could or would be. In about 6 of 10 cases the person buying would look at the sign and smile and then reach in to their pocket and tip between $1 and $5 before leaving.  Since everyone paid with a credit or debit card there was no way I could tell if the others were “Feeling Tipsy” but the odds are they were.  The tip jar being there told the customers that tipping is not only acceptable but others are doing it at the point of purchase.  Since others were doing it they were in the norm for following along with the majority.  This is a great way to communicate what others are doing and a subtle way to get people to join in.

How can this add to your place of business and I’m not talking about getting tips. What about customer compliance of just engagement?  If you write it they may join!

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!