Category Archives: Food

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!

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!