Category Archives: Frogs

What Does “No Standing” Mean And Why Do You Care?

Many Engineers and Managers we work with focus the majority of what they do on easing the areas with the highest levels of traffic.  For many this comes down to high traffic areas like parking lots and lobbies. Eliminating log jams not only help in these areas it tends to increases the eased of flow of traffic everywhere else.

Wherever a traffic log jam exists can cause secondary problems that may not be apparent. Solving congestion issues in parking lots and lobbies solves unseen problems. If the signs where people park their cars are unclear or difficult to understand there could be a delay in parking. Parking delays often make someone late for an appointment. If the signage in a common area or lobby directing them to their destination is unclear they may be further delayed. These delays impact the schedule of the person they’re scheduled to meet with. The impacts are many and often detrimental to the organization.

The sign I’m sharing uses the term “No Stopping Or Standing”. Standing doesn’t mean what most people think it does. Standing refers to “the temporary stopping of a vehicle occupied or not, otherwise than temporarily, for the purpose of and while actively engaged in loading and unloading merchandise or passengers.” When you’re trying to ease the flow of people it’s always wise to use the easiest and most common definitions. Changing this sign to something like “No Stopping Except For Loading And Unloading Passengers” is much more clear, gives you a better chance of being understood and a better chance to decrease traffic.

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!

When Was The last Time You “Wet Your Plants?”

Done at the right time and in the right situation a simple play on words can be extremely powerful and drive the exact behavior you are looking to drive.  With the advent of spring I have a picture from a nursery reminding you that spring is here. You may need to water your plants as a result and that the landscape department is open for business.  There is actually a lot going on here.

The most important takeaway from this sign is what’s called a pattern interrupt.  It should be “Wet Your Pants” and with the simple addition of the letter “L” the entire meaning has changed.  Changing the meaning in both a subtle and dramatic way causes the brain to work and respond in a much different manner. This is much like what happens when you re-arrange words.  “The Dog Bit Johnny” use the same words and “Johnny Bit The Dog”.  We are using the same words and have a very different meaning and causing the brain to reconsider the entire premise.

Using technology like this is clearly not a great fit for every project or in every setting.  The reality is we place visual communication in an effort to garner attention.  Consider this…  We’ve all seen “No Parking” signs and recently I saw a sign that said “Don’t Even Think About Parking Here!”  Both say No Parking and one is overly demanding and I would imagine much more effective!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication, we get your point across clearly and concisely and we help you solve problems you didn’t even know you had!  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!

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!

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!

Not A Missile Drop Area…

The more specific a sign is the more likely it’ll be read and the directions followed.  Often the reader will read between the lines and take an extra moment and determine what prompted the sign to be erected.  I saw such a sign on the Rio Vista Bridge recently.  My initial suspicion was missiles!

There’s a lot going on with this sign… that presents both opportunities and problems.  When we try to communicate too much we often communicating nothing.  Confusing words like;

– Penal Code Violation

– Willfully Drops

– Missiles

– Misdemeanor

– Under Surveillance

This sign is primarily aimed at pedestrians based on size and placement.  It would be difficult to drop something from a bridge and it would be ever more of a challenge to drop a missile from the bridge if you were driving over the bridge.  As far as a warning about a missile goes… that’s a first for me.

Surveillance is quite a different warning.  Surveillance is something we’ve become used to in our society and is commonplace.  I’ve had customers place signs like this without the ability to watch anyone in any way.  They are piggybacking on what others are doing and are either saving money or placing themselves at risk.  When someone wants a sign saying something is happening they aren’t really doing I advise them to rethink their position.  If something happens where a video would have helped prove or disprove something and it’s found out they don’t have a video a legal issue could crop up (This has happened and been litigated) and someone could be on the legal hook over a 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!

Not Just Another Pretty Face!

The Visual Solution Team wants to introduce you to Jake Burns.  Maybe you’ve already met Jake but for those who haven’t Jake is the #2 guy here at Visual Solutions and people seem to love what he’s doing.  We all know that #2 ties harder and that’s certainly the case here.  You’ve likely seen him installing signs and determining who everyone and how he can best help people out.  Here’s a little more about what makes him tick.

Here are a few facts about Jake we think are important for you to know.  He is most proud of his family which consists of his bride and 2 beautiful children.  Jake was born and raised in Rocklin and he loves this area of the country.  Jake moved away for a few years to help a business in Oregon for a while and his ties to the area compelled him to return home.

Jake loves working in the different medical and educational facilities.  He knew about many of the places he visits today and has run into people he hasn’t seen in many years.  He says that it just makes his day when he gets reacquainted with a childhood friend.  It’s even better in his world when he gets to help one of these friends out and solve a problem.  Jake has assimilated with the Visual Solution Group philosophy quite well.  Michael interviewed Jake and told him whatever the partner we are working with needs we can figure out and get it done.  Jake has installed Speedbump’s and even installed Bollards (parking lot barrier poles.)

Jake will be taking care of sales, installation and other things you need to have completed.  Jake loves to serve and we know how easy it is to rely on him.  He can be reached directly at 503-437-4810 or via e-mail at jake@visualsolutiongroup.com

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!