Category Archives: Food

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!

Some Signs Tell You Why They Were Needed In The First Place

Often times we see signs that appear to be intuitive or just naturally lend themselves to their respective positioning. This is a sign from a local McDonalds and it appears at many places throughout the restaurant. From my point of view I ask why the sign is there in the first place. Let’s explore.

I start by telling you I have teenage children and the free toy they offer with a Happy Meal doesn’t hold the same level of magic with my girls it once did. I don’t value McDonalds toys that much either any more. I then asked myself if anyone was using McDonalds as a place to spend large amounts of time and it turns out there are 4 groups of people doing this. Kids after school that are hanging out spending minimal money, students doing homework, using the internet and spending some money, people in business eating food and using the internet between appointments and people who are in an unfortunate living situation.

My observation boiled down to McDonalds working to keep their restaurants as a place where their guests are comfortable and those guests are spending money while there. My limited visit showed minimal people taking advantage of the hospitality but I talked with a manager who assured me their goal was to keep the place inviting for those who wanted to eat, drink and maybe use the internet. The sign placement actually makes a lot of sense.

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!

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!

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 I decided I wanted to work for myself and serve the public I thought I knew what to expect.  So far it’s been more interesting and at times even more exciting than I had reason to believe it would or could be.  These days when I’m asked “Can You Do That?” my initial reaction is to say “Yes” and then figure it out.  The best hotels in the world pride themselves on their ability to say yes and figure the rest out from there.  This story is about starting with “Yes” and going to the next step.

In the last few months we’ve been asked to help with installing bollards, speed bumps, chain link fencing and even an 8’ high iron fence.  We’ve never proactively told anyone we do these things… they tell us they need help, ask for that help and we’re programmed to figure out how to help.  A long time ago I learned my life would be easier if I knew people who could get things done.  It turns out I know people who can do each of these things and many of my customers need help from time to time.

Sometimes I get calls from an Engineer who has an issue in front of them they need solved immediately.  I’ve always promised when it’s a sign issue just call VSG, tell us what you want and consider it’s complete.  I love telling someone who is frantically looking for a solution “I Got This” and then handle it.  I was given a problem recently with a sign that was an important part of a safety system.  The sign was damaged beyond repair and with inspectors coming in within the following week it needed to be dealt with.  I was called on a Saturday morning and an hour later I met with the engineer, understood what was needed to solve the issue and by 5:30 Monday evening the situation was dealt with.  I love being that company for so many of you.  Thank you for letting it be VSG!

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!

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!

If You Have A Child This Is Exceptional!

Many of us with children do whatever possible to encourage our children to become involved in some form of extra-curricular activity.  For some children it’s dance, playing an instrument or scouting and for many other children it comes down to being involved in a team sport.  Something like soccer, baseball, softball or football to name a few.

One of the purposes of sports is to teach how to win and lose with grace.  Often times it’s harder to learn to win with grace than it is to learn to lose with grace.  We’ve all been exposed to a child who isn’t coachable, won’t listen to anyone and at the end of the game or season was just impossible to get along with.  Most of us blame the child and ignore where the child learned the behavior.

I saw this sign at a baseball diamond recently and I found it to be a great subliminal representation of what we all either want or say we want.  The child may not be well equipped for a promising future playing for the Giants or the Dodgers and that’s not really anyone’s fault.  No one blames the child or the parent.  However when I see the child I referenced above I do look at the parent and wonder what happened.  Parenting is extremely hard work and its very important work.  Raising a child who will lead, will accept criticism and learn from mistakes is something to aspire to in my opinion.  This sign was one of the best examples of that goal I’ve ever seen.  This is a sign that made me stop what I was doing and consider how I’ve done as a parent.  It turns out I did a pretty good job!

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!

 

Sign And Information Overload

We’ve all heard you can get too much of a good thing.  I have proof!  I’m a lover of signs for many reasons and not the least of which is their ability to define what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is off limits.  Much of this comes down to making things more understandable in terms like enter, closed, no parking and no trespassing.  What does it look like when signs run amok?

Imagine you’re entering a parking lot and out of the corner of your eye you spot this collection of signs.  You now have a few choices;

  1. Stop and read each individual sign and comply.
  2. Park then return and read each individual sign and comply.
  3. Quickly glance at this group of signs and see if one sticks out.
  4. See the signs, ignore them due to the number and park.

What would you do?

When faced with the sheer number of signs, the deteriorated quality of the signs and where they are placed my bet would be that most simply ignore them, park and continue with their day.  I will admit my choice was #4.  There are evidently a lot of rules that go along with parking here.  The number of signs posted provide and demand more reading than I care to do in order to just park.  Like you, I have other things to get done than to stop and read several very low quality signs and make sure I’m in compliance with what’s expected.  This should be condensed into a single sign and posted somewhere other than an entry where stopping to read a sign could cause an accident.  Simplify wherever possible for a better result.

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’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!